The Girl Scouts are celebrating a century of service to young women.
by Gail Bennison
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The 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts has been coined the “Year of the Girl” and the Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains anniversary steering committee has chosen four areas of focus: visibility, program, service and alumnae.
“We will show the world our mission, our program and our contemporary brand,” said Kathleen Copeland, director of public relations at GS-TOP. “We will plan and carry out fun and exciting activities that deliver the Girl Scout leadership experience to girls and make the world a better place by providing community service in three impact areas,” she said.
Those areas are reducing hunger, reducing poverty and sustaining the environment. “We also will connect with our alumnae and get them re-engaged in the Girl Scout movement,” she said. “Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout.”
GS-TOP has five anniversary regional task groups made up of volunteers and staff who are implementing plans in their respective regions.
In March 1912, Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low assembled 18 girls from Savannah, Ga., for a meeting. That was the start. Today, Girl Scouts of the USA has a membership of more than 3.4 million girls and adults. More than 50 million women in the U.S. are Girl Scout alumnae.
Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains is governed by a board of directors and serves 81 counties from Fort Worth to Abilene to Lubbock to Amarillo to Wichita Falls and all points in between. Annually 25,000 girls participate in the program, and nearly 9,000 adults partner with them.
“Troop experience is by and large the major model for service delivery in addition to underserved areas with school and community-based, staff-led programs,” Copeland said. Outdoor education — resident, day and weekend camping — is a strong second in participation.
About 80 percent of all female leaders in business today have Girl Scouts experience in their background. No other girl leadership organization is more highly represented in U.S. government leadership positions.
“Each Girl Scout experience, like the cookie sale, crafts and camping, has a deep impact,” says Copeland.
“Sometimes this impact is not seen for years, when, as a grown woman, that Girl Scout feels confident to take the lead on a project or to venture out as a new business owner. Sometimes we see this impact immediately,” Copeland said. “Girl Scout programs are about giving girls the confidence, skills and knowledge to become leaders. They’re not just the leaders of tomorrow. Girl Scouts are taking the lead today.”
Lubbock-headquartered United Supermarkets is GS-TOP’s official centennial sponsor.
“We are so excited to partner with them in the coming year and are planning quite a bit of co-work to maximize the partnership,” Copeland said.
For more information, visit gs-top.org or call the local council at 1.800.582.7272.