In Tennessee, The Oak Ridger reports that Kathryn D. Sullivan credits Girl Scouts as something that "provided me with an avenue for my own array of interests and skills and gave me access to the whole world."
Sullivan, who holds the distinction of being the first American woman to walk in space, was the guest speaker at the recent celebration of 100 years of Girl Scouts. The celebration was a joint effort of the Girl Scouts Council of the Southern Appalachians and the Children's Museum of Oak Ridge.
A former member of a Mariner Scout troop, Sullivan recalled the experience of visiting an airport and being "completely mesmerized."
"I love making things work, and seeing how they work," she said.
Her experience as a Girl Scout, Sullivan said, "set the seed in me that led to my science background and time as an astronaut.
Sullivan currently is the U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction and deputy administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; she was appointed by President Barack Obama in May 2011.