By Emily Thyrum
No one could have guessed 100 years ago when Juliette Low began the first Girl Scout troop that 100 years later, 3.7 million girls would be registered members. This year, Girl Scouts have not forgotten the woman who started it all in celebrating the 100th anniversary.
The true anniversary of when Juliette Low first gathered 18 girls to start the very first Girl Scout Troop was March 12, 2012. According to Cathy Molitoris, a Girl Scout leader in the Penn Manor school district, Girl Scouts have been celebrating the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts in many ways.
The Juliette Low Bazaar, held in February, is an annual event in which each troop designs their own craft and sells them to many other troops. Money raised at the bazaar goes towards the national Girl Scout organization. This year, the event was especially distinctive because of the 100th anniversary. Each troop created posters about a certain decade in which Girl Scouts has existed.
Troop #334, a Junior Penn Manor troop from Manor Middle School, took on the 1920’s; some girls dressed up as flappers to illustrate that theme. They sold yarn octopi and sand art necklaces.
In April 2012, some troops in Penn Manor honored prior Girl Scouts at Willow Valley Retirement Community.
“Girls met with residents who were former Girl Scouts, enjoyed displays that showcased Girl Scouts through the last century, saw a fashion show of uniforms throughout the years, had a sing-along and made s’mores,” said Molitoris.
“My sister and I had a lot of fun bringing up the flags and singing songs with the elderly who used to be Girl Scouts,” said Claire Molitoris, daughter of troop leader Cathy Molitoris. “It was nice to see how Girl Scouts had affected the elderly’s lives, and I enjoyed being with them and making them happy.”
Rock The Mall: 100th Anniversary Sing-A-Long was a massive event on June 9, 2012 on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Around 150 Penn Manor Girl Scouts attended, and about 250,000 people in total enjoyed themselves, singing popular Girl Scout songs, listening to music, and walking around the Washington Monument to trade swaps with other troops.
“It was really cool to see how many girls appreciated the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts,” said Mary Christman, a Girl Scout and Penn Manor senior.
The Forever Green Project was held at Safe Harbor park during the summer.
“Our goal was to create a safe walking nature trail in the southern part of Lancaster County,” said Ms. Linda Davis, leader of Penn Manor area Girl Scouts, along with Ms. Louise Brown. “We concentrated on the Arboretum area of the park which had a trail over a mile long that had fallen into disrepair.”
Girls contributed their time by picking up garbage, making birdhouses for the trail, trimming branches, planting bulbs and other plants around the cemetery, and much more. The Forever Green Project website, displays the changes the area goes through in each season and the location of the letterboxes, which the girls hid for people to uncover. To celebrating the 100th anniversary through the Forever Green initiative, the girls planted more than 60 saplings, which contributed to the state total of 13,150 planted trees.
In October 2012, more than 60 Girl Scouts marched in the Millersville Parade, and their float was a three tier birthday cake.
These many projects and events show Girl Scouts’ appreciation for the founding mother Juliette Low.
Claire Molitoris summed up the Girl Scout anniversary.
”Eighteen girls Juliette Low started with to now millions. I am still amazed every time I hear that.”
“It is really awesome that Girl Scouts has been around for so long, changing girls’ lives,” said Christman.
“When you look at everything Girl Scouts offers to girls—from troop meetings to camping, cookie selling, leadership opportunities, service projects and more,” said Cathy Molitoris, “It’s so easy to see that it is a great time to be a Girl Scout.”