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Girl Scouts Celebrate 104th Anniversary, March 6-12

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois will join nearly 3 million Girl Scouts throughout America in celebrating the 104th Anniversary of Girl Scouting March 6-12.

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois will celebrate the 104th anniversary by participating in a variety of local activities and events. Girl Scouts often celebrate the occasion in their communities by participating in such events as flag ceremonies at their schools, birthday party celebrations and community service projects with their troops while others will create displays highlighting Girl Scout history.

“The Girl Scout law and mission statement both focus on making the world a better place. During our 104 year history, our girls and volunteers have continued to live by this standard,” said Villie M. Appoo, CEO Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois. “Girl Scouts are passionate about making their communities and the world a better place, and the Girl Scout Leadership Experience gives them the courage, confidence and character to follow their dreams,” Appoo added.

Girl Scout Sunday (March 6) is when many Girl Scouts receive special religious recognition awards for researching and exploring their religious culture and practices. Many girls will proudly wear their Girl Scout uniforms to their religious services to kick-off the week’s events.

“Girl Scouting is committed to being a vital part of our communities. During Girl Scout Week, we salute and thank all those who continue to offer their support to Girl Scouting. The positive influence Girl Scouting has on young people is dependent on our dedicated volunteers and supportive community members,” said Appoo. “During Girl Scout Week, we renew our commitment to ensuring that every girl has the opportunity to grow strong and realize her full potential. But we need your help! We invite everyone – men and women – over 18 to volunteer with Girl Scouts. You don’t have to be a troop leader; even if you can only donate one hour of your time once a year, you’ll be making a great difference in the lives of girls.”

It’s been 104 years since the first Girl Scout troop meeting, and Girl Scouting has evolved from 18 members to nearly 3 million nationwide. Today, Girl Scouts of the USA is the largest voluntary organization for girls in the world. Its sole focus is to meet the needs of all girls (ages 5-17) from diverse racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

After returning to the United States from England, Juliette Gordon Low made a historic phone call to her cousin in March 1912, “Come right over! I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, all America, and all the

world, and we’re going to start it tonight.” The “something” was Girl Scouts, and the first group of girls embarked on Low’s vision. Low was determined to help expand opportunities and learning for the average American girl. At a time when many girls’ paths in life were limited to their social standing, Low’s vision was to establish an organization where any American girl could expand her personal horizon by having fun, while exploring new interests and contributing to society.

The mission of Girl Scouting states: Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts is the world’s pre-eminent organization dedicated solely to girls – all girls – where, in an accepting and nurturing environment, girls build character and skills for success in the real world. In partnership with committed adults, girls develop qualities that will serve them all their lives – like strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth.

Today’s Girl Scouts not only enjoy camping and crafts, but they also explore math and science and learn about diversity, good citizenship, leadership and teamwork. Girl Scouting is the place where girls experience the fun, friendship and power of girls together.

Girl Scouting has inspired more than 59 million girls and women since its founding in 1912.

Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois is a not-for-profit organization supported by various United Ways throughout the region. Girl Scouts is a Proud Partner of United Way.

For more information, please call Tricia Higgins at 618.242.5079 or Jay Strobel at 618.692.0692.

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