Thursday, March 29, 2007

Girl Scout Cookies!

I would like to take the time to share with you how much all of us LOVE Girl Scout cookies. I recently received 70 lbs. of Girl Scout cookies from my brother. Here in the desert, once it really gets hot, we are constantly sweating. All that sweating coupled with the amount of equipment we wear, continuous missions, and all the additional exercising we do, we are able to eat quite a bit of “fat pills’. So we do end up receiving a lot of them from family, friends, co-workers, different organizations and other channels. The thing we like, in particular, about Girl Scout cookies is that they help fund individual troops throughout the states and the organization as a whole

This particular batch was provided to my brother from the Girl Scouts of Citrus Council in Orlando, Florida ( In an age where parents and some societies as a whole tend to treat women and girls as “less than” it is refreshing to see that they are provided with a very positive organization that reaches out to ALL girls in order to reach out to girls of all ages, races, and religions in order to positively teach, mentor and guide them in order to set them up for lifelong success. Here is a brief history of the organization.

Women have been involved in Scouting since its earliest days. Charlotte Mason first perceived the educational possibilities of Scouting as applied to children. In April 1905, she put Baden-Powell's Aids to Scouting on the syllabus of the Parents' Union School. Baden-Powell later credited Katherine Loveday, a governess trained by Mason, as the means of inspiring Scouting for Boys.

Girls themselves have chosen to be involved in Scouting since the publication of Scouting for Boys in 1908. In the UK, girls set up their own patrols, sometimes affiliated to local Boy Scout troops, sometimes existing on their own. In New Zealand, the Peace Girl Scouts began in 1908.

In September 1909, a number of girls turned up to the first Scout Rally at the Crystal Palace, calling themselves Girl Scouts. This was a turning point for girls in Scouting: Baden-Powell accepted that girls were going to be involved in Scouting. In the October issue of Boy Scout Headquarters Gazette, a monthly newspaper for scoutmasters, an instruction appeared that all applications for membership for Girl Scouts or Girl Guides should be sent directly to headquarters, as arrangements were being made for them. A month later, in the same publication, The Scheme for Girl Guides was published. Baden-Powell knew that the girls needed a separate organization if it were to be successful and if it were not to prejudice the success of the Boy Scout movement. The Girl Guides were named after the famous corps of guides in India, the Khyber Guides. Many girls in the UK who had been Girl Scouts were suspicious of these new developments but were persuaded to accept them.

In 1910 Baden-Powell set up the Girl Guides as a parallel female movement, run by his sister Agnes Baden-Powell. She had to overcome a lot of prejudice against Guiding at that time. Many people thought that it would turn girls into tomboys, although as the Rev W. T. Money in Greenwich, London wrote in a report of 1910:

“A troop of B-P Girl Guides was only started recently. I know many who read this will shake their heads and say 'No earthly good; it will make the girls tomboys'. Well, the girls about here are already that. But to clear up a misconception, may I say that the Girl Guides are quite distinct from the so-called Girl Scouts, or for that matter, the Boy Scouts.”

While Agnes played a major role until her death in 1945, Baden-Powell's wife, Olave Baden-Powell, became Chief Guide of England in 1918, and World Chief Guide in 1930. Baden-Powell wrote a separate handbook for the new organization, The Handbook for the Girl Guides or How Girls Can Help to Build Up the Empire (1912).

In 1914 a junior branch, originally called Rosebuds shortly changed to Brownies, parallel to Wolf Cubs in Boy Scouts, began. Girls can joins young as 5 years old in some countries. At this age, they are called "Sparks" in Canada, "Daisies" in the United States, and by various other names in the more than 150 countries that participate in the Guiding and Scouting Movement.

Today, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) is the world's largest organization of girls and women. Guides have come a long way since they were founded after the Crystal Palace rally and the new programs for all sections reflect current values and interests.

If you don’t think that the Girl Scouts have had a positive impact on us and the United States as a whole, visit their web site and see for yourself what they have accomplished, are accomplishing and will accomplish in the future. Here is a short list of famous Girl Scout alumni:

Madeline Albright - Former US Secretary of State
Laura Bush - First Lady and Wife of President George W. Bush (43rd President)
Lynda Carter – Television Actress
Sheryl Crow - Singer/Songwriter
Sandra Day O'Connor - Associate Justice, US Supreme Court
Kathy Frost - The Adjutant General of the Army
Star Jones - Co-host, "The View", ABC-Television
Jacqueline Joyner-Kersee - 1988 Long Jump Gold Olympian
Jeanne Kirkpatrick - Former US Ambassador to the United Nations
Rita Klimova - US Ambassador, Czech & Slovah Federal Republic
Ann Landers - Advice Columnist
Susan Lucci – Emmy Award Winning Television Actress
Shannon MacMillan - Women's World Cup Member
Jane Pauley - Television reporter, "Dateline"
Nancy Reagan - Former First Lady and Wife of Ronald Reagan (40th President)
Barbara Walters - Anchorwoman of ABC "20/20"


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