News / USA

    After 100 Years, Girl Scouts Still Thrive in US

    Troop 1822 Brownie Scouts Aliya Gill, left, Lindsey Russ, center, and Natalie Rouse, canvass a Raleigh, North Carolina neighborhood selling Girl Scout cookies on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009 (file photo).
    Troop 1822 Brownie Scouts Aliya Gill, left, Lindsey Russ, center, and Natalie Rouse, canvass a Raleigh, North Carolina neighborhood selling Girl Scout cookies on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009 (file photo).

    More than 50 million American women were members of the Girl Scouts, an organization that began 100 years ago in the United States.

    Singing campfire songs has always been a big part of Girl Scouts.  It is a key component of the outdoor activities, like camping and hiking that are central to scouting.

    Those are activities that Girl Scout Cassidy Lee Brookes, 10, of New Orleans likes.

    "We go canoeing, we go camping, we do sing-alongs, we do all kinds of stuff," Brookes said.

    Like all the scouts, Brookes wears a vest that is covered in badges she has earned by learning new skills.  One she earned for going on a camping trip.

    "If you do camping you get badges and all kinds of stuff for cooking and cleaning, because you have to do everything on your own," Brookes added.  "You have to cook the food, you have to serve it.  So it is really fun."  

    The scouting focus on the outdoors has remained for 100 years, but as women's role in society has changed, so too have the Girl Scouts.

    Mania Gaver, 15, says scouting helps her get on the career ladder.

    "It is giving us all of these different job options," said Gaver.  "To get patches you have to interview different people in different jobs, you can shadow like museum curators and stuff like that.  There are a lot of trips you can go on, service-wise and a lot of volunteer opportunities."

    Juliette Gordon Low founded Girl Scouts in the U.S. in 1912, a few years after the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides organizations began in England.  Her goal was to help girls develop physically, mentally, and spiritually by bringing them out of isolated home environments and into community service and the open air.

    Girl Scout Council chief executive Lidia Soto-Harmon says the founder faced many challenges.

    "There were people that did not believe that girls should do anything more than learn how to bake and be at home, and here she was taking girls camping," noted Soto-Harmon.  "We have pictures of her with girls and machetes because when they would go camping, they really went out into the wilderness."

    Soto-Harman says the development of Girl Scouts has not been easy, but she says despite the odds, the movement has survived and thrived.

    Today more than 10 million girls participate in 145 countries from Argentina to Zambia.  There are 3 million girls and adult volunteers involved in Girl Scouts in the United States.

    As Girl Scouts in the U.S. mark their 100th year, she says it is time to celebrate the past and look to the future.

    "As we approach this 100th anniversary we are just bursting at the opportunity we have to really inspire a new generation of girls with the message of leadership, with the message of caring for the environment, with the message of being kind to others, respecting country.  These are values that we all share and that we need to celebrate," Soto-Harmon added.

    She says there is a whole new century of Girl Scouts on its way.

    You May Like

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Leaderless, Rudderless, Britain Drifts

    Experts predicted chaos would follow, if Britain decided to vote for Brexit, and chaos has

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora