ALAMEDA -- Got a camera? That's the question the Girl Scouts in California — including close to 430 in Alameda — are meant to answer in the affirmative over the next few weeks.

The statewide Girl Scouts organization is hosting a contest for the best photo and caption to help the group celebrate the 15th anniversary of its successful "Got Milk?" campaign. It is hosting this contest with the California Milk Processor Board, which created the first ad campaign, through Dec. 17.

"It seemed like a fun idea to refresh the campaign after 15 years," said Marina Park, executive officer of the Girl Scouts of Northern California, which has an office near the Oakland International Airport. "We have had a whole other generation of Girl Scouts (grow up) since that campaign took place. It's a great opportunity to connect Girl Scouts, Girl Scouting and 'Got Milk?' "

To enter the contest, Girl Scouts in grades K—12 must submit a photo and a caption of eight words or less stating how Girl Scouts and milk have helped them become "strong, healthy and confident." The photo must include the Girl Scout who wrote the caption and dairy milk. (See www.girscoutsnorcal.org.)

"None of us know what we will see" submitted from the contestants, Park said. "We do know that there are always lots of creative ideas coming from the girls. That's the key to success -- the content. It's about creativity and fun."

Three grand prize winners will each receive a $500 U.S. Savings Bond and will be featured on a billboard for a month. Twenty-four finalists will receive $350 in camp or travel scholarship funds. Plus, the first 1,000 Girl Scouts to submit entries win a "Got Milk?" fun patch.

The print ads of 1997 featured Northern California-born Megan Weber with her Girl Scouts uniform and an armful of delicious cookies. Weber, now 25 and living in Sweden, has been encouraging as many of the state's 200,000 Girl Scouts to enter the contest.

"I remember missing my school Halloween party to participate in the photo shoot," said Weber, a Girl Scout for 13 years," in a statement. —I just couldn't pass up this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to star in a 'Got Milk?' billboard and to also represent the Girl Scouts across California. It is an organization that taught me how to become independent and hard working."

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts organization.

"It's a time when we are celebrating and connecting will all of our communities around Girl Scouts, Girl Scouting and what it means to build girls of courage, confidence and character," Park said.

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