Important Council updates from the Girl Scouts NorCal CEO, Marina Park.
December 21, 2016

Dear Members and Friends of Girl Scouts,

Thank you to the girls and volunteers who are making the holidays brighter for so many this season.

From Daisy’s working on their first service projects, to Gold Award Girl Scouts whose projects make a lasting difference in the world, I am thankful that Girl Scouts empowers girls to have a positive impact in their communities. This season Girl Scouts across our nation are collecting warm clothes and food, volunteering at food banks, bringing song and good cheer to the lonely, and remembering our service men and women with holiday cards. 

Last week, the California Highway Patrol in Marin, thanked Girl Scout troop 31859 from Novato (pictured below), for volunteering to sort holiday toys that will be distributed to charities throughout Marin County.

Girl Scouts doing a service project

And I loved reading this Facebook post from a parent on behalf of her 6th grade daughter:

This is my daughters story: I have been a girl scout since 2nd grade brownies and now I am a sixth grade Cadette. Our troop has worked to think of what we can do to make a difference in our community like hosting thinking day and cookie and nut sales and we have shared the money we have earned with a lot of places that need our help like: the Alameda food bank, local foster kids, the Alameda Animal Shelter and Save the Bay. We have made Christmas cards and distributed them to convalescent homes and shelters. Working together to share joy and happiness with people in need is what I love about girl scouts.

Our world is, indeed, a better place, because of Girl Scouts!

Be prepared... for January!

Our awesome staff team created this check-list for volunteers to help troops get back in the Girl Scout game after the holidays! We have lots to look forward to with cookies, camp registration, our big adult learning fair, and Thinking Day right around the corner!

Troop Leader Checklist for the New Year
Download the Checklist

Saying thank you and farewell to three staff.

This December we say a fond thank you and farewell to three members of our senior staff team: 

Michelle McCormick, Shari Teresi, Marina Park
David Poock
Marina Park and Nikki Van Ausdall
  • David Poock, Senior Director, Property, is retiring after 10 years on staff. We appreciate all that Dave has done to manage our camps, program centers and offices. Our new Senior Director of Property, Jim Rueter is on board, learning from Dave and getting to know our properties, staff and volunteers. Jim joins us with a strong background in the real estate industry, including acquisitions, sales, financing, construction and property management. Jim was a Boy Scout (his father was an Eagle Scout), and he is looking forward to helping us manage our properties to serve our mission and achieve our property plan goals.
  • Shari Teresi, Senior Director, Volunteer Resources, is retiring after 9 years on staff. Shari led GSNorCal into a new era of volunteer resources – guiding us through Journeys, creating Journey Weekends, introducing and building our e-learning platform, and most recently, building the new online and searchable Volunteer Essentials. The staff Shari developed are continuing the volunteer resources and learning events that Shari developed and supported at GSNorCal.
  • Nikki Van Ausdall, Chief Communications Officer, is shifting gears after 17 years on staff. She is going to spend some time with family before mapping her next steps. Nikki launched Camp CEO, now in its 12th year, has been a member of our Executive Team since 2007, has created many beautiful and inspiring annual reports, and launched our 100th Anniversary Capital Campaign – which has raised over $16 Million to support programs, outreach and camps at Girl Scouts of Northern California.

We will miss Dave, Shari and Nikki and appreciate so much all that they each have done for Girl Scouts of Northern California.

Offices and Camps closed for the holidays.

Our offices and camp properties will be closed for the holidays: December 24 – January 2. If you have questions while we are closed – please send them to, and our Member Services team will get back to you as soon as possible on January 3. If you experience a Girl Scout emergency while we are closed, please call our 24/7 emergency answering service: 877-636-1912.

Keep an eye out for our new Parent & Troop Leader blog, The Trailhead!

In January, we'll be launching our very own blog for Parents & Troop Leaders, called The Trailhead. The Trailhead will be a GSNorCal-developed resource dedicated to supporting our parents and volunteers as they help their girls thrive within Girl Scouting. Keep an eye on your inbox - we'll be releasing our first post mid-January and we'll definitely be sending you more information as we get closer to the launch date. Interested in contributing your own talent and expertise by writing a blog post? Contact our Marketing Manager, Marissa Vessels, at for more information.

Sending best wishes for the Holidays and appreciation for our work together to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place,

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Marina H. Park, CEO
Girl Scouts of Northern California
Our mailing address is:
Girl Scouts of Northern California
1650 Harbor Bay Parkway
Suite 100
Alameda, CA 94502

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