The Girl Scout movement has always been a force for change, by changing the image and perception of womanhood. In 1956, Girl Scouts was recognized by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as a force for another type of change—“a force for desegregation.”
The African American community has a long and positive history in Girl Scouts. From the first African American troop in 1917, to blazing the trail to desegregate troops in the early 1950s, I am proud to be part of a movement that values equality and appreciates and respects all girls.
Today, I am the First Vice President for GSCNC—a council I know very well. I was a Girl Scout from Brownies through Seniors and spent many wonderful, fun years earning badges, doing community service projects, camping and earning my First Class insignia. Through cookie sales, we traveled to Mexico for a week at Our Cabana. As we celebrate Black History Month and more recently the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., I am reminded of my Girl Scout trip to Our Cabana because we returned to Washington, DC the day after Martin Luther King was assassinated. The city was in turmoil and we were ultimately stranded at the airport. Being with my Girl Scout Leader and fellow Girl Scouts, however, we were not afraid. We comforted each other and made sure that everyone arrived home safely.
It was my Girl Scout experiences, as both a girl and adult volunteer, which taught me that through hard work and dedication you can accomplish anything.
On February 27, as we celebrate Black History Month, Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital will launch a new program in collaboration with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and our sponsor Dell Computers at our annual Girl Scout DC Step Showcase in Washington, DC.
The African Americans in Congress Patch will educate girls, through research and the documentation oral histories, about the perseverance and determination of Black leaders in the face of extreme adversity and oppression. All Girl Scouts will have the opportunity to learn about our rich history and proudly wear our newest patch.
To learn more about African American leaders in Girl Scout History click here, or discover more about our Your Turn to Lead program in partnership with Howard University.