Monday, April 30, 2012

Diocesan Girl Scouts Join in Centennial Celebration

Earned patches fill Lucie Loftus’ Girl Scout uniform, illustrating her achievements, service and experiences with the organization, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

In Pennsylvania, The Catholic Witness reports that when she joined the Girl Scouts five years ago, Rachel Warthen signed up because she was interested in a particular activity: selling cookies. But it didn’t take long for Rachel to learn that the Girl Scouts are recognized for much more than their yearly springtime confections.

“Girl Scouts has shown us different ways to help other people, and to learn more about our faith,” Rachel told The Catholic Witness. “It also gives us an opportunity to get involved in different activities.”

A Cadet in the troop at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Gettysburg, Rachel was among more than 200 Girl Scouts who gathered with family members and friends at Good Shepherd Church in Camp Hill April 15 for a Mass celebrated by Bishop Joseph P. McFadden in observance of the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts of the USA.

The Mass showcased the Girl Scouts – several of whom served as altar serves, lector, cantor, offertory collectors and gift bearers. In Good Shepherd’s social hall before and after Mass, Girl Scouts from across the diocese shared projects, achievements
and camaraderie.

“So many of the opportunities that you get in Girl Scouts you can’t get anywhere else,” said Margaret Cahill, a member of the troop at St. Francis Xavier. “For example, we had an overnight in the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, and it was awesome. We were able to stay in an exhibit and see an IMAX movie. I think it was the coolest thing I’ve ever done.”

Rachel and Margaret and several of their fellow troop members received the “Mary the First Disciple” medal from the bishop that day. The medal is part of a national program that promotes the understanding of Mary as a model of openness and spirituality as a woman of the Church.