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Brian's Corner - Our Outdoor Experience is Out of this World!


Two weeks ago, our Council hosted Women’s Weekend, which is the perennial favorite at our iconic Camp Four Echoes. 115 Women descended on this camp to celebrate the sisterhood, to relax, to be pampered, and more importantly, to celebrate the Girl Scout Outdoor experience. Every summer, we have 400 plus Girl Scout campers who enjoy an outdoor adventure at this camp on the edge of beautiful Lake Coeur d'Alene, many even traveling far from the Camp on kayaks as they explore our stunning region. Last week, two of our expert staff, Marcy and Cory, took some of our TriCities troops to Camp Randall Martin, a joint Girl Scout and Boy Scout Camp, to experience primitive camping. It was a very successful weekend on all counts.

In the same vein, we recently learned we are one of three Councils of 112 in our nation selected for an older Girl Outdoor Journey to be accomplished in October. This is an extraordinary opportunity to learn about our great outdoors and simultaneously give great feedback for a better Journey next summer for the rest of the nation. Even before this good news, I was already extremely impressed with the outdoor activities of this Council with powerful and stimulating experiences being hosted by Spokane Valley, Coeur d'Alene, Sandpoint, and TriCities troops. Likewise, the many troop trips to Iceland, the California Redwoods, and the Oregon Coast only accentuate that Girl Scouts knows outdoors.

I write this affirmation knowing the common misunderstanding that Girl Scouts is only about cookies. Far from the truth, Girl Scouts is an organization that has a plethora of activities for Girls to try as we seek to build confidence each and every day. The Outdoor experience is one of our strongest tenants. Seeing our Girls as archers sending arrows at targets far downrange reminds me that cookies are but one of many, many items on the robust Girl Scout menu. This year, our Women Weekend supporters raised nearly $24,000 to support further Outdoor experiences, a 33% increase from last year! This belief in our Girls is strong because our Outdoor experience is out of the world and our supporters know it. The best news for me...seeing all we have done in the past few months, I know we have many more worlds to visit on our journey where celebrating the outdoors is tops!

-Brian Newberry, GSEWNI CEO