Girl Scout National Historic Preservation Center
Juliette Gordon Low (R) at a White House ceremony with Girl Scout First Class awardees in 1917.
“I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America and all the world, and we’re going to start it tonight.” This is what Juliette Gordon Low told a friend. On March 12, 1912, Juliette Low gathered 18 girls to register the first troop of American Girl Guides. The following year, the name was changed to Girl Scouts.
The second troop in the U.S. was founded in 1913 at Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Tampa.
2012 is the Year of the Girl and the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts. Girls all over the Tampa Bay area are celebrating. This includes Teri Kerker’s Cadettes Troop located in Brandon. There are 13 sixth grade girls in the troop. Kerker said,
“Our girls are excited about the anniversary. They even created a shirt at Big Frog to commemorate the event.”
Girls Scouts is an ever-evolving organization. They continue to change and adapt to the times. Today’s troops are flexible and girl led. “We let the troop be girl led. They are engaged and invested in the troop,” said Kerker. “While we love to camp and sell cookies, that’s not all that Girl Scouts is all about. Kids are so busy today, and we really value their time. Girl Scouts are more proactive today. When I was a Girl Scout, we camped and did crafts. Today, the sky’s the limit,” said Kerker.
The Girl Scouts of West Central Florida have lots of events planned to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts. This includes the Week of the Girl to be held the week of March 12-16 in Lakeland. Girls can attend the Girl Scouts’ Birthday Bash with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, March 17, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa. On Saturday, March 31, girls can enjoy the Girl Scouts’ Birthday Bash at LEGOLAND in Winter Haven.
The Girl Scouts of West Central Florida serves nearly 22,000 girls and 11,000 adults in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sumter counties.
For more information on Girl Scouts and to learn about all of the events taking place during the 100 year celebration, please visit www.gswcf.org or call 800-881-4475.