Thursday, October 29, 2015

Emma Otis: A Legacy of Service, Adventure, and So Much Girl Scout Love

On Sunday, October 25, the world lost an amazing woman. Her name was Emma Otis, and she was 114 years young. Emma leaves behind an incredible legacy of service, adventure, and so much Girl Scout love. With 80 years of service under her belt, at the time of her death Emma was the oldest living Girl Scout in the U.S., the oldest person in Washington State, the second-oldest American, and the tenth-oldest person in the world . And what a vibrant life she lived!

Although Emma started her impressively long Girl Scout journey as an adult leader at 30 and not as a young girl, her love for the Girl Scout movement was profound and well known. She was incredibly passionate about the organization and believed deeply in the ability of Girl Scouts to empower young women to do great things. She also loved the outdoors and maintained a very active lifestyle well into her 80s, including her many awesome Girl Scout adventures.

With camping being one of her all-time favorite activities, Emma helped found Girl Scout camp at Camp St. Albans in Belfair, Washington, in the 1930s. She also proposed the goldfinch as the Washington State bird and lobbied to make it so—she was such a friend of nature! In her lifetime, Emma took many incredible trips. She climbed mountains, she enjoyed gardening, and she shared her love of the outdoors far and wide. Never once taking medicine, she attributed much of her strength and longevity to her active lifestyle—and to lots of delicious whole milk!

Emma was truly one of a kind, and everyone who knew her will miss her greatly. Today, we celebrate Emma, for her inspiring spirit, her incredible heart, and her many memorable contributions. The world is a better place because she was in it for 114 beautiful years, and we at Girl Scouts are deeply proud to have had her by our side.