Time out for a Girl Scout

A 100th birthday party is pretty special, and yesterday my 83-year-old mother, June Rodgers, was a participant in Austin’s observance of the Girl Scouts’ centennial celebration. I’m sharing her email to her daughters and granddaughters about the event here, in honor of the gracious and welcoming way she was treated by her sister Scouts, and just because I’m completely thrilled that she was feted for her lifetime of service to the Girl Scouts — as a Brownie and beyond, all the way to troop leader, camp counselor, trainer and volunteer.

June attended 25th Anniversary

Who knew when little June became a Brownie, just as Scouting celebrated its 25th anniversary, that she would proudly attend their 100th birthday?

Here’s her version of Austin’s 100th celebration

Today I wish I was a blogger, because I really have something to blog about. I got late publicity by email about the celebration being held on the Austin capitol steps today. I was afraid the publicity was inadequate, but even if it was a flop, I wanted to be there. I had no one to go with and I didn’t expect to know anyone, but for my personal interest, I decided to brave the downtown traffic and find a parking space and go alone.

I wore green slacks (what else?) and my old badge sash over a white blouse. As soon as I walked in the back door of the capitol, I was swarmed by two senior Scouts who wanted to know about my badges. When I told them I came because I had gone to the 25th birthday as a Brownie, they pulled out cell phones and took me to meet the dignitaries.

Introduced to 3,000 Girl Scouts

I was placed in the front row and introduced to the crowd of 3,000 Girl Scouts. We sang Girl Scout songs and after a huge closing friendship circle that covered the acres in front of the capitol, I had dozens of girls who wanted to have their picture taken with me! I felt like a real celebrity. I wish I hadn’t forgotten my camera.

I was totally surprised and was so glad I had taken time to wash my hair the night before and wear my Girl Scout earrings. What fun!

Your ultimate Girl Scout Mother, Grandmother and Girl Scout Brownie buddy!

June Rodgers

Local video of the 100th Observance

Austin’s KXAN covered the event. You can see the video here.

Who will cover the 125th birthday party?

The disappointing post script to this story is that – despite their presence at the event – Mom’s local newspaper didn’t have coverage of the event this morning. She saw a glimpse of her white hair on the TV news last night, and was hopeful that some notice of the gathering would run in The Austin American-Statesman.

It was not to be. After 30 years as a journalist, I know all the reasons why there was no coverage of the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of the USA, especially in this era of downsizing. How many times did I personally deliver my stock response to readers asking why we didn’t print more “good news”?

Mom and I are looking toward 2037

Yes. I know the reasons, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

And I have to wonder, with newspapers slipping away, who will cover the Girl Scouts’ 125th birthday party?

With or without the media, I’m planning to attend any festivities the Girl Scouts see fit to arrange come 2037. I’ll be 82 that year, just one year shy of Mom’s current age.

She’ll be 108 then and I’m sure she’ll insist on accompanying me to pay her respects once again to the organization she’s loved all her life.

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4 Responses to “Time out for a Girl Scout”

  1. Dianne King Says:

    This is thrilling. Kisses to June.

  2. Pat Says:

    Oh, Anne, I am so glad you posted June’s email! How excited and happy she must have been. Good for her for dressing up and going to the event.

  3. Sam LeForge Says:

    Your mom is a celebrity to all of those young scouts. What wonderful memories she probably shared, and she certainly did her part to ensure the Girl Scouts will indeed have a 125th anniversary celebration. Hey, I know just the gal to cover it! You’ll still be an influential star in 25 years!

  4. J MICHAEL ATWATER Says:

    Your mom is Merit Badge!

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