Last weekend, Juliette Gordon Low Society members, Girl Scout alumnae, and their guests gathered to socialize and reconnect over tea — all while celebrating 100 years of changing the world!
With 2016 marking the centennial of the Highest Award in Girl Scouts, this year’s theme reflected on how Girl Scouts Build a Better World. The Juliette Gordon Low Afternoon Tea was dedicated to bringing together alumnae and girls who have positively impacted their communities and the world by earning the Golden Eaglet, Curved Bar Award, First Class, or Gold Award.
Building a Better World with the Highest Award
While sipping on tea and snacking on sweet dessert bites, guests heard from two remarkable 2016 Gold Award recipients, Faith Robinson and Catherine Link, both of whom, shared the undertakings of their projects and the challenges they overcame to see their projects through. After developing a curriculum for art clubs in a low income housing development for her Silver Award, Faith took her project global to Colegio Baustista, a school in Leon, Nicaragua. Faith shared how the project inspired a new love of working in Spanish and sparked new friendships with people of all ages and across cultures.
“Although I saw the impact my project could have in Nicaragua, it was nerve-racking to anticipate going to a foreign country, living with a local family, and teaching adults in my second language,” said Faith. “But I knew coming home that the experience gave me courage, knowing that age nor language is not a barrier.”
As an active computer programmer and leader of her school’s robotics team, Catherine spoke on the importance of STEM literacy and building an interest in math and science for girls today. Catherine broke down the barriers for youth and parents alike with the creation of a STEM night titled, “What’s the BUZZ about STEM?” and started an all-girls Lego League team at her local middle school. Catherine reflected on the leadership skills she gained from mentoring her team, watching them grow in their own confidence, technical abilities, and communication skills.
“Through Girl Scouts, I have found that I truly enjoy being a leader because I like to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard and to work together to accomplish something greater than we could do on our own. I want to continue to be a role model for other girls, inspiring them to also have the self-confidence to try new things, like STEM.”
Refections on 100 Years of the Highest Award
River Valleys’ CEO, Tish Bolger, reflected on the history of the highest award, speaking to the extraordinary challenges Girl Scouts have experienced to demonstrate their commitment to serving their community. When Juliette Gordon Low established the highest award in 1916, naming it the Golden Eaglet of Merit, girls were required to earn 14 proficiency badges, ranging from topics from aviation and athletics to nursing. Although the award has gone by many names since its inception, highest awards help girls test their skills in real life situations and find the greatness inside themselves.
The event ended with a ceremony celebrating our newest members and honoring the lifetime dedication of those who have recently passed away.
Welcome and Thank You to our New Members of the Juliette Gordon Low Society:
Mary E. Johnson, Jane Leitzman, Jen Thorson, Patty Toenies, Jean Bennington Sweeney, Pam Wurster
Ellen Langenbacher Betz
Being a Girl Scout today is made possible by the support of our Juliette Gordon Low Society members. Your steadfast dedication to the movement that our founder began over a century ago, keeps the spark of Girl Scouts bright for girls today. We are honored by your commitment to keep girls inspired to take action and build a better world through Girl Scout. THANK YOU!
Save the date for next year’s Juliette Gordon Low Society event on October 21, 2017.
We would love to see you there!