Not surprising … it was a cold, stormy morning in Portland, as I swiftly walked from the car to the front door of my favorite grocery store. Keeping my head down, as I was trying to keep the rain from slapping me in the face, I noticed a pair of little shoes as I stepped up on the curb. I peeked out from under the hood of my coat, only to be greeted by a couple of wide-eyed Girl Scouts asking me if I’d like to buy some cookies. I couldn’t resist and made my yearly “Samoas’” purchase. As I left, I noticed two big grins.
Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout.
I, too, was a Girl Scout … proudly wore the uniform, honed my skills with each badge I earned, had fun, created friendships and enjoyed a myriad of experiences that enriched my life. It was only by the generous spirit of a classmate’s mother, who willingly gave of her time, talent and treasure that these scouting activities were offered. I’ll always remember Mrs. White. She was an amazing woman who wanted to offer every girl in the class an opportunity to reach their fullest potential.
On March 12th, Girl Scouts of the USA will celebrate a century of leadership.
Juliette Gordon Low brought together 18 girls in Savannah, Georgia, because she believed that girls needed an organization of their own to encourage their healthy development, build leadership skills, and serve the community.1
I know there are many Girl Scout success stories. I found it interesting that:
Two-thirds of our nation’s most accomplished women in public service, business, science, education, the arts, and community life were Girl Scouts. And virtually every female astronaut who has flown in space got her start here. Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space, was a Girl Scout. So was Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States. Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, the first female president of Harvard University, and Katie Couric, the first woman to anchor a network evening newscast, both began their careers in Girl Scouting.2
It seems to me that programs like this offer some very basic things … like cooperation, leadership and service … ultimately influencing girls to build self-esteem, resiliency, strength and confidence. Qualities required of executives, entrepreneurs and leaders from all walks of life.
Thinking back over the years, which programs or organizations had an impact on your life?