Happy 100th Birthday, Girl Scouts

Monday, March 19, 2012

Or happy belated birthday. I'm a week late.

Juliette Gordon Low held her first meeting on March 12, 1912. From the original 18 girls, the organization has grown to over 3.2 million members. I'm proud to be one of them.

Back in the days when girls began later than they do now, I was a Brownie for one or two years while living at DeTour Village, Michigan. I don't remember if I started in fourth grade or fifth grade, but at the end of that time I thought I had "graduated" from the Brownie level. Then we left on sabbatical and I discovered that Brownies were older in Scotland. So I had to a Brownie that year, too.

We returned to DeTour in the summer to find that our small village had swapped Girl Scouts for 4-H. And I never did progress beyond the Brownie stage.

By the time my daughter's turn came, we were living in the Chicago metropolitan area and Girl Scout eligibility started in kindergarten with Daisies. Caroline was a Girl Scout from kindergarten through high school, and I was co-leader of her troop the last six years of that time.

The picture shows my troop, with parents, at the girls' Gold Award ceremony. The Gold Award is the highest award for girls, and every member of our Senior troop earned it. In doing so they learned leadership skills, contributed to the community, and added an impressive achievement to their college applications.

Actually, I did progress beyond the Brownie stage by becoming an adult leader. I even bought a lifetime membership. And when Caroline moved up to college, I bought her one, too.

"Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place." That's why I'm proud to be part of it.

So happy birthday, Girl Scouts.

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