Low founded Girl Scouts of the USA on March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Ga. An organization that began with a troop of 18 has now grown to include more than 2.3 million youth and 890,000 adult members working primarily as volunteers.
Pat Hinds of Carbon Hill has been involved with Girl Scouts since the late 1960s. She led one of the first integrated troops in the region.
Hinds said Girl Scouts empowers young women by keeping them involved in positive activities and providing opportunities that might not otherwise be available to them.
For example, she once took a group of scouts on a month-long tour of Europe.
“We would never have been able to do something that exciting and educational had it not been for Girl Scouts,” Hinds said.
The skills that girls acquire through scouting have changed with the times.
When Hinds was a Brownie, she learned how to sew, prepare tea and make a bed with perfect hospital corners.
Today, the Girl Scout program has a special initiative that encourages its members’ interest in math and science.
However, Hinds pointed out that whether a girl grows up to be a homemaker or a doctor, she is still bound by the Girl Scout promise to “help people at all times.”
“It (Girl Scouts) has always been about doing things for other people,” Hinds said.
Members of Kiwanis Club of Jasper learned about some of the good things the Cadettes in Troop 125 are doing for their community during last Monday’s meeting.
Following a short presentation on the history of Girl Scouts, four troop members shared how they earned their Bronze awards. Their individual projects included an art class for elementary school children, a supply drive for the Walker County Humane Society, a dance-a-thon that collected shoes for the Salvation Army and another dance class that benefitted a church in Cordova that was destroyed on April 27.
Chris Ross, a Cordova resident who currently serves as president of the board of directors for Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama, said she has seen firsthand how the program can influence the leaders of tomorrow.
Both of her daughters are Girl Scouts alumnae. One of them, Maria, owns a successful local dance studio.
While earning badges and selling cookies are fun, Ross said one of the most unique things about Girl Scouts is the journey of self-discovery the program facilitates for girls of all ages.
“It’s supposed to be girl-led. They have an opportunity to choose their own path,” Ross said.
An exhibit of Girl Scout memorabilia is on display this month at the Jasper Public Library.
A reception will be held Monday at 3:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.