Girl Scouts' national president visits area council

March 20, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

Girl Scouts' national president visits area council

Right after World War II, a lonely little girl living on a military base in Europe joined a Girl Scout troop in Frankfurt, Germany.

"It made me feel right at home," said Elinor J. Ferdon, national president of the Girl Scouts of the USA.

That feeling never left her and so all these years later, Ferdon is still singing the praises of the veteran organization for girls she now heads.

Ferdon attended a reception at the Venice Friday evening to help the Shawnee Girl Scout Council celebrate its 35th anniversary.

She was also in town to help launch "Help Them Catch Their Dreams," a giving campaign designed to ensure that Girl Scouting will remain viable to fill the needs of today's girls.


Funding for the council will provide programs to help girls lead a moral, ethical life while providing them a refuge from drugs, violence, sex and peer pressure often associated with being a modern teenager.

Ferdon said she came back to the United States after her father had completed his military tour in Europe and got away from Girl Scouting for a time.

"When my daughter got into Brownies, I got back into it, too," she said. "I shared leadership of a troop with several other mothers - I couldn't do it all on my own."

Since she assumed the leadership of the Girl Scouts of America in 1997, Ferdon has been to 35 Girl Scout councils. She expects to visit a lot more during her three-year stint.

"I was especially glad to be invited to Hagerstown to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Shawnee Council," Ferdon said.

Today, the council's annual meeting will be at Smithsburg High School with Ferdon as guest speaker.

About 300 Girl Scouts and adult volunteers from the 15 counties in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia in the Shawnee Council will attend the all-day meeting.

Among those speaking will be Senior Girl Scout Sandra Bostwick of Martinsburg, W.Va., who will share her experiences as a representative to the National Safety Council Youth Congress.

Fifteen scouts will be awarded their Girl Scout Gold awards, the highest honor given for successful completion of special projects which express special commitments to themselves, their community, their world and the future.

The Shawnee Council is a member agency of the United Way.

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