Elizabeth Saltzman of Randolph, a junior at Archbishop Williams High School, joined girl scouts from around the world at the 54th Girl Scouts of America Council Session and Convention, held in Columbus, Ohio, October 4-8.
Saltzman was only one of six girls from Massachusetts, and the only one from southeastern Mass., selected as a delegate to the conference - the largest gathering of girls in the world!
“It was incredible,” Saltzman said. “I felt as though I was a part of something so much bigger than myself and I felt like I had the power to influence the future of a movement that was so meaningful to me. Often in my daily life, people don't understand Girl Scouts, especially the program for older girls, but being surrounded by thousands of girls who understand my passion and who share it, was extraordinary. I was able to connect with them on our common interests and also learn from our differences.”
This year’s convention included presenters who are accomplished public figures such as Chelsea Clinton, Gabby Douglas, Barbara Pierce Bush, Mae Jemison, and female leaders from organizations and companies such as Facebook, Instagram, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, NASA, and AT&T. Like Saltzman, each presenter was a GIRL, which the scouts defines as: G for Go-getter, I for Innovator, R for Risk-taker, and L for Leader.
At the convention, Saltzman participated in three breakout sessions. “In Neuropharmacology, my arm was hooked up to a machine and another person was able to control the motion of my arm,” Saltzman said in a Girl Scouts blog. “My favorite session was Girl Scouting: Past, Present and Future. I also sang traditional songs and participated in an ash ceremony with ashes that dated back to 1918.”
Saltzman’s selection as a delegate is her latest achievement as a Girl Scout. In June, in a celebration at the State House, Saltzman was awarded the organization’s highest award, the Gold Award, for her seven week program for fourth and fifth grade girls called, “Girls Can Stem.” In that project, Saltzman wrote a curriculum and taught or supervised a major topic for each of five weeks: chemistry, engineering, physics, biology/zoology, and meteorology. For the program’s final session, she brought in four women speakers from STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), to present a lesson. The presenters included a chemist, data specialist, electrical engineer, and information technology specialist.
At Archbishop Williams, Saltzman is no less accomplished. Elizabeth is a high honors students who holds a 4.5 GPA (Grade Point Average), and participates in a number of activities such as the Theater Ensemble, Student Council, the yearbook, and the Speech and Debate team.
As an upperclassman, Saltzman is determined to make the best of her final years in the Girl Scouts.
“My Girl Scout journey is not even close to over,” she said. “I have huge plans for the next two years. I was just elected the logistics manager on the Girl Scouts of Eastern Mass (GSEMA) leadership committee. I plan to begin volunteering at the Girl Scout museum in Waltham, and I have hopes to serve on the GSEMA Board of Directors this spring!”