HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – On the 100 year anniversary of when the first Girl Scout troop began in Savannah, Ga. local troops gathered Monday night at the Hastings Community Center to celebrate the historic milestone.
“The first troop was started on March 12 so that’s why this day is special, it was exactly 100 years ago,” said Pauline Hansen, a Girl Scout for the past 40 years who was dressed up and portraying the organization’s founder Juliette Gordon Low.
Hansen was dressed head to toe in a replica uniform complete with scouting tools as she spoke to the dozens of young girls with their troops. On her belt was a knife, a whistle and a tin cup for drinking water while out in the woods. She also wore a silver fish around her neck, which is an honorary scouting award from England.
“This was the original kind of uniform she would have worn 100 years ago,” Hansen said of Low.
Among the festivities was a series of candle lightings at 7:12 p.m. to honor the 100 years the scouts have been around since 1912.
“The reason for 7:12 is that 7 o’clock in 24 hour time is what? It’s 19, 19 hundred hours, so it’s 1912,” said Judi Silverman, a Hastings resident and a Girl Scout for 27 years. “That’s why we chose 7:12 p.m. That’s going to be happening all the way to San Francisco, Calif.”
There are 3.2 million Girl Scouts in the United States and Silverman that said all were doing something to celebrate the milestone, including the candle lighting. With so many years under the organization’s belt, Silverman said the message is as strong as ever for young girls.
“My feeling about Girl Scouting is it helps a girl grow up to be a good leader and an all-around person,” Silverman said.