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Girl Scouts of Nassau County celebrate 100 years

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In 1912, Juliette Gordon-Lowe decided to start an organization for girls to develop leadership skills, and by 1919, Nassau County got its first-known Girl Scout troop in Lynbrook.

“We’re just very proud to be one of the oldest youth organizations in Nassau County,” said Donna Rivera-Downey, chief marketing officer for the Girl Scouts of Nassau County.

Rivera-Downey said that the troop’s history is vague because, back then, the Girl Scouts did not have a centralized organization connecting the various troops. She noted, however, that she does know that the organization has changed over the past 100 years. In the early 1900s, she said, the girls had to sew their dress uniforms themselves, but today the scouts are provided with vests and sashes to demonstrate that they are in the Girl Scouts.

In other ways, she said, the Girl Scouts have remained an organization that “encourages girls to develop skills, take on new opportunities and share their leadership.”

Rivera-Downey said that the troops have evolved significantly over the last century, noting that when the Girl Scouts was first formed, the girls experimented with electricity, as that was a new invention, and today the girls conduct STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) projects. She also said that the organization has always had a badge program to encourage the girls to do community service.

To celebrate the anniversary, the Girl Scouts of Nassau County will have a 100th anniversary gala on March 14, after the Herald went to press, and the Nassau County Legislature building in Mineola will be lit in green in honor of the Girl Scouts on March 18. The celebrations will culminate in a large campfire at the end of the year.

For more information about the Girl Scouts of Nassau County, visit www.gsnc.org.