Day 0: Check check check in

A day late (as usual), but hopefully I can make up for it with all my photos!

We arrived to Columbus yesterday (Friday) morning, my mom and I driving separately in to our air bnb in Columbus. I’m kind of obsessed with air bnb, I’ve stayed in them on most of my recent trips and you can usually save tons compared to hotels.

Ours is a wonderful apartment in the King-Lincoln neighborhood, about a mile from downtown/the convention center. Erica and Ben are great hosts, but their cat, Loaf, is an even better one.

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Hi, Loaf!

After get settled in, we Uber-ed down to the convention center, getting lucky with knowledgeable drivers who could avoid all the construction. The convention center went all out for Girl Scouts, right from the entrance we could tell we were in the right place.

We proceeded to an information booth to get oriented to the huge convention center and find the volunteer check in. A very nice volunteer walked us aaaaaaaallllll the way down to the other side to check in.

Volunteers receive one Hall of Experiences pass per shift they are working. We picked up these as well as some goodies for volunteers. We then headed back downstairs to the Hall of Experiences.

 

If you’ve ever attended any type of convention, you know the feeling when you first walk in to the hall and feel very small. There were tons of booths from Girl Scout and non Girl Scout related companies and organizations. It was divided into “neighborhoods” by themes like Life Skills, Entrepreneurship, and A World for Girls. There were also a few “Campfires”, (I love it!) where exhibitors were scheduled to give talks at various times.

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Many (probably most) of the exhibitors had hands-on activities at their booths, which was GREAT! It was getting the girls involved, and getting them to spend more time at each booth. There were a ton of STEAM themed booths, a whole section for NASA, a Space Camp booth, lots of robotics and we got a peek at the COSI (Center of Science and Industry) booth, where we will be spending the night tonight.

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Learning by Doing!

As always when girls get together, it was inspiring to see the future leaders of the world. In the World for Girls sections, there was representation of the Five World Centres, and an area to join the Girl Scout Advocacy Network, and place sign a petition to rename a bridge in Savannah, Georgia to the Juliette Gordon Low Bridge (signed!).

In the Girl Scout Shop (with so many things that were so hard NOT to buy!), I met up with a friend from Sangam (who helps run this awesome zine with her council in Atlanta). It was great catching up with her and I was reminded how small the Girl Scout world can be. I’m hoping to catch up with a few other friends I know who are in various capacities.

After seeing all there was to see (I think we hit all of it!), we hopped in another Uber back to our air bnb and grabbed dinner at a local “pub”. We hit the hay early to get ready for our BIG DAY on Friday.

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Back From the Dead!

Hey there! It’s been a while! I’ve brushed off the cobwebs and cleaned out the furnace filters for another Girl Scout adventure. This time not too far from home (which is now Indianapolis, Indiana (but please don’t call me a Hoosier)), just a short car trip to Columbus, Ohio, USA for this years GSUSA National Convention.

The National Convention takes place every three years. I will be in Columbus October 6-8. This will be the first time I am attending, and I am just dipping my toes by volunteering for an overnight at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) on Saturday night with my wonderful mom, who has been a huge part of my Girl Scout experience from the very beginning. Since I am not super associated with any specific council right now, I thought volunteering would be a good (and cheaper!) way to be there but not take spots away from girls or volunteers who better represent their home councils.

Anyway, at the National Convention, the National Council convenes. The National Council is composed of girl delegates elected by Girl Scout councils across the country, and is the governing body of Girl Scouts. At the convention, the Council elects a board of directors, amends the constitution, and provides guidance to the National Board, among other things. Read more about the specific National Council proposals happening this year here.

We are not sure what to expect, as we have never attended Convention before, but we are very excited to have a girls weekend and I am excited to get back in to Girl Scouts. I have volunteered at a few events and run a few trainings in the last few years, but with moving around so much it has been tough to get really involved anywhere. But it looks like we’ll be here in Indy for a bit (we just bought a house) so hopefully I can get reinspired and more involved. We need Girl Scouts now more than ever,

If you want to know more about Convention please check out the links, and post any comments you have about what you would like to know about my experience. I will try to post Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, and maybe a few more depending on how much I have to say. Which, let’s be honest, will probably be a lot 🙂

As always, YIGGGS,

-Ana