Building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place

As reported in the Ithaca Journal:

Camp CEO1

Some of the attendees at the inaugural Camp CEO offered by the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways

Girls from across central New York received a lesson in leadership over the weekend at the Girl Scouts’ inaugural Camp CEO.

Held at Camp Comstock on Taughannock Boulevard across from the Cayuga Nature Center, the four-day event connected 38 girls with 17 of the region’s most accomplished professional women in an effort to bolster the girls’ leadership skills.

The girls, in grades nine through 12, learned about overcoming barriers, building resiliency, conflict management, establishing supportive networks, developing confidence and navigating change.

The format mixed interactive sessions with small two-on-one group discussions, and also included classic camp activities such as hiking, canoeing, campfires and – of course – making S’mores.

“The girls are already through their Girl Scout experience, developing a lot of these leadership skills,” said Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways CEO Pam Hyland, of Cicero. “And they can hone those throughout their life, rather than when they’re 25 and in their first management job trying to develop skills they’ve never had the chance to try before.”

Participating businesswomen included Roxi Hewertson, of Highland Consulting Group Inc. in Trumansburg; Anne Messenger, of the Women Presidents’ Organization in Syracuse; and Dr. Zina Berry, of Berry Good Dental Care, P.C. in Syracuse.

“When we describe leadership, it’s really about taking leadership within your own life,” Hyland said. “It’s not letting someone else define you. You define you.”

Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways serves more than 17,000 girls in a 26-county area in New York and Pennsylvania. While this year’s camp was open only to Girl Scouts, Hyland is considering expanding future CEO camps to include any girls who are interested in learning to become stronger, more confidence leaders through a collaborative process.

“Girls, and boys, need to have people who believe in them and help tom get to the next level,” Hyland said. “So this whole concept of a glass ceiling, I mean, you don’t want to be going up the ladder and then not bring people up behind you. And so it’s really critical that women are willing to reach out.”

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