Monday afternoon Marshall County Girl Scouts braved a windy, showery March day to celebrate the 100th birthday of Girl Scouting at Lewisburg's Rock Creek Park.
Exactly 100 ago, the first American Girl Scout troop was formed by Juliette Gordon Low. She had just returned from England, where she had met Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts and, with his sister Agnes, the Girl Guides.
Low returned to her home in Savannah, Ga., full of plans for a similar organization for American girls. She called her cousin on the phone, saying, "I've got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world, and we're going to start it tonight!" She brought together 18 girls to form the first troop, and her niece, Margaret "Daisy Doots" Gordon, was the first registered member. The organization now has more than 3 million members.
All over the country, and around the world, Girl Scouts, from Daisies to Ambassadors, crossed the bridge into the second century of Girl Scouting.
At the party at Rock Creek Park, the scouts crossed the curving bridge to the far side of the creek, and then came back, posing for photos in the middle of the bridge.
The rest of the party took place in the Farmers Market pavilion. The Scouts started by singing "Ignite," Melinda Caroll's new song written for Rock the Mall, "the world's largest sing-along," to be held in Washington, D.C. on June 9.
The lively song looks backward, "Can you believe that we've come this far?" and ahead to the future, "It's your spark, time to light it!..Imagination, inspiration, bring it to the world!"
The party continued with a cha-cha lesson from Miss Julie; a visit from the Little Caesar's guy; a talent show; a scavenger hunt; and a huge 100th birthday cake.
On a serious note, the cookies purchased with money donated during cookie sales were turned over to Nancy Cheatham and Barb Blackmore of Moms on a Mission to send to Marshall County's soldiers currently serving overseas. A number of Marshall County's 13 troops chose Moms on a Mission as the recipient of their "Gift of Caring."
Cookie chairmen Cheryl Bartusch and Rebecca Brown confirmed that 15,490 boxes of Girl Scout cookies were sold in Marshall County this year.
"More than last year," Bartusch said, who has been involved with the Girl Scouts for 24 years.