100 Years of Girl Scouts was celebrated at a recent gathering at Seaside Park, where Scouts from the Heritage Valley (including Santa Paula) created a booth that detailed the 1960s. (Photo by Glenda Learn)

Cookies and character! Council lauds 100 Years of Girl Scouts of America

March 14, 2012
Santa Paula News

Cookies and character: one hundred years of helping to create outstanding women was celebrated by the City Council, which presented a proclamation in honor of the centennial of the Girl Scouts of America.

Vice Mayor Ralph Fernandez presented the proclamation at the March 5 meeting. He noted a celebration was held the previous weekend at Ventura County Seaside Park, where “about 2,500 girls from the Central Coast Region were there... and the girls and the leaders that represented our valley did a wonderful job and I thank them for all the work they did.”

Fernandez admitted, “I’m intimately knowledgeable” about Girl Scouting as he and wife Cathy, a troop leader, have four daughters involved in scouting in different age categories.

Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low started the Girl Scouts on March 12, 1912 with 18 girls to “provide them with the opportunity to develop physically, mentally an spiritually.” Since that time, Fernandez said, Girl Scouting “has helped build millions of girls and women of courage, confidence, and character who act to make the world a better place.”

The program’s award winning Leadership Program helps girls discover themselves and their values, connect with others, and take action to accomplish that goal. Fernandez said the Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest honor and requires girls to make a “measurable and sustainable difference in their community, assess a need and design a solution,” then carry it through to completion and “inspire others to sustain it.”

Core programs are centered on science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), environmental stewardship, healthy living, financial literacy, and global citizenship that helps girls develop “a solid foundation in leadership while having fun and developing life-long friendships.”

The California Central Coast division serves 11,000 K-12 girls in six counties, and there are more than 50 million American Girl Scouting alumnae; there are 3.3 million girls and volunteers that are active members. Worldwide there are more than 10 million girls in 145 countries involved in the movement of Girl Scouts/Girl Guides. 

“We know,” said Fernandez, “that Girl Scouts develops girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.” The organization, he added, is the “voice for and of girls.”

Troop Leader Cathy Fernandez said the centennial has been celebrated in many ways, with campouts and group activities including an exhibit at the California Oil Museum in Santa Paula. Fernandez introduced Troop Leader Glenda Learn and noted, “She was very involved in creating the exhibit,” now on display through May 6. Scouts - including those of junior high age earning a Silver Award - worked hard on the display that includes memorabilia of 100 years of area Scouting provided by residents of Santa Paula and throughout the county.

Fernandez also reminded the council, “We’re in the middle of our cookie sales,” and Scouts will be selling their famous once-a-year only sweets weekends at Vons or directly through any Scout or by calling 805-525-8529. 

Fernandez noted, “Glenda (Learn) has been a Troop leader for about 13 years,” and although her own Scouts are grown, “she’s still a leader with a Daisy Troop... she couldn’t break away!”

“Cathy did over 500 tie-dye flowers,” for the exhibit said Learn.

Fernandez was accompanied by daughters Robin, 5, a Brownie, and Julia, 10, a Junior Scout. Not present were daughters Laura, 12, a Cadette, and Elizabeth, 15, a Senior Scout. Other Daisy Scouts present at the meeting were Vanessa Luna, Hannah Copass and Ella Fox, ranging in age from 5 to 6 years old.

For more information on Scouting, visit the website at www.girlscoutsccc.org. 

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