By: Carleen Lattin, Troop Leader and National Council Delegate in Elmira
March 12th is known in the Girl Scout community as the Girl Scout Birthday. Our founder, Juliette Gordon Low called up some girls to start Girl Scouting and predicted that it would be a huge moment. This was in 1912. Girls lives were so different then. The badges reflected that too. Badges related to housekeeping, child rearing and first aid were very common to name a few.
Some things that have never changed throughout the years though – camping, being in nature, and helping others. During the war years, Girl Scouts did their part to support the effort both overseas and at home.
Various levels have been added throughout the years too. Mariner Scouts is an example of this. The highest award in Girl Scouts, current the Gold Award, was preceded by such awards as the Golden Eaglet and Curved Bar. Girls in kindergarten and 1st grade levels were added in 1985. That is the start of the Daisies program. Even as a girl, when I started you had to be in 2nd grade Brownies. There was no Daisies program.
Having two different troops with different age levels certainly is inspirational. My young Daisies are so willing to learn things and have fun. Challenging at times, of course. That’s usually though just because the sheer volume that can get loud at times. To see them grow through the years, even as they move up in levels makes you feel sentimental.
My Cadettes are definitely a lot different then the young girls. They are a small group, all with different interests and goals. The small troop keeps things more intimate. They still like going to Build a Bear, camping, selling cookies, but with the territory of older girls comes technology – cell phones primarily. I always joke with other adults that this generations is raised on Facebook, Snap Chat, etc. and **selfies** so many selfies! Me, I can’t get a good selfie if I tried. Clumsy since I don’t have a front facing camera.
Despite all the differences and similarities, some things never chance. A worldwide sisterhood, all with different cultures, backgrounds, interests and goals. Whether a girl is from a rural setting or city setting, the usually form bonds and friendships. Camping or sleepovers also bond girls of all walks of life and ages. It truly is amazing.
It’s no wonder that Girl Scouts turned 104 years old this year. A strong program started by a woman who was definitely wise beyond her years and was truly a trailblazer for girls. I’m sure Juliette Low had no idea what would come years in the future. I’m sure she would be amazed.
Happy Birthday Girl Scouts!