From Rae Ann Dougherty, GSCO alum and Board Member
Walking history… it is always fascinating to me to be able to have a link from the past to the present.
Although young at the time, today I realize the significance of a visitor to my Girl Scout Junior troop meeting in the mid 1960s. The “old lady” was the Great Aunt of my classmates, Susan and Grace Lawrence. While I did not really know who she was or why her visit was significant, I later did. I remain amazed that I was able to meet Daisy Gordon Lawrence, the first girl registered for what is today Girl Scouts of the USA!
My ongoing engagement with the girls of Girl Scouts provides me with a lifetime of inspiration both in the USA and around the world through the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). With ten million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from 145 countries across the world, WAGGGS is the largest voluntary movement of its kind in the world. As I meet more and more of our “sisters,” I feel privileged to see the impact of what we are doing as volunteers. With our Girl Scout membership we are automatically a part of this remarkable web! There are many opportunities for you to also integrate Global Girl Scouting into your Girl Scout experiences.
Through the years that I have been involved in Girl Scouts, I have been fortunate to meet other historically significant individuals that have made the movement as wonderful and powerful as it is today. I enjoy reading the writings and biographies of the founders for both the Girl Guides (the British predecessor of our USA organization) and Girl Scouts. I am amazed how progressive, relevant, traditional, yet contemporary the initial intentions, philosophies, and policies that were begun over a century ago are still implemented today and have become the fabric of our organization. I am extremely grateful for all they (and you) have done to keep our organization relevant and powerful for future generations.
Fast forward to 2001 … My husband, Rich, and I attended the Olave Baden-Powell Society Annual Meeting in Kenya, Africa. (The Olave Baden-Powell Society is for WAGGGS what the Juliette Gordon Low Legacy Society is for Girl Scouts of Colorado, a means for your planned gift to be an investment in our community.) In addition to meeting many Kenyan Girl Guides and visiting the final resting place of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, we made many friends from many other countries, including one of the 9 grandchildren of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, Gillian Clay.
Since then Gill has become a treasured friend who is a member of the Llantwit Major Trefoil Guild and continues to work with the Girl Guides and Boy Scouts near her home in Cardiff, Wales. Although she was a preschooler when her grandfather passed away, she has many wonderful memories and stories from her grandmother, Olave, Lady Baden-Powell, the first World Chief Guide of WAGGGS. For instance the story of the time her grandmother was walking in her neighborhood and met a small group of folks excitedly talking about wanting to know where the World Chief Guide lived and what she was like. Unknowingly that small group was talking to the World Chief Guide herself!
It is quite special when a friend is a part of history, but you would not know it from her grace and unpretentious humility. Rather she was so pleased when I agreed to serve as the keynote speaker at the annual luncheon of her Trefoil Guild in November 2013 during our most recent visit to her home.
Although Lady Baden-Powell visited 111 countries during her life attending Jamborees and national Girl Guide and Girl Scout Associations, Gill has not. I feel extremely fortunate, therefore, that she will be visiting us during her short stay in the USA. During her stay, Girl Scouts of Colorado is holding a “Meet and Greet” event on May 20th from 6-7:30 p.m. at Twisted Pine near Genesee for you to meet this gracious and amazing woman (For more info and to RSVP: Heidi Books, firstname.lastname@example.org). I promise she will inspire you to continue your meaningful work to ensure the Girl Scouts continues as it has: traditional, yet contemporary, and relevant!