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April 15, 2012

Girl Scouts celebrate 100 years

Kentuckiana chapter holds annual meeting, awards ceremony

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Girls and volunteers gathered April 13-14 at the Holiday Inn Lakeview and Derby Dinner Playhouse for the annual meeting of the Kentuckiana Council of Girl Scouts. But there was more than just business on the agenda.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts of America, and the Kentuckiana chapter celebrated on Friday with crafts and workshops. On Saturday, the chapter enjoyed a lunch at Derby Dinner Playhouse and an awards ceremony. A fashion show followed the lunch and featured different uniforms the scouts and adult leaders have worn throughout the century.

Lora Tucker, CEO of Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, said although there have been changes, the ability of the Girl Scout organization to continually evolve with the generations has allowed it to succeed. Besides the changes, the original philosophy remains the same.

 “We are building girls of courage, confidence and character,” Tucker said.

Cynthia Weller, Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana council president, said not only does the Girl Scout program help individual girls, it also benefits the community.

“[Girl Scouts] build the girls in the community by making them contributing adults,” Weller said.

One example of the benefits Girl Scouts give to the community will been seen this month during Louisville’s “Give a Day” service week. “Give a Day” week is Mayor Greg Fischer’s initiative to make Louisville a better city, by increasing learning and being a healthier and more compassionate city.

 Fischer gave the opening remarks on Saturday at the lunch, congratulating the Girl Scout organization for its 100th anniversary. In addition, he extended his gratitude to the Kentuckiana chapter for having 5,000 Girl Scouts volunteer for his “Give a Day” service week.

“Now that’s girl power,” Fischer said.

During the awards ceremony, girls as well as adult leaders were recognized for their outstanding service to Girl Scouts. Twenty-eight Girl Scouts in the Kentuckiana chapter received the Gold Award. The Gold Award in  scouting is the highest honor a girl can receive as a scout. It is the equivalent of the Eagle Scout Award, given by the Boy Scouts of America. The Gold Award stands for “excellence and leadership for girls everywhere,” according to the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana website.

Also according to the website, girls have to complete two projects that are creative and will benefit the community. In-depth planning and execution goes into earning the Gold Award. Less than 3 percent of registered Girl Scouts earn this award. 

Weller said the rewards of earning the Gold Award are many, including numerous scholarship opportunities that are just for girls who earned the Gold Award.

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