Thousands of Girl Scouts gathered Sunday to watch the sun set on 100 years of scouting.
The Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council, which includes roughly 16,000 Girl Scouts in eight counties, held 10 simultaneous ceremonies across the eight counties. More than 5,000 Girl Scouts participated in the ceremonies. Locally, there were ceremonies at Wingate University and Weddington High School.
The Hornets’ Nest Council began preparing for the event about a year ago, Executive Vice President Katherine Lambert said.
The 100th anniversary is a milestone for any organization, Lambert said.
“(It) speaks to the legacy of Girl Scouts and the promise of our future,” Lambert said.
The organization began 100 years ago when Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low met with 18 Girl Scouts in Savannah, Ga. Today there are more than 3.2 million members.
Lambert grew up in the Girl Scouts organization.
Her favorite memory from scouting is “the friendships that I formed with other girls,” she said. She also enjoyed the
mentoring relationships that she formed with adults that have continued into her adulthood.
“Now as an adult looking back...the basis of my leadership skills were developed in Girls Scouts,” Lambert said.
The 59 girls who came to the Wingate University celebration cracked green glowsticks as the sun went down. They waved their glowsticks and sang songs. One of the songs was “Ignite,” a new song, written especially for the 100th anniversary.
Madeline Rowland, a seven year-old Brownie with Troop 2432, participated in the timeline portion of the ceremony. A group of girls went through the Girl Scouts timeline, noting milestones from each decade.
“I get to meet my friends and I get to learn new things,” Rowland said was her favorite part about being a Girl Scout. She plans on remaining in Girl Scouts in the future.
Rowland enjoyed the ceremony, her favorite part was using the glowsticks.
The Girl Scouts have been able to stay relevant over the past 100 years by figuring out what’s relevant for girls, Lambert said. She said today they focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, bullying, self-esteem and other issues that face today’s girls.
“It’s always been about leadership development,” Lambert said. “It’s about being with the girls and understanding what’s next for them.”
“We invite you girls to take your light into the next 100 years,” Melanie Miller, volunteerism team lead for the Hornets’ Nest Council, said at the end of the celebration.