(Columbus, October 3, 2017)  — For the first time in the105-year history of the organization, Girl Scouts of the USA will be in Columbus for the G.I.R.L. 2017/54th National Council Session this week.  The event is held every three years, with the public invited to the festivities from October 6-8.

“This meeting is held every three years. This time it is the pivotal kickoff of our new G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) brand essence. We have 7,000 already registered,” said Valerie Trudeau, chief national meetings executive for Girl Scouts of the USA. “This is the first time high-school girls have been involved in the planning of the event, and we’ve engaged 112 Girl Scout Councils from around the country.”

The National Council Session is composed of delegates selected by each council. The delegates are responsible for acting on proposals and influencing the strategic direction of the organization to the national board.

Following the preliminary sessions earlier in the week, G.I.R.L. 2017 will offer empowering speakers from age 10 to established professionals, educational opportunities and special activities for girls of all ages and their parents, families, caregivers and mentors.

The G.I.R.L. Public Program includes the Opening Ceremony on October 6, Hall of Experiences featuring hundreds of booths and exhibits October 6-7, breakout sessions October 6-8 and Closing Ceremony on October 8 among the highlights.

There will be a weekend program for girls in grades 2-5 with interactive activities, scavenger hunts, and a camp-in at COSI. For girls in grades 6-12, there will be plenary sessions focusing on each G.I.R.L. attribute, which are followed by a choice of 20 related interactive sessions to activate what they learned.  A “Girls Got Talent” show and a girls-only party and carnival are planned.

Guest speakers include Barbara Pierce Bush and Chelsea Clinton (daughters of former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton respectively), Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, former Environmental Protection Agency administrator and first female New Jersey governor Christie Todd Whitman, Ohio First Lady Karen Kasich and other inspiring women.

Founded in 1912 by Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low in Savannah, the organization is currently composed of 1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. to change the world. Following the mission that Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place, it is the pre-eminent leadership development organization for girls and includes troops in more than 92 countries and 59 million alumnae.

“As the son, husband and brother of Girl Scouts, I am honored to welcome Girl Scouts of the USA to their first event in Columbus,” said GCCC General Manager John R. Page. “We are accustomed to hosting many events at our facility that empower girls in all facets of their lives. We are excited to contribute to the legacy of the Girl Scouts as they promote their new brand essence in our newly expanded and renovated facility.”

“The renovations are an amazing change from two and a half years ago when we were here visiting,” added Trudeau.

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