Building on the three Cs

 Jerilyn Brusseau was this years Keynote speaker at the Girl Scouts - Totem Council’s 2007 Peninsula Leadership Luncheon.  - Photo by Jesse Beals
Jerilyn Brusseau was this years Keynote speaker at the Girl Scouts - Totem Council’s 2007 Peninsula Leadership Luncheon.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

The Girl Scouts Totem Council held its annual Peninsula Leadership Luncheon on Wednesday, in an event that celebrated scouting’s 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 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 Council”s 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 this skills the girls showed a noticeable increase in self-confidence,” she said. “They needed to know that they don’t 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 Scouting’s “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 that 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.”

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