By: Sabrina Y.

Girl Scout Camp CEO is a leadership camp where 30 girls are selected to come spend time with 30 female CEOs in a camp-like setting. This year the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Camp CEO was held at Camp Timber Ridge. Each girl each is paired up with one of these CEOs so that there is a lot of one-on-one time where the girl and the CEO are able to learn about each other. The Girl Scout is able to get some great advice from their CEO and learn what it takes to be a good leader. For the 30 girls that are accepted to this unique and special program, the four day overnight camp is \free because GSGATL truly believes that this enriching program should be available for any older Girl Scout who wishes to be among inspiring women and really desires to learn from them so that they can become strong leaders in the future.
This was my first year at Camp CEO, and it was my older sister’s third year at this camp, so I had somewhat of an idea of what to expect at and yet I was still impressed with this special event. Here are my top six, because I couldn’t choose just five, highlights from Camp CEO. This list is in chronological order.

1. GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD FAIR:  The CEOs are not present for the first two days of the camp, because we are at Camp CEO to be among other inspiring Girl Scouts and to hear their stories.  At the Girl Scout Gold Award Fair, girls who had completed or who are in the process of completing their Girl Scout Gold Award projects were on a panel, and they shared with us their projects. They talked about why they decided to choose their project, the lessons they learned from their projects, and one piece of good advice.  Afterwards, they stood by the trifolds they made, and answered questions about their specific projects. 
As a Girl Scout that is getting ready to begin her Girl Scout Gold Award this year, I was impressed with every girl on the panel. It was a great experience to really hear why each of their projects were so important to them and how their projects have impacted others.

2. THE THEME:  The theme of this camp was CEOing the Stars (Get it? Like SEEing the stars?).  The camp incorporated this theme by having special dinners. For example, on the second day of the camp during dinner, when we met our CEOs, we dressed up “like a star” and the dinning hall was covered in Hollywood-themed decorations.  We even had a photo booth with little props to pose with, and we got to take a picture with our CEOs. 
Another night we dressed up like a movie characters of our choice and by “we” I’m referring to the Girl Scouts and the CEOs. I had fun dressing up as Wednesday Addams from the Addams Family, and getting to see my CEO, Sonnet Edmonds, who is the Senior Counsel of the legal department at Southern Company, dressed up as Hermoine from Harry Potter. I’m telling you, you would think the girls would go all out for this occasion, but no, it was actually the CEOs who really got into their costumes.  It was a wonderful thing to be able to witness!

3. PEARLS OF WISDOM:  At Camp CEO there is a special and meaningful tradition where the CEOs arrive wearing two strands of pearls around their necks. Then at each meal, a select few come up with their Girl Scout and share with them a helpful piece of career advice that they wished they had known at our age. As a way to symbolize the passing down of knowledge, they take off one string of pearls that they were wearing, and place it around their girl’s neck.  My CEO gave me a wonderful pearl of wisdom about the power of networking and to really not be afraid to go out and find my own network. Looking back at this camp, this will definitely be a lesson that I will never forget.

4. CAMP-TIVITIES:  This is a camp, a place to have fun, try new things, and explore!  Ms. Sonnet and I always joked that we were paired perfectly because we both didn’t like heights and we both loved to hike.  So, we definitely did a lot of hiking on the trails at Camp Timber Ridge.  We also tried archery, canoeing, which Ms. Sonnet is an expert at since she grew up canoeing. We also tried arts and crafts such as wood burning and pillow case making!  Camp-tivities provided good one-on-one time for me to talk with Ms. Sonnet and learn from her, but it was also a good way to break that “professional” barrier between a CEO and a Girl Scout.

5. CEO FAIR:  At the CEO fair, all the CEOs had their own table to promote their business and tell the girls what they did for a living. This was a really enjoyable way to get to know all of the other CEOs, but at the same time this was the moment to really put my “professional” skills to the test.  Prior to the camp, all of the girls were instructed to create their own professional business cards to hand out to the CEOs, so it was exciting to finally get to use them. 
For each CEO I visited, we would first shake hands and formally introduce each other, followed by me handing them my business cards which always prompted a question or two. Then, they would describe their career and even though my ideal job is to be a playwright, I would always then ask them questions about their career because I believe that everyone had a take away that I could learn. It was also nice to hear everyone’s stories.  Another plus to this event was that each CEO brought in some sort of “business schwag” to give out for free And yes, there was more than just a pen or a bag. But while these giveaways were a nice bonus, what I will cherish most from this event were the intellectual and inspiring conversations that I was able to hold with these influential and enlightening women.

6. LAST NIGHT CAMPFIRE:  The last night campfire, was a festive and somber evening all at once. The way campfires work are at the beginning when the fire is alive, we too should be lively and excited, but as the campfire slowly dies down and as the sky darkens, it is time to reflect on what the Camp CEO experience has meant for us. In the beginning of the campfire the girls made s’mores for themselves and for their CEOs. Ms. Sonnet and I joked that we were paired very well because we both like our marshmallows Golden Brown.
At the last campfire each cabin got to perform a small skit for the CEOs.   We also sang classic Girl Scout campfire songs. And honestly, it was more fun for me to watch the CEOs singing the songs because the CEOs who were former Girl Scouts got overly enthusiastic when they remembered a tune. CEOs who were not Girl Scouts just went with all the craziness of a Girl Scout song. It was great.  Afterwards we did the last of the Pearls of Wisdom and closed the campfire by singing the Girl Scout song, Barges.

Camp CEO was not only a fun experience and a wonderful learning opportunity, but it was an over all memorable time. Thank you GSGATL for providing me with this wonderful opportunity, and thank you Ms. Sonnet Edmonds for being an amazing CEO camp buddy! 

No comments:

Post a Comment