- Your News
By Kali Bolle, Lifestyles Editor
A century ago, Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low took her dream of empowering young girls through the values of honesty, fairness, courage, compassion, character, sisterhood, confidence and citizenship and brought it to life with a meeting of 18 girls from Savannah, Ga.
According to the Website, www.girlscouts.org, Low believed that all girls should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally and spiritually.
The Girl Scouts Website also adds that from the beginning, Low brought “girls of all backgrounds into the out-of-doors, giving them the opportunity to develop self-reliance and resourcefulness and encouraged girls to prepare not only for traditional homemaking, but also for possible future roles as professional women – in the arts, sciences and business – and for active citizenship outside the home.”
Now in its 100th year, Girl Scouts of the USA has a membership of over 3.2 million girls and adults, a significant growth from its beginnings a century ago.
Today, troops still follow their mission: “Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.”
The Girl Scout mission continues to ring true with Girl Scout troops in Tullahoma and surrounding areas. Excited about the 100-year anniversary, local Girl Scouts have spent the year celebrating by participating in numerous community activities.
“Troop 2145 is collecting box tops for Hillsboro Elementary School with a goal for Fall 2012 of 100 box tops for each girl. The group is also learning about ourselves by creating an ‘all about me’ poster using 100 pieces of paper,” said Greg Gressel, event and public relations coordinator for Service Unit 142.
“Girl Scout Troop 1263 has been busy making flower arrangements for residents at Morning Pointe Assisted Living and cleaning up local parks. Troops 1227, 2348 and 367 have collected over 100,000 can tabs, decorated Christmas trees, marched in the local Christmas Parade, conducted a food drive, planted trees for Earth Day and flowers for city clean-up day, and sent cards to soldiers.
Gressel, who is the troop leader for Girl Scout Troop 2163, said his troop has created and participated in many 100th anniversary challenges for the year’s celebration.
“In each category they have reached 100 or more in can tabs in a week for each girl, made shoeboxes for “Operation Christmas Child,” cards for “Soldiers for the Holidays,” flags from area business for proper retirement, who sold boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, bags of trash from area schools, parks and nature trails, food items for Henry Center, pounds of food for the Shepherds House, number of performed Girl Scout songs, logged hours as a Troop for Girl Scout Garden, and are currently working on hiking 100 miles per girl in 2012, with more to come,” he said.
Gressel adds that Troop 2163 has also completed the following events to celebrate 100 years of Girl Scouting in America:
* Planted a tree at Frazier McEwen Park;
* Planted a community garden at South Jackson Civic Center;
* Hidden a 100th Anniversary Geocache (container);
* Buried a time capsule;
* Built a 100th anniversary-themed float for the Tullahoma Christmas Parade;
* Participated in anniversary celebrations.
The troop is also participating in “The Great Girl Scout Hike” by hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail.
“Their goal is that Girl Scouts will hike the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine during March 12, (the anniversary date of Girl Scouts) and Oct. 31, 2012 (the birth date of Juliette Gordon Low),” added Gressel.
Being a Girl Scout
As a former scout and a present leader of Troop 2145, Karyn Johnson says the best thing about being a Girl Scout is that it allows girls to “overcome their fears and embrace interests while being completely supported by those around you.”
“They learn the differences of those around us and the acceptance of their own differences. They have learned to be proud not just of their troop accomplishments, but of their own success,” she said.
“The best thing about being a Girl Scout is the wonderful feeling I get when I have fun while helping other people,” said Girl Scout Gillian Peek.
Along with participating in community projects, Girl Scouts such as Mikayla Gressel of Troop 2163 say scouts get to participate in unique and fun activities and also get to spend time together.
“It is a cool group to be a part of great activities that you will learn from. You can learn about crafts, sewing, painting, hiking, camping and so much more. And you get to do things ranging from Spa Pampering Day to Rocking Climbing and Repelling. It’s great to be a Girl Scout,” she said.
Becoming a Girl Scout
According to the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee Website, http://gsmidtn.org, in Middle Tennessee, the Girl Scout movement offers girls that same opportunity to build courage, confidence and character.
Any school-aged girl can be a Girl Scout and have the opportunity to take charge in a supportive, nurturing environment. An adult leader or volunteer partners with a troop can help girls make decisions, grow, discover adventures and develop friendships with other girls.
“If I could tell a girl what it’s like to be a Girl Scout, I would tell her that being a Girl Scout is an amazing opportunity to grow and learn more about how other girls live around the world, especially on thinking day,” said Alexis Smith.
Those who are interested in joining can do so during the 100th celebration set for Saturday, Aug. 4.
“There will be a registration booth at South Jackson Civic Center from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. There will also be a recruitment event at the Farrar Elementary School gymnasium at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 14. Individuals can email Tammy Lambert, the service unit president, at firstname.lastname@example.org for a troop near you,” said Gressel.
On Saturday, Aug. 4, area Girl Scouts will march south down Jackson Street from Tullahoma High School to South Jackson Civic Center at 10 a.m. in a parade for the 100th anniversary.
“At 11 a.m. the event will kick off at the South Jackson Civic Center with a short ceremony honoring the oldest (area) living Girl Scout, Milly Ellis, from Tullahoma, with remarks from Middle Tennessee Council president, Tullahoma and Manchester mayors and other dignitaries,” said Gressel.
“Following the opening ceremony there will be lots of games, crafts, displays and sing-a-longs. There will also be lots of food. Activities will last until 2 p.m. We welcome the public to attend.”
“For the event we are excited for the girls to realize what Juliette Gordon Low did for girls 100 years ago, and for them to have the opportunity to develop into leaders of confidence, courage and character,” said Tammy Lambert, president of Service Unit 142 for Coffee and Moore counties.
For more info on Girl Scouts, visit www.gsmidtn.org.
For a slideshow of area Girl Scout activities, visit the Tullahoma News Website at www.tullahomanews.com.