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Pressing Reset

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“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been.”

T.D. Jakes

This past weekend, the GSSNE Council staff traveled to the Edith Macy Center in NY for a three-day staff retreat. We planned for months, and set goals—to use this time together to take a collective breath and refocus our energy on the work we need to do internally to be the strongest, most effective, and joyous team possible in service to our Girl Scouts young and old.

With the generous support of a grant from the Macy Scholarship Fund, Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England spent significant time growing our behaviors of an effective team with an emphasis on building a foundation of vulnerability-based trust. By starting here, we will be able to work together to grow our internal muscle towards productive conflict, personal and professional accountability, and results for the Girl Scouts we serve. 

The setting was pristine—400 acres of hills and forests 50 miles north of Manhattan—and connected us to our Girl Scout history. The land and capital was donated in 1926 as a memorial tribute to Edith Macy, the chair of the Girl Scout National Board of Directors from 1919—1925. We honored the space with a land acknowledgement and libation ceremony, a small step toward reconciliation for the mistakes and harm caused by well-intentioned groups like Girl Scouts towards indigenous communities. We were reminded of the history that has shaped our present and will continue to shape our future.

The Center honors Edith Macy’s “dream of a permanent Girl Scout instructional facility, staffed and equipped to offer high quality training and guidance to Girl Scout leadership.” Macy is also the setting for the last gathering attended by Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low. We commemorated our time with a candlelit pinning ceremony in the original Great Hall, inducting our staff into the Girl Scout Movement. 

There is power in suspending our regularly scheduled, often reactive realities to think and connect deeply to one another and to the mission. Together, we grew our own courage, confidence, and character in service to our Girl Scouts. They make the world a better place, and it is our job to provide the foundation and support for their success.