In my role with Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana, sometimes I get to participate in some of the most extraordinary opportunities. Yesterday I had the pleasure of joining Cadette, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts from Troop 46783 to celebrate the 100th Birthday of a special lady.
I met the girls and their leaders at the Peabody Retirement Community in North Manchester. Mariana Reed was the VIP in this special occasion. Photos surrounded the room of her growing up, her involvement in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) in World War II, and her recent visit to Winchester, IN for the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts celebration. The Randolph County Historical Society had used Mariana’s own Girl Scout uniform as part of the display for the 100th Anniversary memorial.
The girls asked Mariana what her favorite Girl Scout memories were and she replied that she always enjoyed hiking and the outdoor activities best. I watched as the girls faces lit up, nodding eagerly as they too agreed that this is currently one of their favorite things to do as a troop as well. One of the girls asked if Mariana ever went on any trips with her Girl Scout troop. Mariana’s eyes lit up and she sat a little straighter as she told us of her adventure to the White House to meet First Lady Lou Henry Hoover. She told us of how her troop was invited by special invitation to visit. They formed a horseshoe in the White House meeting room and First Lady Lou shook each girl’s hand. Mariana showed us how each of the girls, after receiving that handshake, had modestly covered their hands with their other hand and pulled them to their chests to help preserve the moment. It was very evident that this was one of Mariana’s proudest moments as a Girl Scout.
After a little more talk about Girl Scouts, the girls showed her the banner they had made and presented her with balloons and cards. We also together gave her an afghan with the Girl Scout Law on it and Mariana again leaned forward in her chair, her eyes sparkling with mischief as she declared, “Oh and the Law is spelled out on the blanket!”. I then happily told her that she was a registered Girl Scout again and we were proud to have her back in our sisterhood. Mariana clapped with glee and stated, “I believe I still have my original membership card and pin somewhere!” We gave her a new pin (just in case) and she insisted on someone helping her to put it on right away!
At this point, Mariana was getting a little tired, she had been partying for most of the afternoon! But we gave her one more gift before we left, a box of the new S’mores cookies! We explained how they too were in celebration of the 100th year of girls selling cookies, which was also part of the imprint on her balloons. She couldn’t believe they were just for her! “I don’t have to share these, do I?” As we laughed, we said she could do whatever she wanted with them and wished her another Happy Birthday as she waved good bye and thanked us for coming.
By Ruth Strawser
Dir of Brand Strategy - GSNI-M