By RENE TORRES
Special to the Parade
“Come right over! I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and the world, and we’re going to start tonight!? Juliette Gordon Low phoned her cousin, N.A. Pape in 1912.
On March 12, 1912, a group of 18 girls from Savannah, Georgia met in what would be the first Girls Scout meeting. Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low was given credit for establishing the organization with the belief that girls should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually.
The goal was to get the girls out of the home environment and into community service. From that point on, the pioneers of girl scouting, enjoyed hiking, playing basketball, went on camping trips, learned how to tell time by the stars and studied first aid—and the rest is history.
Locally, by 1948, the El Jardin Community Girls Scouts organization presented their annual program commemorating the 36th anniversary of the Girls Scouts in United States. After their business meeting, the scouts treated their guest with a luncheon of sandwiches and cookies, while also exhibiting some of their work done during the year.
The anniversary program (at the school auditorium) was full of color and pageantry as the Girls Scouts demonstrated their talents in performing in every phase of the program. The event began with the pledge to the flag, color guards, Marcia Neuberger and Helen Gezell performed the song “God Bless America,” the history of scouting by Marcia Neuberger, Girls Scout laws were detailed by Helen Gezell, and a play by the brownie troop under the direction of Mrs. B. E. Miller and Mrs. A. C. Webb commemorating Texas History was held. Then there was a dance, “Turkey in the Straw” featuring Marilyn Miller and under the direction of Miss Voigt and Mrs. E. W. Patterson.
The senior troop, under the direction of Mrs. Hubert Reavis and Miss Hildegard Dietz, dazzled the crowd with a medley of Texas songs. The festivities also included a presentation by Miss F. M. Kern, Valley Girl Scout executive director, who spoke on the importance of girl scouting.
The El Jardin community organized its first intermediate Girls Scout troop in 1943. Although it started with a small group of girls, by ’48 it had grown to form three troops: one brownie, one intermediate and one senior for a total of 35 girls.
It was a day to remember, with perhaps some of the girls growing from a brownie to an intermediate scout and /or just perhaps leaving their status of senior scout and on to the world without scouting.
In 2012, the organizations will celebration 100 years of girls scouting.