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National Girl Scout Convention in SLC Asks Girls to Discover, Connect, Take Action

Bob Nelson

The 53rd National Convention of the Girl Scouts opened this week in Salt Lake City. The event runs through Sunday at the Salt Palace Convention Center with up to 5,000 girls and leaders participating.

It’s estimated there are 3.2 million Girl Scouts in the program in the U.S. and 10 million worldwide. Debbie Nielson is the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Utah and a national board nominee. She says she is encouraged to see so many girls participating in the program.

“The commitment they’re making to discover, connect and take action in their local communities wherever it is, whether it’s in Kansas, or North Carolina, or St. George, Utah," says Nielsen, "that they’re going to find out what their community needs and address that need, because I feel strongly if you want to know what your community needs ask a girl.”

Nielsen says the world needs Scouting and the type of inclusion the Girl Scout organization is trying to promote.

Credit Bob Nelson
Girl Scout leader with patch-covered coat visits with Girl Scouts and other leaders in her Troop as they lay out their convention plans.

“Anyone who takes the oath of the Promise and the Law when they join the organization can be a member of the organization. So we have, the number one troop leader must be a woman but we have many assistant troop leaders that are men and our only requirement is that you uphold the Promise and the Law.”

Local Girl Scouts Alexandra Soran and Amelia Slama-Catron say the values and principles of the organization empower them in the goals they pursue.

Alexandra Soran: “It means that I feel good about myself, I feel good about the people around me."

Amelia Slama-Catron: "You have confidence in yourself and you inspire others, you feel okay taking on big challenges.”

Slama-Catron will be the caller during the massive March of Flags during opening ceremonies.

Speakers at the convention include NPR Host Michelle Norris, Elizabeth Smart and Former Massachusetts First Lady Ann Romney.  

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