Badgerland Joins the Golden Centennial Celebration in the Nation’s Capital

Celebrating 100 Years of Girls Changing the World

By Marci Henderson, Badgerland CEO
Anna Maria Chavez, former Girl Scouts of the USA CEO, Marci Henderson, Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Badgerland CEO and Claire Evensen, Gold Award recipientGirl Scouts from across the United States, including Badgerland, took to Washington, D.C. in June to join Girl Scouts USA, members of Girl Scouts’ Honorary Capitol Hill Troop and hundreds of leaders from  government, military and academia to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the highest honor in Girl Scouts. And to recognize the amazing girls and women who have earned Girl Scouts highest award over the past 100 years!

I was delighted to accompany Badgerland Girl Scout, Claire Evensen, who was one of eight girls selected nationwide to present her Gold Award Project at this special event. Claire’s project, Teen2Teen, was based upon her desire to help teenagers support loved ones are experiencing eating disorders, anxiety issues, and/or depression. In cooperation with area health clinics, Claire created and gathered surveys and then taught herself to code so the information would be widely available. The result? An Android app that can be downloaded over 100 countries!

Claire, and the thousands of others who earned the Girl Scout Gold Award before her, knows it is a symbol of excellence, ingenuity and a testament to what girls can achieve—to their vision and fortitude, leadership and dedication. This centennial was a remarkable occasion celebrating a hundred years of projects whose cumulative effects have rippled across time and geography, and helped to transform our world forever…for the better.

Following the Capitol Hill Gold Award celebration, Claire and I had the opportunity to visit with U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (also a Girl Scout alum!) and U.S. Representative Mark Pocan to raise awareness of the Gold Award and talk about how Girl Scouts are helping to improve their communities locally and around the world.

In Claire’s own words, “The trip to D.C. was a phenomenal experience! I loved having the opportunity to both listen to the presentations of others and present my own project. The first event of the trip was a luncheon at the National Press Club with a speech by Anna Maria Chavez. This hour was amazing! Our (former) CEO was a powerful speaker, with a clear vision for both Girl Scouts and girls and women as a whole; it was easy to see why she has recently been ranked among the most influential leaders in the world. The Gold Award 100th anniversary is an event that will stay with me for a long time. It was not only enlightening and inspiring to see the projects of my fellow Girl Scouts from across the country, but was energizing to be in a room with so many other Gold Award scouts and among countless other supporters of the organization. I doubt I will again be a part of an event that better celebrates the power of young women to actively change their communities and the world at large. To paraphrase one of the speakers, we are not the leaders of change for tomorrow, but are the leaders of change today.”

It is these kinds of opportunities that are available to every girl through Girl Scouts.

Your investment in the lives of girls, like Claire, truly help make the world a better place. Thank you.