Western Hemisphere Regional Conference: Goals, outcomes, and motions passed

13 August 2013

The 13th Western Hemisphere Regional Conference took place this year on 20 July – 25 July 2013, and was located at Our Cabana World Centre in Mexico. It was co-hosted by Guías de México, Our Cabana and the Western Hemisphere Region. This years theme was ‘Be More, Grow More’.

Goals and outcomes

Participants attending the Regional Conference spent the week participating in training seminars and discussions concerning challenges, benefits and opportunities attributing to membership growth and membership diversity. The sessions allowed participants to understand and prioritize areas that first need to be addressed. The overall priority for Member Organizations within the Western Hemisphere Region is to work towards growing membership and increasing diversification, to be able to reach the target – 5 million members at WH region by 2020. Participants were provided extensive information about the Global and Regional Membership Development strategies, to help aid them in fulfilling this priority. Participants of the conference now also have a better understanding of the importance of offering members a more flexible and relevant guiding experience.

Decisions made

Following discussions regarding increased membership and diversity, participants were asked to identify the areas of priority support required within their Member Organization. After analysing the feedback. it was decided that as a Region, succession planning, fund development, and recruitment and retention were the three top priorities. However, in many Member Organizations ‘recruitment and retention’ will not be addressed until the other working areas are strong and sustainable.

Motions passed

There were two motions passed during the conference, with the second motion having 2 parts: 

1. Motion proposed by: Asociación Guías Argentinas and Guías del Ecuador

WAGGGS will explore the viability and benefits of resourcing and delivering a global publicity campaign to improve the visibility and expansion of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting in MOs. 

2. Motion proposed by: Guías del Ecuador

a. MOs supported by the Western Hemisphere Regional Committee work together to carry out an analysis of the impact of the proposed new process of calculation of membership quota of WAGGGS.

b. MOs take a regional position that benefits growth and strengthens Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting in our countries.

Newly elected committee

During the last 6 months, Member Organizations had the chance to nominate a female leader from their organization to be put forward for the Western Hemisphere Committee. Member Organizations were then able to vote for new committee members (during the conference), with each organization getting one vote. The newly elected committee members for the Western Hemisphere are:

  • Grace-Anne Crichlow – Chair ( Girl Guides of Barbados)
  • Rochelle Forde – Vice Chair (Girl Guides of St Vincent and the Grenadines)
  • Joey Rosenberg (GSUSA)
  • Adrienne Edmunds (Girl Guides of Canada)
  • Shemel Patrick (Guyana Girl Guides Association)
  • Meredith Petrona-Martina (Girl Guides Association of Curacao)

If you are interested in seeing what they had to say about why they wanted to be on the committee, and also see other Region’s committee members, please see the Regional Conference section on our YouTube channel.

Overall the conference was a success. In addition to training sessions and seminars, Christina Berton joined the conference from Mexico City as a keynote speaker. She spoke about the importance of strong self-esteem amongst girls and young women.

Here are a few quotes from the participants of the 13th Western Hemisphere Regional Conference:

“The strategy given for recruitment and retention was amazing and helpful. The opportunities surrounding membership was addressed and strategies were given. Knowledge and competencies were gained and it will be past on to our MO.”

““MOs get an opportunity to see where they are regarding the vision and mission of WAGGGS and where they need to improve for the next triennium."

“[The Regional Conference] is a tremendous learning tool and it reminds our organization of the avenues we have neglected."

The 14th Western Hemisphere Regional Conference will be held in Curacao.