Glen Carbon, Illinois – Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois will join more than 3.2 million Girl Scouts across America in celebrating the 102nd Anniversary of Girl Scouting March 9-15. 

     Locally, Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois will celebrate the 102nd anniversary by participating in a variety of activities and events ranging from flag ceremonies at their school, birthday party celebrations, and community service projects with their troops; while others will create displays highlighting Girl Scout history. 

     “Making the world a better place isn’t just part of the Girl Scout mission statement…it’s a real and lasting commitment to make Girl Scouting relevant for many generations to come,” said Villie M. Appoo, CEO Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois.  “Girl Scouts has a long and rich history of providing girls in all of our communities with a first-rate Girl Scout Leadership Experience that will give them the courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place for everyone,” Appoo added.

    Girl Scout Sunday (March 9) is when many Girl Scouts receive special religious recognition awards for researching and exploring their religious culture and practices; while others will proudly wear their Girl Scout uniforms to their religious services to kick-off the week’s events. 

     “Girl Scouting is committed to being an integral part of our communities and during Girl Scout Week, we salute all those who continue to offer their dedication and support – not only of Girl Scouting, but to the positive development of young people in our communities,” said Appoo.   “During Girl Scout Week, we renew our commitment to making sure every girl has the opportunity to grow strong and realize her full potential. But we need your help! We invite everyone over 18 to volunteer with a local Girl Scout troop. 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 102 years since the first Girl Scout troop meeting, and Girl Scouting has evolved from 18 members to more than 3.2 million nationwide.  Today, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. 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 Gordon 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 statesGirl 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 50 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 Jay Strobel at 618.692.0692 or Tricia Higgins at 618.242.5079.

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