The Leadership Center from a Girl’s Perspective: Guest Blog from Layla Beattie

The Girl Scout Leadership Experience is unique in nature in that it is girl-led. Everything we do as an organization is specifically designed to give girls the opportunities to step up and take the lead. Our G.I.R.L. Media Team is in its first term, and the members are eager to have their voices heard on why Girl Scouts is important for girls. The following article was written by a member of the team, Layla Beattie, a Girl Scout from right here in our council:

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Layla and President and CEO Kim Hutzell at the Leadership Center Press Conference 

On October tenth I went to a press conference to see and hear about the new Cathy Novinger Leadership Center in Columbia, South Carolina. It will be opening in the summer of 2019. They are building the Leadership Center as a place for girls to grow, learn, and become amazing women.

It is for girls like myself to learn to have confidence and courage to be anything they could ever dream of. During my time there I met, for the third time in my life, the president and CEO of our council,Kim Hutzell. We talked and she introduced me to some other Girl Scouts, one of which gave the opening speech and presented the friendship knot tying ceremony. I took several pictures with these girls and I hope that I can be in their position in my future.

During the conference they had the three Honorary Chairs, Charlotte Berry, Susu Johnson, and Minor Shaw, along with Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin. They talked about how much the Leadership Center would improve girls’ knowledge and how much of an impact it will have on the lives of anyone who goes to this amazing place. They discussed how much they have fundraised and how much more they still need to reach their goal. I think that Girl Scouts is an amazing opportunity for so many girls and I can already tell you that I will be talking to my troop, and my Girl Scout friends, about going to this Leadership Center. I know it will make a huge impact on their lives and mine.

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Written by Layla Beattie


Want to learn more about the Leadership Center? Visit our website and find out how YOU can get involved!


Designed by and for Girl Scouts: About BOUDREAUX

If you read our last article on the project management group for the Cathy Novinger Girl Scout Leadership Center, you already know how important each aspect of this project is to us and the leadership development of the girls of South Carolina. We wanted every space, element, and partner to not only benefit girls, but align with our Girl Scout values.

GSSC Updated Rendering _ 09.24.18That’s where BOUDREAUX comes in. When in the architect selection process we saw proposals from several highly qualified, highly skilled architecture groups, but the one that clearly stood out from the rest was BOUDREAUX. They became an obvious front runner due to their caliber of work, extensive experience, but also because the women who would be designing the Leadership Center were, in fact, once Girl Scouts themselves. In their proposal, they spoke of their passion and firm belief in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, and even included photos of them in uniform.

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Vision session with our membership and BOUDREAUX

Once we made our decision to go with BOUDREAUX, this group of talented women immediately got to work. However, they didn’t just draft a design behind the walls of their office. They were true Go-getters and came TO US for ideas, inspiration, and “must haves”. They attended our staff meetings, town halls, and met with real girls in our council to have vision sessions so that this facility would be a reflection of who we are as Girl Scouts right here in South Carolina. Each detail, from the colors and themes, to the layouts and programmatic spaces were designed by and for Girl Scouts.


The architects of BOUDREAUX

When we sat down with the women taking point on designing the Leadership Center, this is what they had to say:

“Girl Scouts means so much to all of us. We each have different backgrounds and stories, but Girl Scouts brings us all together. We each have different skills and abilities, but we are all leaders. We are thrilled to work on this project and deliver something incredible for girls everywhere.”

Visit our website to learn more about the Cathy Novinger Girl Scout Leadership Center, or donate here.

written by michelle

Strong Female Leadership Supporting the Leadership Center: About LCK Project Management

When our council purchased the building formerly known as the Department of Agriculture in Columbia’s Vista, we knew that effective project management would be key to making our vision a reality. The Leadership Center is a big project. Not only is the building itself 32,000 square feet, but the entire building would have to be completely transformed, inside and out, to fit the needs of our girls for years to come. That’s why we chose LCK as our project management group.

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Pictured left to right: Mickey Layden, Lou Kennedy, Mary Winter Teaster at a Women of Distinction event

Not only does LCK have an outstanding history of effectively managing large-scale projects, but as a woman-owned business, they also believe in the power of strong female leadership. Mickey Layden is the President and majority owner of LCK and firm believer in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. Since the very founding of the company in 1994, Mickey has been instrumental to the development and growth of LCK, and the organization has steadily grown under her leadership. Mickey’s background in commercial construction, facilities management and real estate development is extensive, and serves as the foundation for the professional design and construction staff that she has assembled to create a comprehensive project management service offering for LCK’s clients.


Mickey has also been very outspoken about her support of Girl Scouts. From attending events and mentoring, to advocating for female leadership, Mickey is the perfect example of why the Cathy Novinger Girl Scout Leadership Center is so needed for our girls. For every girl, from any circumstance, the Leadership Center will give her a place to take risks in a safe, all-girl environment, and build her leadership skills through hands-on activities and learning. This center will be an incubator for leadership here in South Carolina, and will prepare girls to empower themselves for generations to come.
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We are thrilled to have been able to, and to continue to work with Mickey Layden and Joe Roddey of LCK to bring this incredible project to completion.  Watch our social media for more progress updates on the Leadership Center, and how you can get involved.

Donate here.