Amy Von Diest ‘01
Outdoor Education/ Adventure Education/ Secondary Education (teaching Certification)/ Environmental Education Minor
Rural Development Director, Girl Scouts Susitna Council, Anchorage/ Western Alaska villages
I have been living and working here in Alaska for 8 years now. Nearly 5 years in my current position. I work with 45 villages in western Alaska supporting local volunteers as well as identifying potential volunteers with Girl Scouts. The program is village-based (not led by teachers who tend to not be from the region and turn over quickly) and rooted in traditional skills and subsistence living. I am pretty sure Kongiganak Girl Scouts are the only group who have ever made fermented fish heads as a Girl Scout activity!
I have really developed my skills in grassroots community development and am proud of the approach I have slowly taken building strong relationships with each community I work with. A highlight for many villages is the free day camp we offer in 24 communities. Last year we had over 1200 girls involved during summer camps and over 30% were teens.
Josh Carlson “00 and I got married this past October on the Buffalo National River. We have been together for 13 years. We canoed into the gravel bar ceremony, conducted by my brother. We built a campfire as part of the ceremony, had 130 people canoe the river afterwards, I sewed my dress out of Carhartts we had worn out over the years……it was wonderful. Lots of Northland Alumni there…….maybe 10 or so.
Amy von Diest
Rural Outreach Manager
Girl Scouts Susitna Council
3911 Turnagain Blvd
Anchorage, Ak 99517
1-800-478-7448 (toll free)