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Courage, confidence and character
The Girl Scouts-Totem Council hosted its annual Peninsula Leadership Luncheon Wednesday, an event that celebrates scoutings ability to transform inquisitive girls into accomplished women.
We are here to celebrate the power of girls, said Totem Council CEO Grace Chien. We recognize the power and potential of every girl that lives in this community and this world. And if you look around this room you get a sense of what these girls can become.
The approximately 280 attendees included local leaders from government, business and media. Many were former Girl Scouts, and were passing on support in the same way that other senior community members did during their own scouting days. As North Kitsap Commissioner Chris Endresen said, Girl Scouts provides the leadership skills that will lead more girls into positions of responsibility and authority.
The event raised about $30,000, intended for use in the construction of a new facility to replace the current Bremerton headquarters.
We are here to support the empowerment of girls in Kitsap County, said Susan Lundman, Totem Councils assistant executive director of membership. As it was when we first founded this chapter 54 years ago, there is still a need for girls to find their own voices. And the experiences they have here will stay with them all their lives. The sense of belonging they get from scouting will forever boost their self-esteem.
Lundman said the topics for local merit badges range from rocket propulsion to the proper way to handle bullies.
After they learn these skills the girls showed a noticeable increase in self-confidence, she said. They needed to know that they dont always have to be polite to adults. And it taught them how to say no, which is something they will need to know how to do when they become teenagers.
One recurring theme at the luncheon was the discussion of scoutings Three Cs. This developed from the well-known crafts, camps and cookies to the more substantial courage, confidence and character.
Bainbridge Island resident Jerilyn Brusseau, a peace activist and food ambassador, delivered the keynote speech. It focused on her personal history, as it relates to Vietnam. Her brother was killed during the Vietnam War, she subsequently has created two programs that help to build a relationship between Vietnam and the United States.
When I learned that the United States had normalized relations with Vietnam my heart skipped several beats. When it was clear that many families were losing sons and daughters in the war I was hoping for some way to reach out our hands in friendship to the Vietnamese people. We would do this as mothers, on behalf of all the children from all the families who died in this war.
The peace between mothers is the most important peace of all, she said.
Brusseau said the war is still not over for many Vietnamese, saying that each week someone is maimed or killed by unexploded ordnance.
You can feel the power of your own commitment to girls and young women, Brusseau said. This helps to make the world a better place.