Girl Scouts has been a family for 110 years. As an organization, we are fairly decentralized as we rely on troop leaders to run things, so that decreases our concentration down to 10 or so Girls a troop. On occasion, we come together in things like cookie rallies or the famous Post Falls Thinking Day, and you realize we are a much bigger family. I have the pleasure of visiting parts of the family every weekend, so it never ceases to amaze me how big we really are. Then on occasion, I get emails from leaders like Carrie Buck, who visited the Switzerland Girl Scout chalet, and I am quickly reminded we are a global movement in over 100 countries.
As we prep for that National Council Session 2023, and we aim for 10,000 Girl Scouts showing up on site to Orlando, I really see the breadth of the 1 million Girl Scout movement. I often am nostalgic about the national and iconic 1965 Roundup in our Council at Farragut State Park, north of Coeur d Alene. 12,000 Girl Scouts gathered and put their candles into the dark night sky and created daylight as they sang songs and willed the world to be a better place. Oh, to be there and witness that magical site that some in our Council were able to do like Dianne Macduff.
There is a connection between our Girls to each other, and it is special to see—just like we are family. I see it when I bring my troop together with another troop. I see it on trips we take for cookie rewards or at day camp. I see it often. Maybe it’s the uniforms they wear, the happiness of their youth, that they often wear unicorn shirts, or most likely, it is all of the above with a commitment to helping others as a common bond.
Several weeks ago, ten countries descended on Spokane to play in a women’s military football (soccer) cup. Each team had two dozen women or so, all serving in their various respective militaries. I went to the opening ceremonies as a representative of our awesome Council, welcoming them to Spokane, some traveling from as far away as South Korea or Africa. I brought several Girl Scouts who were the top troop-to-troop sellers with me to witness the event. It was a grand event. I sat in front of the Mali team and tried to speak to them in basic phrases, but it really didn’t go very far. So I sent in the Sprout, and the rest is history. The women smiled and cheered and even offered her a piece of Mali candy. Maybe they were not all Girl Scouts, but they understood the wholesomeness of the uniform and what it represents.
This past week the tournament ended, and the Girl Scouts were there to celebrate the women. Throughout the tournament, the US Women’s team made an extra effort to connect with our Girls, and one Captain, an army officer in Germany, probably inspired one of our Girls to be a veterinarian like her. We were, for a brief moment, an extended family of Girls and Women that came together to lift each other up. Girl Scouts are family—like we did in 1965, this past week on the soccer field, and at convention next year.
Our US women’s military soccer team played valiantly and just came up short of a bronze medal. But I suspect seeing our Daisies at the end of the game greet them made them feel a little bit better. Way to go Council—you always represent. From Volunteer Stoltz’s troop to Stories’ troop to Latner’s troop to the other Girl Scouts who traveled far to visit the tournament, our Girls came together as a family to cheer, comfort, and cherish each other. That is what families are for...to open up the windows to let the sunshine in and to hold out the umbrella when the rain begins. Juliette and her sisters have been doing that since 1912. Family—it’s what makes the world a better place!