Forging Girls of Courage, Confidence and Character: a Camp CEO 2019 Recap

Girl Scouts and mentors at Camp CEO.

It was warm Saturday afternoon as Girl Scouts and their female mentors gathered for the day’s first Dreaming Your Future seminar.

A Little Background

Since 2007, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana has welcomed high-level professionals and teen girls from across our council geography to Camp CEO®, the premiere leadership camp for teen girls. Now in its 13th year, Camp CEO® continues to provide girls with valuable mentorship and leadership experiences that last a lifetime.

This year 57 Girl Scouts and 33 mentors gathered at Camp Greene Wood for a weekend full of fun and camaraderie as girls utilized their mentors’ knowledge of the professional world to help guide and inspire them as they continue their journey to high school, college and beyond.

Program Highlights

Unspoken Skills of Leadership with Lurie Center for Childhood Resilience

“Being in organizations like Girl Scouts helps build relationship skills,” said a Girl Scout.

Dr. Colleen Ciccheti, Dr. Karen Gouze and Mental Health Consultant, Caryn Curry of Lurie Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago’s Center for Childhood Resilience led a workshop on social-emotional learning for both the mentors and the girls. This interactive workshop allowed girls to explore the importance of relationships both personally and professionally.

They spoke about characteristics they felt are important to have in a group setting, how they value themselves, and how they practice self-care all while in a welcoming and honest space provided by the Lurie Children’s hospital staff facilitating the program.

Personal Branding and Interviewing Skills

Traci Fiatte and Carrie Lannon presenting on the importance of personal branding.

Hosted by Carrie Lannon of Lannon Consulting and Traci Fiatte,CEO of Randstad, girls had the first-hand opportunity to gain not only insight into the world of job-searching but expert tips and tricks to use when they begin their career journey.

Girls learned proper interviewing skills, dressing appropriately for interviews and the job-sphere as well as what interviewers are looking for in resumes. Both Lannon and Fiatte engaged the girls in an open discussion about skill-attribution for both college applications and the professional world. The girls had a great time receiving this life-changing advice from leading professional women in their perspective fields.

Dreaming Your Future

“Things are shifting now, barriers are lessening, women are rising,” said one mentor during Dreaming Your Future.

One of the most anticipated workshops offered at Camp CEO is Dreaming Your Future. Throughout the day girls had the opportunity to hear from a panel of women and learn about their positions in their respected fields. Girls and mentors were divided based on career interests and had the opportunity ask questions of the panelists.

Please see inspirational highlights below:

Nancy Wright—Girl Scouts GCNWI CEO: “Don’t be afraid to F.A.I.L—first attempt in learning.”

Dr. Catherine Dimou—New Market Medical Executive at Cigna: “I would tell my [teenage] self [two things]: 1. to prioritize self care, 2. approach people and situations with wonder and not judgment.”

LTJG Sasha Edwards—Assistant Chief, Inspection Division, United States Coast Guard: “Don’t give yourself any boundaries, sign up for everything and anything.”

Suzet McKinney—CEO/Executive Director, Illinois Medical District: “I will never put other women down and every opportunity I have to lift other women up, that’s what I do. You need to use the mean people as fuel because they aren’t worth wasting your time over and you can leave them in your dust.”

Cassia Baker—Manager of Client Accounts at Hindman Auctions: “Sometimes it’s good not to know what you’re up against because you have your own strength. You need to decide for yourself how you want to be and live in that. For those that are rude to you and want to tear you down, you move forward, because they are building the rubble that you’re going to stand on.”

This girl-led discussion was a great opportunity for girls to learn more about their fields of career interests.

Meghan Czechowski—Managing Director at Cushman & Wakefield: “The future is fun, don’t need to make all the decisions right now.” 

Laurie Barry—Senior Vice President of USB Financial Services: “Look at what’s important to you and build your career and your ‘everyday’ around it.”

Suzy Smyth—Managing Engineer at Exponent: “Don’t worry about it, just try things. Finding out you don’t like something is just as valuable as finding out you do like something.”

Learn More and Get Involved

Want to be a part of Camp CEO in 2020, applications will open for both Girl Scouts and Camp CEO Mentors next year. Keep an eye out for more to come by watching our site.

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