An idea is born.
2020—who could have imagined that such a difficult year for the world and our GSNorCal community could open new doors for connection as well. Technology like Zoom, YouTube live, Facebook Groups, and livestreaming became the main medium of communication and community connection. While the world and our girls and adults were adjusting to the new normal, Ann Monroe was designing a safe space for volunteers to connect using the digital platform, Mighty Networks. This simple platform and mobile app has all the benefits of social media, while building community more effectively than existing platforms.
The foundation of Girl Scouts is sisterhood. The GSRI (Girl Scout Research Institute) has found a direct correlation between supportive girl and adult relationships and the outcomes that result from a successful Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE). With over 70% of our daily interactions anchored in the digital world, creating a digital community was a natural next step for GSNorCal in the virtual space, especially for our caring and dedicated volunteers, new Troop leaders, alums, and Girl Scouts 13 and older.
Save it for later!
gsCommunity (originally GS Volunteers) launches at Discoveree 2021
Ann connected with fellow trailblazers in the volunteer community, and together, they worked on building a space that would allow members to share tailored badge content, local events, and successful troop strategies and experiences, connect through volunteer profiles, direct chats, and searching for members by interest or location, and grow by reaching out to their Girl Scout sisters for support, while helping build on the ever-expanding knowledge base of Girl Scouting.
gsCommunity has a place for volunteers, service unit teams, older girl scouts, alums, mentors and more!
gsCommunity not only connects fellow GSNorCal members in one simple and mobile-friendly digital home base, it offers options to create and connect in dedicated spaces by interest or activity. The platform fosters direct and deeper interaction within the community. And, for the first time, Girl Scouts, 13 years and older, are welcomed to connect with their sister Girl Scouts in other areas, reach out to experienced volunteers and mentors for support (with Higher Awards, Service Projects, or even College prep.), and share their work to inspire each other and newer troop leaders.
Since the launch of gsCommunity earlier this year, the platform has gained members from all over Northern California and across all older Girl Scout levels.
What to expect from gsCommunity
We are all social beings. Researchers (including internal studies by social media giants) admit to the fact that the cumulative noise social media platforms bring into our lives can have a negative, spiraling effect; they are a time sink, and can hinder meaningful conversations and connection. These platforms can distract us from what’s important, or warp our sense of reality, which impacts our social and emotional well-being.
With gsCommunity, our goal is to create a safe and healthy space dedicated to Girl Scouts—new and experienced, teenagers and alums, current and retired volunteers—so that we can connect, share our stories, best practices, and wins, inspire each other, offer support, and ask for help when we need it. We can connect to local volunteers, or volunteers across the GSNorCal community—all in one place. In fact, Lauren Fialkow, Program Manager for Grades 6–12 is gearing up to host the first Climate Action Conference for older girls using gsCommunity, which will allow girls to connect while we support them in their desire to make our world a better place!
gsCommunity and You!
This is your invitation to join gsCommunity. It takes only 2 minutes, it is mobile friendly, and is easy to navigate. It is a closed space, open only to our GSNorCal community.
Once you join, we encourage you to read stories of amazing volunteers to get inspiration, check out upcoming events, shop for ideas (organized by topic) for your next troop meeting or community service project, and if you are looking for some Girl Scout advice… by all means, post your question.
Our gsCommunity will be there to help you!
Priti Singh—Mom to a Senior Girl Scout, Priti is currently responsible for leading Council efforts in supporting and growing gsCommunity. In her spare time, Priti learns classical dance, and loves designing spaces and learning new languages.
Ann Monroe—Ann is a lifelong Girl Scout and former VP of Marketing and Customer Success for Claris, an Apple subsidiary. Currently taking a career break, Ann enjoys the great outdoors, volunteering as a troop leader and connecting with other adult Girl Scouts.