Girl Scouts Celebrate 100 Years; "It Just Changes Your - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Girl Scouts Celebrate 100 Years; "It Just Changes Your Life."

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"It came out in 1941 and that's when I became a brownie," says Betty Clark, of Chipley, as she points to the publishing date inside her Girl Scout handbook.

She still has it, 70 years later.

Clark has also held on to her 1940's uniforms she once wore along with the very bobby pin that pinned her cap to her head.

"What does it mean to be holding this stuff right now?"

 "Again, awesome!"

"It just changes your life," says Clark. "The way you think about things, what's important to you, what's important to the world, if only we had more of them."

The Girl Scouts Council of the Florida Panhandle celebrated 100 years of the organization on Saturday with tea, songs, and memories.

"These ladies all came from a small 18 group that gathered together on March 12, 1912," says Gretchen Erickson, President of the Girl Scouts Council of the Florida Panhandle. "And now 100 years later here we are, kind of doing the same thing she did."

Erickson is talking about Girl Scout founder Juliette Low who hosted a fundraiser with tea to get the movement going back in 1912.

"By having this tea, we're recreating the beginning of the Girl Scout movement," says Peggy Geil-Beem, 2nd Vice Chair of the Girl Scouts Council of the Florida Panhandle.

Women, young and experienced, reunited from 19 Panhandle counties.

"Who could imagine 100 years ago and look how strong we are?" says Erickson. "We have 59,000,000 alumni."

 There's no doubt Betty Clark is more than proud to be one of them.     

 "It seems like once you're a Girl Scout, you're always a Girl Scout?"

 "Absolutely," answers Clark. "Proof."

There is no official alumni association created yet on behalf of the Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle council which serves 19 counties. However, Erickson says they plan to establish one soon.