In 1912, founder Juliette Gordon Low organized the first Girl Scout troop in Savannah, Georgia. Now, the Girl Scouts have 2.3 million girl members in all 50 states and 92 countries, and boasts an impressive alumnae roster of 50 million women that includes Hillary Rodham Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, and others. Girl Scouts of the USA has become a premier advocate for issues important to girls, and for developing leadership skills among young women.
Girl Scouts of the USA is planning to designate 2012 as ‘The Year of the Girl’ to coincide with their 100th anniversary. They are planning an advocacy day for Girl Scout Leadership from across the country on Capitol Hill in April, a Girls World Forum in Chicago in July, a major “State of the Girl” report on 21st century issues and challenges for girls, among other initiatives.
On June 9, 2012, the local Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital will welcome 200,000 of their fellow Girl Scouts for “Girl Scouts Rock the Mall,” a giant Sing-Along around the Washington Monument to raise awareness of the benefits of Girl Scouting. (In the words of the organizers, it’s “Woodstock for Girl Scouts” !) Although planning has just started, the Smithsonian will partner by participating on a passport of its museums for the Girl Scouts, as well as special displays, activities, and discounts… and a visit with Juliette Gordon Low, in front of her portrait at the National Portrait Gallery.
How can Affiliates partner with us?
– Consider sponsoring a Smithsonian curator, scientist, or historian that was a former Girl Scout, to speak to your Girl Scout troop audience or general public throughout the year (especially during Women’s History Month in March!)
– Follow the lead of fellow Affiliate The Women’s Museum who will be collaborating on an exhibition about Girl Scouts at the Texas State Fair. Let us know the ways that you might be celebrating the Girl Scouts next year, so we can cross-promote your community’s activities with our national partners.
– Track your local Girl Scout troop if they’re coming to Washington, D.C. for ‘Girl Scouts Rock the Mall,’ and let us know who they are. Encourage the girls to send messages that can be tweeted on your feed, and through Smithsonian Affiliations social media outlets during the celebration.
Do you have any other ideas?