Scouting for Donations to Help Give a Girl a Chance
by Cate Murway
The nearly deaf Juliette Magill Kinzie Gordon “Daisy” Low [1860-1927] envisioned an organization that would prepare girls to meet their world with courage, confidence and character, inspiring them to embrace their individuality, strength and intellect. Juliette Low, with help from Sir Robert Baden-Powell, founded the Scouting Movement. The Girl Scout Movement was born March 12, 1912; an organization that today serves millions of girl members and alumnae, and reflects the sweep of Low’s remarkable life.
She was an ardent believer in the potential of every girl, and the importance of fostering individual growth, character, and self-sufficiency. Juliette Low is credited with establishing and nurturing a global movement that has changed the world with this premier leadership development organization for girls. She is remembered nearly a century after her passing with camps, schools, and scholarships established in her honor. Juliette Gordon Low is memorialized in the ‘Points of Light’ monument in Washington, D.C., a one-mile walkway honoring actions and commitments to service that have transformed our nation. It is the only national monument paying tribute to individuals who selflessly champion “causes to help others realize a better America.”
The Girl Scout founder was also interested in athletics, the arts, animals, and nature, attributes that have become central to the Girl Scout Movement. Empowerment is even more important today, reaching across class, cultural, and ethnic boundaries to ensure all girls, including those with so-called disabilities, have a place to grow and develop their leadership skills.
The non-profit Founders’ Campership Fund [501(c)(3)] Annual Appeal is now underway.
Certified teacher/ Free Library of Northampton Township reference librarian, Linda Anne [Friedrichs] Rowan, MLS Masters of library science, using her innate talent for fundraising and public relations, is at the helm. She untiringly blazes the trail to continue this vision of courage, confidence, and character for girls who make the world a better place. It is simply in the Girl Scout DNA.
“I looked back at my records from 1999 when the first camperships were awarded. That first year, 7 girls each received camperships of $50.00”, Linda noted. “The funds for all awards are sent directly to the Girl Scout Council to credit their accounts.” Since 1999, 111 girls have been assisted with $10,000 sent to Council to pay for summer camp. Applicants must be registered Girl Scouts in the Riverside United Girl Scout Unit with two years of active participation.
Linda was honored during the YWCA Bucks County’s “Salute to Women Who Make A Difference” event.
A board member for Alpha Sigma Lambda, Delta Delta Chapter of Holy Family University, Linda has been a resident of Bucks County for 40 years. In addition to Holy Family University, Linda holds degrees from Penn State University and Drexel University and her teaching career spanned early childhood education and elementary teaching, along with 15 years as a school librarian. Linda has been chair of the Founders Campership Fund since its establishment in 1999.
“In my spare time I am an avid bird watcher.”
Linda is also a member of BCHF, residing in Levittown, but her family formerly lived on Wilson Avenue in Bristol from 1976 until 2011.
Many local businesses will have already received Chairperson Linda’s letter asking for support. This Fund honors the memory of two outstanding women whose unselfish dedication and commitment to the Girl Scout movement in Lower Bucks County was so exemplary. The dedicated and dynamic co-founders of the Bristol Service Unit, WAC Veteran Katherine Baur MacDonald [1913-1997], who founded Troop #2 in Bristol, and “Aunt” Margaret “Peg” Potterton, who founded Troop #1 in Croydon in 1937, enriched the lives of the girls within their communities by enabling them to attend Girl Scout Summer Camp.
Katherine and her husband, Harriman Methodist Boy Scout leader/ Bristol Township School District teacher, Robert MacDonald resided in Bristol. Their son, Boy Scout William “Bill” graduated from Bristol High School in 1969. Katherine earned her Appreciation Pin for 55 years of service to Girl Scouting in 1997 and Peg received her 60 year numeral and years of service pin along with the “Thanks Badge”, the highest award given for adult service.
They led the Girl Scouts with passion and determination, ensuring it was, and always would be, an experience that was “girl led.”
Bristol Borough resident, author /teacher Harold Mitchener shared, “I was in the scouts at the St. James Episcopal Church. When we would go to scout camp in the summer, the boys from Harriman were always there.”
The monies collected are awarded to assist a Scout in Southeastern Pennsylvania, enabling her to participate in summer resident or day camps to have tons of fun, make new friends, and go on fantastic new adventures. These awards are distributed based not only on financial need, but also on the Scout’s desire to attend camp. An essay is part of the application process. Active Girl Scouts in the Bristol, Croydon and Levittown areas are invited to express in writing why they would like to attend camp and how this unique experience would benefit them.
Donations are awarded separately from any financial aid provided through GSEP, Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania.
Cheryl Lee Hamm and her husband, Richard Alan Smith “Smitty” are Board members of the Founders’ Campership Fund. Cheryl lamented, “I couldn’t afford to go to camp as a child even though my mother, P.J. and my late father Bill volunteered in Girl Scouting. We did camp as a family.”
The Scouts are requested to document their experiences at camp in the journal they receive and they “share their notes with the rest of the kids and it excites them and then they all want to go!”
Cheryl recalled “Mrs. Moss was my Senior Scout troop leader. I’m a doer. Scouting is fun. It kept me outdoors, I met lots of people and it gave me adventure.”
Chairperson Linda Rowan’s daughters, Dr. Heather Rowan Kenyan, Ph.D. and Lisa Rowan, BHS ’04, writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder, one of the largest personal finance websites in the USA, were Scouts in Cheryl’s troop.
Being honest and fair, and courageous and strong; using resources wisely; respecting oneself and others; and making the world a better place are the values that the staff and volunteers at the national and local levels continually teach, model, and reinforce. With the continued support, vision, and commitment of these incredible role models, girls have the opportunity to find, and become, leaders in their communities and the world, transforming them into G.I.R.L.s [Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders]™. Girl Scouts collectively spend more than 75 million hours improving their communities.
Some may think of Scouting as just cookies, campfires, and friendship bracelets but Girl Scouts are so much more. Girl Scouts are big thinkers, groundbreakers, and role models. They are bold, honest, and determined to succeed, willing to try new things and embrace the unfamiliar, fulfilling their dreams, following their passions, and changing the world!
Let’s take the lead like a Girl Scout!
P.S. 75 percent of current female senators were Girl Scouts and nearly all of the 40 women who have flown in space were Girl Scouts.
Bet you didn’t think rock climbing or selling cookies would help them do all that, did you?
Hey, yeah…. but who doesn’t like Girl Scout cookies?
GSUSA has been selling cookies since 1917 to raise funds, fostering the Entrepreneurial Spirit to power amazing experiences. Every box purchased helps power the unique and amazing experiences for the awesome girls who sell them, providing them with the opportunity to learn essential life skills, soar in confidence, and quickly discover the leader within. Help the next generation of girls fulfill their dreams and change the world by buying a box of Girl Scout cookies now.
Thinking outside the box? Do something to make the world a better place.
Your checks designated/payable to the Founders’ Campership Fund Annual Appeal may be mailed to:
Founders’ Campership Fund
Penn Community Bank
118 Mill Street
Bristol, PA 19007-4807
Perhaps your business will match your gift.
The deadline for the Founders’ Campership Fund campaign is March 31, 2017.
Girl Scout Promise
On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.
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