By Virginia LoMonaco and Karen Bennett
Girl Scouts began over 100 years ago with one woman, our founder Juliette Gordon Low. In 1912, she gathered 18 girls in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia, to share what she had learned about a new outdoor and educational program for youth, with this, the Girl Scout Movement was born. This first Girl Scout troop was formed on March 12, 1912, and today has become an organization that serves millions of girl members and alumnae. Known as “Daisy” by her family and close friends, Low is credited with establishing and nurturing a global movement that has changed the world.
Today, we continue the Girl Scout mission of “building girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.” Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to do something amazing. Girls will learn the Girl Scout Promise and the Girl Scout Law. Girl Scout badges are a great way for a girl to explore her interests and learn new skills. And there are so much more that girls can experience – going on exciting trips, exploring the outdoors and doing community service projects. And we have cookies! Our Girl Scout Cookie Program is a fun and important part of her Girl Scout experience. Girls learn essential life skills like goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. Girls learn to work as a team to accomplish common goals and solve problems.
Any girl in grades kindergarten trough12th grade can join the fun at Girl Scouts. There are six levels: Daisy (grades K-1), Brownie (grades 2-3), Junior (grades 4-5), Cadette (grades 6-8), Seniors (grades 9-10) and Ambassador (grades 11-12) Scouts. Whether she wants to be part of a troop, sign up for exciting series or events, explore the outdoors or travel the world, each age level has something for her. Cookies, badges, campfires, friendship bracelets and ceremonies are just some of the adventures that help girls share in our Girl Scout history and traditions and help discover their strengths, passions and talents.
Girls also have an opportunity to earn awards – Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards are the highest honors a Girl Scout can earn. These three awards give you a chance to do big things and work with other Girl Scouts to make a difference. Earning these awards show that you are a leader and dedicated to improving your community. Each award is earned at different scouting levels and can be done in a troop setting or as an individual scout.
Adults can also share in the experience; as a Girl Scout adult volunteer, you will introduce girls to new experiences and help them take the lead. You will be their role model, their guide and mentor and show girls that they are capable of more than they ever imagined, help them grow and develop their leadership skills and change the world. Girl Scouts are groundbreakers, big thinkers and role models.
Some exciting events our troops in Old Bridge have organized are our Girl Scouts Bridging ceremonies. The Bridging ceremonies mark a girl’s move from one level of Girl Scouting to another. Ceremonies help Girl Scouts mark special events throughout the year. Other events like our Halloween Party and The Girl Scouts International Night are fun activities for our girls to enjoy.
Ready to join? If you are interested in joining as a volunteer or as a girl, contact Karen Bennett or Virginia LoMonaco. If you wish to learn more about Girl Scouts, visit Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey at www.gscsnj.org or email joinOBgirlscouts@gmail.com.