Japan / Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni / News Stories

Night under stars: Bonfire honors Girl Scout founder

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI,  Japan  — Iwakuni Girl Scout troops, volunteers and parents gathered around a bonfire, Saturday evening, to celebrate the birthday of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the USA Girl Scouts.

Low was born Juliette Magill Kinzie Gordon on Oct. 31, 1860 in Savannah, Ga.

Interested in developing a new youth movement, Low assembled 18 girls to organize the first Girl Scout Troop on March 12, 1912, in her hometown.

According to girlscouts.org, Low believed all girls should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally and spiritually.

Today, there are more than 2 million Girl Scout members and more than 900,000 adults who volunteer and
work to keep the organization going.

To celebrate the outgoing nature and traditions of the USA Girl Scouts, local troops sang songs, told stories and
roasted hotdogs and marshmallows around a bonfire before camping out in tents during the night.

“The main thing we wanted to do was just let the girls know who Juliette Gordon Low (was) and why we are here tonight,” said Sarah Summers, cadet troop leader.

Information about the founder’s life and early history of the Girl Scouts was shared with the young troops to emphasize her effort to establish the Girl Scout organization and its moral value.

According to the Girl Scout cadets, grades 6-12, Low was a woman who believed in giving back to the community and helping others.

“Girl Scouts try to build girls of courage, confidence and character in girls of all ages,” said Summers. “That is our goal. We try to get involved in the community. We try to let the girls take it upon themselves to figure out how they want to do that.”

Throughout the year, the girls have spent much time volunteering at the base thrift store, the library, and even donated books to send to children in Africa.

“We mostly volunteer,” said Areal Goode, Girl Scout cadet. “We like to get together and help people.”

In addition to volunteering, the girls also carry on traditions of the Girl Scouts by participating in various outdoor activities including a camp out at Seven Falls and a climb to the top of Mount Fuji, a challenge the girls met with determination.

“Every single girl who attempted the climb made it to the top and back down,” said Summers. “We were very proud of them.”

According to Goode, the Girl Scouts organization allows young girls to build camaraderie like no other.

“We are all in the same grade, have the same classes and are good friends,” said Goode. “We’re like one big family. We get together and just laugh.”

According to girlscouts.org, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together.

Through a myriad of enriching experiences, such as extraordinary field trips, sports, skillbuilding clinics, community service projects, cultural exchanges, and environmental stewardships, girls grow courageous and strong.

Local members of the Girl Scouts continue to carry out the Girl Scout mission, which is to build courage, confidence, and character within its members who, in turn, potentially make the world a better place.

Originally published: Marines.mil

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