Happy 100th Birthday, Girl Scouts!
One-hundred years ago today, 18 girls met for the first Girl Scout meeting. A century later, 59 million Americans, nearly half of all women in the United States, remember the fun and friendship of Girl Scouting.
General Mills was one of the sponsors of a weekend-long birthday bash at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. An estimated 50,000 girls from around the country attended, and according to news reports, mall crowds rivaled Black Friday!
Renee Barrett, a flight coordinator at General Mills, is a Girl Scout alumna and mother of a Girl Scout Daisy. We caught up with her and her daughter, Kate, at the centennial celebration.
What did you enjoy most about Girl Scouting?
Barrett: The camaraderie of the girls and the friendships that I made. It was fun to participate in a variety of activities and learn about our community. The most important aspect being that we can make a difference.
Why did you sign your daughter up for Girl Scouts?
Barrett: We wanted to provide Kate with a foundation of learning more about herself, the community and the opportunity to meet new friends. Girl Scouts gives young girls the chance to learn leadership skills and teaches respect and understanding for those around us. Plus, it instills the confidence that they can achieve the goals they set for themselves.
What did you enjoy most at the historic Great Girl Gathering?
Barrett: We really enjoyed the fashion show. Kate’s favorite was seeing all of the different uniforms and how they evolved over time.
Today, girls in many locations will be joining in the Girl Scout Promise and Law at 19:12 military time.
Here are just a few of the many birthday events planned around the country:
• Girl Scouts in Greater New York will be lighting the Empire State Building green and joining a flash mob around the Flatiron Building in Midtown Manhattan.
• Girl Scouts in Arizona will be lunching with the governor, while girls in Sacramento, Calif., will gather to receive resolutions from both the California Senate and Assembly.
• In Nebraska, Girl Scouts will celebrate by breaking ground for a new outdoor education center in Lincoln, and by running an online fundraising campaign to raise $100,000 for girls in one day.
• Girls from the Texas Oklahoma Plains council will gather for fun at Six Flags Over Texas.
• The Flame of Friendship that has been traveling throughout Eastern Oklahoma will be lighting a 100-hour campfire, tended by girls and adults.