May 13, 2002
Guest Editoirial: Girl Scouts celebrate 90th birthday
by Grace Chien
Did you know that the first Girl Scout troops began before women were given the right to vote? Ninety years later, "Troop Capitol Hill" made up entirely of congresswomen who are honorary Girl Scouts thrives in our nation's capital. Would the very first Girl Scouts recognize today's Girl Scouts as part of their group? Certainly not by some of the activities we do, or by the uniforms we wear. But if they were to look deeply, they'd find the same core qualities of citizenship, kindness and resourcefulness in every Girl Scout.
Locally thousands of women will celebrate Girl Scouts 90th Anniversary during May. Over 5,000 proud Girl Scouts will parade across the I-90 Bridge on Sunday, May 19, and end with an afternoon of activities at KeyArena, including attending the opening pre-season game of the Seattle Storm.
After 90 years of service, Girl Scouts has become much more than an informal educational activity, it is a viable social force. Girl Scouts nationwide actively participate in environmental protection, anti-drug abuse education, literacy awareness, anti-violence initiatives, Internet safety advocacy, and research on the pressures and challenges today's girls face. Girls now meet in places as diverse as homeless shelters, migrant farm camps and in prisons where their mothers are incarcerated.
Through local program opportunities, girls in northwest Washington can challenge themselves on a 40-foot climbing wall and ropes course, explore the world of rocketry, learn basic golf techniques from professional women golfers, or practice self-defense skills in an Aikido workshop. Girl Scouts recently partnered with several local organizations to develop the "Fostering a Future" program which provides foster girls with a continuous consistent and nurturing community regardless of the many changes in their young lives.
To date, more than 45 million women have enjoyed enriching experiences found in Girl Scouts. Many cite their Girl Scout experiences as the reason they are so successful. In fact, two-thirds of all women listed in Who's Who Among American Women are Girl Scout alumnae.
While many things have changed during the last 90 years, Girl Scouts has remained true to founder Juliette Gordon Low's vision of helping build leaders, one girl at a time. Today, with 3.7 million members, Girl Scouting wants all girls to have the opportunities they need to discover the fun, friendship and power of girls together. Happy 90th Birthday, Girl Scouts.
Grace Chien is the Executive Director , Girl Scouts