Brittany Orosco never imagined how important Girl Scouting would become in her family’s life when she registered her daughters for Girl Scouts fifteen years ago. Both daughters, Isabella and Brianna, have since earned the highest award a girl may earn in Girl Scouts — the prestigious Gold Award. Isabella is in her final year of college and Brianna is entering her freshman year of college this fall.
In July, Brittany and Brianna had a chance to celebrate their time in Girl Scouting by traveling to the 56th Girl Scout Convention and National Council Session held in Orlando, Florida. Brittany served as a GSCCC National Delegate and was responsible for voting on a number of proposals that would impact Girl Scouting nationally. Brianna, who earned her Gold Award last spring, traveled with her to attend Phenom, a girl event that was part of the convention following the National Council Session.
GSCCC’s Delegates JoAn, Brittany, and Erika with the 2024 cookie mascot, the axolotl
Brianna meeting one of her favorite authors, Rachel Renee Russell
Phenom opening ceremony included amazing guest performers
Even though all three business days of the National Council Session lasted more than eight hours a day, the mother-daughter pair found ways to enjoy their time with the thousands of other Girl Scouts in attendance. Two other members from Troop 365, the troop Brittany continues to help lead, also traveled with them: volunteer Callan Jenkins and her daughter Claire.
“I’m glad I did my homework in advance!” Brittany exclaimed. “Long days and into the night, we discussed and debated the proposals before taking a vote. It was remarkable to be part of this well-planned meeting where thousands of Girl Scout delegates worked together through a democratic process.”
It wasn’t all work — there was also some play! Like kids in a candy store, Brittany and Brianna explored the Hall of Experiences and found adventure around every corner. They met several authors hosted by the convention, including Erika J. Kendrick who wrote the books Squad Goals and Cookie Monster, and Rachel Renee Russell, author of the “Dork Diaries” series. Brianna was thrilled to get a book plate signed by Russell, one of her favorite authors. “Brianna stood in line for quite a while,” Brittany said. “Ms. Russell was in high demand and brought out the inner child in quite a few adults as well!”
Brittany and Brianna at the Gold Award Celebration
Brianna tries axe throwing in the Hall of Experiences
Brittany pinning Brianna during bridging ceremony to mark her transition to Girl Scout Adult
The Hall of Experiences was open throughout the convention and the girl event, Phenom, that followed the National Council Session. At Phenom they were entertained by incredible performances. Some of the performers who were former Girl Scouts also spoke and gave inspirational messages, such as Susan Eagan who played Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” on Broadway. Rapper Alaya High, AKA That Girl Lay Lay, performed and spoke at the Phenom opening session. Phenom also offered workshops on mental wellbeing and other topics and special experiences such as Education Day at Epcot where participants got to hear from many of the women leaders at Disney such as Maryann Smith, Vice President of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Throughout Phenom, Girl Scouts traded patches and SWAPS. Brianna and Claire were able to meet several national Girl Scout celebrities and receive patches, including one from GSUSA CEO Bonnie Barczykowski. Adding to the experience of Phenom, there was a special Gold Award Celebration and two days of bridging ceremonies. Brittany was able to pin Brianna and watch her travel over a ceremonial bridge to mark her transition from Girl Scout Ambassador to Girl Scout adult!
Girl Scout Abbey F. shares this girl’s-eye view recap of her time at Phenom.
Girl Scout Junior Kaydence spoke at a Chesapeake School Board meeting.