Council session revitalizes local leaderMary Alice Muraski of River Falls recently returned from a convention of sorts where she took part in refining the policies of a long-standing American and international organization.
By: Vera Roy-Stoeberl, River Falls Journal
Mary Alice Muraski of River Falls recently returned from a convention of sorts where she took part in refining the policies of a long-standing American and international organization.
Muraski, a manager with Information Technology Services at UW-River Falls, is a volunteer with the Girl Scouts of America and also one of its national council delegates.
She was selected by the Girl Scout Council of the St. Croix Valley to represent the Wisconsin/ Minnesota group at the 2008 National Council Session held Oct. 30 through Nov. 2.
The trip to Indianapolis, Ind., where the meeting was held, left a powerful impression on the long-time leader.
“To be selected to attend a national session as a representative of our local Girl Scouts is an honor and a privilege,” said Muraski. “It is a truly awe inspiring experience to be with almost 9,000 Girl Scouts of all ages from around the country and the world.”
Muraski has been a registered Girl Scout for “almost 45 years,” she said, and a volunteer for about 35 of those years.
“I have served as troop leader, held various jobs for the River Falls Service Unit — our local level of Girl Scouts — been a trainer of leaders,…served on numerous committees at the council level, and served for 10 years on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scout Council of the St. Croix Valley, which is one of five legacy councils that came together to form the new Girl Scout Council of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys.”
Muraski was selected by the river valleys’ board of directors and given authority to cast votes on proposed changes in the larger organization. She headed for Indianapolis to “…conduct the business of the Girl Scout Movement and give policy direction on the future of the movement in the United States,” according to a Girl Scout press release.
Also at these yearly gatherings, Muraski said, delegates “…elect new board members, the officers of the board, amend the constitution, establish requirements for various items, and act on proposals to improve Girl Scouting.”
What did Muraski help accomplish at this year’s session?
“We altered the constitution to provide clearer language around the National Board of directors and renamed the Nominating Committee to a Board Development Committee so (it) can provide more ongoing training for board members,” began Muraski.
“We also changed the National Session size from over 1,800 voting delegates to less than 1,500 to improve the effectiveness of the sessions.”
In addition to those alterations, one final change voted upon was a welcomed one, according to Muraski.
“Lastly, we altered the constitution to allow for electronic voting on all proposals at a national session,” she said. “Previously, we were required to use paper ballots only, which took a very long time to tabulate.”
The national session also provided times for sharing thoughts, ideas and helpful networking.
Muraski said, “We also had discussions around the future directions of Girl Scouts. We are implementing new programs especially designed to retain older girls within our troops and to promote more leadership skill development throughout our programs and levels of Girl Scouting.”
Muraski returned very inspired and ready to carry on the Girl Scout tradition.
“(Attending the national session) has revitalized my commitment to Girl Scouts and helping build ‘girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place,’” said Muraski. “That is our Girl Scout mission and I feel ready once again to join in that mission for many more years to come.”
To learn more about the Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys Girl Scouts, go to www.girlscoutsrv.org or call 800-845-0787.