Today is the 100th Anniversary of Girls Scouts of USA...it was on March 12, 1912 that Juliette Lowe called up a friend in Savannah, Georgia and told her that she had something for the girls in Savannah, the US and around the world...
You might wonder how I know this bit of trivia...I was a Girl Scout for over 25 years...joining as a Brownie Girl Scout in 1964, going through the program all the way to Senior Scouting and earning my First Class Award... to working each summer in college at Girl Scout Camps around the world... and after collage, working professionally for the Girl Scouts for 10 years.
I have quite a soft spot for Girl Scouting...evidenced by the boxes of cookies I bought this past weekend as part of the annual cookie sale (though I don't need to be eating cookies...I can not pass up those Thin Mints!)
|me in my Brownie GS uniform with my two older sisters|
But beyond the sugar high, I have fond memories and a strong character, due in large part to Girl Scouting. I learned to be independent yet work as a team; I tackled projects I thought were impossible and succeeded...and sometimes formulated a second approach when the first failed. I gained a profound appreciation of nature and the outdoors...as well as the need for community service and helping others.
I learned how to tie a square knot, make a one-match fire, fashion a sling for a broken arm...and how to convince a local school to sponsor a troop, raise funds for community projects and teach other adults to lead.
The look of the organization may have changed over the years...I have a vintage wool leader uniform from the 1930's that I wore to the 75th Anniversary party in Seattle...that looks very different from the uniforms of today. And the badge program focuses on more modern skills than "Storyteller" or "Hospitality" of yesteryear. But I know that they are still teaching young women today to be independent, strong and community-minded...and for that I applaud them on a 100 year achievement!