A Weekend of Empowerment at Camp CEO  

From October 6-8, 2023, Girl Scouts and leading career and industry professionals came together for a weekend of empowerment for Camp CEO. Camp CEO is a Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana signature event that connects Girl Scouts with leading career professionals to practice setting goals, collaborate on college and secondary career paths, and strengthen leadership skills. 

This year, Camp CEO went camp-based and was hosted at Camp Butternut Springs in Valparaiso, Indiana, creating a fun and unique environment for mentees and mentors. 60 Girl Scout mentees arrived at camp on Friday night, bonded with their sister Girl Scouts over fun ice-breaker activities, and then got situated in their cabins.   

On Saturday morning, the mentors arrived at camp. Girl Scouts had the opportunity to get to know the mentors better through speed interviews. Girl Scouts would find a mentor who had open seats at their table and ask them as many questions as they could before the two-minute timer went off and it was time to find another mentor to interview. This activity was a great way to break the ice. It was full of giggles and “insta-moments” as Girl Scouts got to capture a selfie with each mentor they interviewed.  

After learning about all the mentors, Girl Scouts heard from mentor L’Oreal Thompson Payton, who gave a presentation about self-esteem and what it takes to be a leader. Some key takeaways from her presentation are to embrace your imperfections, remember you are enough, and dare to dream big.  

After L’Oreal’s confidence-boosting presentation, everyone headed outside to embrace their leadership in a unique way. Girl Scouts and mentors showed confidence and leadership by scaling the climbing tower and learning archery. Following the outdoor adventures, mentors and mentees worked together on team-building activities. After the team-building exercises, Girl Scouts and mentors gathered for a Q&A session, which allowed Girl Scouts to ask the mentors some more profound questions and get insight into future career paths. The night wouldn’t be complete without a traditional camping experience. Girl Scouts gathered around the campfire for a self-reflection activity and a tasty s’more. 

On Sunday, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana welcomed Kathleen Sarpy, who gave an empowering presentation about embracing your talents, embracing resiliency, and being true to who you are on your journey to your life ahead. Kathleen shared personal stories that showed Girl Scouts that life may not always be easy, but with tenacity and resilience, they can thrive in a life that feels true and authentic.   

Following Kathleen’s presentation, Girl Scouts welcomed Yasha Sterling, who shared her expertise in personal branding and planning for your future. Yasha led Girl Scouts through an interactive trivia game that piqued the girls’ interest in different career paths. 

After all the motivational presentations, Girl Scouts got time to finish their vision boards and present them to their mentors. 

As the weekend came to an end, Girl Scouts said their goodbyes to their mentors and their new and old friends.  

Camp CEO 2023 allowed Girl Scouts to adventure out of their comfort zones, learn about many career paths, and discover themselves. It allowed mentors to connect and inspire the future generation of women leaders. Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana would like to extend a big thank you to all the mentors who volunteered their weekend and made a difference in the lives of Girl Scouts.  

To view Saturday’s photo gallery, click here.  

To view Sunday’s photo gallery, click here.  

We would also like to thank our sponsors, who are listed below. 

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