Can a woman fly an airplane? Yes, she can!
Can a woman build a building? Yes, she can!
Can a woman lead a nation?
Can she run a TV station?
Can she head a corporation?
Yes! She can! Yes! She Can!
(Click on the link to hear the song)
Voices sang out loud and clear across the treetops at a Girl Scout camp high above Aquia Creek in Virginia last week as 40 girls and nearly as many women gathered for the annual Camp CEO of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital. The high school girls came to learn about life and leadership from the women who are CEO’s and business leaders from a remarkable array of industries — tech companies, law firms, entrepreneurs, foundations, nonprofits, real estate leaders, and even a university president. We CEO’s left our suits in the closet and briefcases at the office (though blackberries were abundant… and not the eating kind!), sporting shorts and T-shirts and hiking boots for our scouting adventures with these remarkable girls.
I’ve been going to Camp CEO for eleven years now, and each time I marvel at the sheer genius of this program invented by Jan Verhage who leads the Girl Scouts here in the Washington Region with such energy and vision. Trinity has had a wonderful partnership with the local council for many years, thanks to Jan and her terrific team, and the boundless energy and enthusiasm of the girls on whose behalf we share a profound sense of mission with the Girl Scouts.
This year’s camp program included a special focus on leadership. What is so encouraging to observe is the way in which girls today articulate high ambitions for their own leadership achievements. Girl Scouting encourages girls to grow strong through a broad variety of learning experiences, all of which contribute to leadership development. It’s no secret that many of today’s most successful women leaders started out as Girl Scouts.
While we’re at camp, we have a lot of opportunities to learn from each other. My “buddy” Natalia (that’s her with me on the left) is a violinist who wants to find a college with a great music program, so we talked about her options. I had a chance to talk with the entire group of girls about planning for college, and I’m pleased to say that every single one has her sights set on a great university (including Trinity for some!). All the girls expressed concern about the cost of college, however, which is a big issue for families today. Trinity’s Girl Scout Scholarships are one way that we try to respond to such concerns.
By the time we sang the final camp song on Friday night (listen here 17-its-in-everyone-one-of-us.mp3 to hear another great Girl Scout song “It’s in Every One of Us) we were exchanging email addresses and pledging to stay in touch. Jan and her staff make that possible through events all year that bring together the women from Camp CEO (who are also part of the Girl Scouts Women’s Advisory Board) and the girls from camp, along with many other Girl Scouts who are working on Gold Awards. Thanks to Jan, the staff, and especially the girls for another terrific Camp CEO!
Four Seasons, Camp CEO-Style: This is the CEO Tent: