Girl Scouts of Maine hosted its annual Transforming Leadership Conference Nov. 4 in Orono. Submitted photo

Two hundred attendees took part in the 15th annual Transforming Leadership Conference, hosted by Girl Scouts of Maine at the University of Maine at Orono on Nov. 4.

The conference is an opportunity for Girl Scout members and non-members alike to connect with one another, engage in hands-on activities, and build leadership skills through various workshops.

“This year’s ‘Confidently You’ themed Transforming Leadership Conference was the Girl Scout mission in action. I left feeling so optimistic and confident that these girls will certainly make the world a better place,” says Donna Watson, chair of the GSME board of directors, according to a news release from the organization.

The conference was open to all adults, Girl Scout members and non-members in grades six to 12. Over a dozen workshop topics included subjects such as STEM, self-care, financial literacy, global issues, outdoor navigation, meditation and cooking. At the conference, GSME also trained 14 adults in Youth Mental Health First Aid.

During the adult workshop, Raising Amazing Girls: Navigating Feelings, co-facilitator and GSME troop leader Courtney Evans focused on teaching volunteers how to maneuver various emotional responses within troops and service units, especially within high stress environments.

“I cried at the Transforming Leadership Conference. After facilitating a lecture, which opened with checking in on everyone to see how they’re doing after the horrifying events in the last week, we ended on journeying to joy. … What a beautiful, inspirational, and powerful event. Our leaders are amazing — and they are all volunteers,” said Evans.


For one attendee, Molly Graham, Transforming Leadership is a place for career path inspiration. Graham, now a Girl Scout Adult who has attended the conference since she was in sixth grade, says she decided on her major and college only after attending a financial literacy workshop at the very same GSME event years ago.

“I found my passion here … My second time coming to the leadership conference, KeyBank offered a personal finance course and after talking to the presenter, I went home, looked into it, and really liked what I was reading. Now that’s what I’m going to UMaine for,” said Graham

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