TOKYO, Japan — Nearly 200 Girl Scouts, volunteers and leaders from around Asia will gather in Tokyo this week at the National Olympics Youth Center for the Girl Scouts Overseas-West Pacific annual winter training conference.

The conference traditionally has been for adult volunteers and managers, but this year the group is conducting a parallel leadership development course for American and Japanese teen Scouts.

“The special new feature is we’re bringing in older girls this year for leadership training,” said the chapter Chief Executive Officer Sharon Reece.

Participants are coming from Japan, Guam and Hong Kong, as well as U.S. military bases in Japan and Okinawa.

The conference focuses on career development, stress management and other life skills for those who lead Girl Scout troops.

This year’s conference is the first held at a Japanese facility.

For the teen leadership portion, the conference will include a series of seminars and events for Japanese and American teens on topics such as careers and finance and fighting stress.

On Friday, the teens will visit Tokyo’s famous adolescent hotspot Harajuku and a Shibuya mall during a “Girls Night Out.”

The same night, the adults will gather at the New Sanno Hotel for a dinner and auction to raise money to help girls attend scouting summer camps in Japan and Okinawa, Reece said.

The auction last year included 100 items and raised $5,000.

This year’s event also will include a change of leadership. Reece will turn over the group’s reins to Hida Avent, from the Girl Scouts of the USA National Office in New York. Reece will become CEO of the Girl Scouts of Monterey Bay, Calif.

For more information on Girl Scouts Overseas, contact

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