Friday, March 16, 2018

Girl Scouts' 106th Birthday Celebration - Special Remarks by Margaret Seiler

For 106 years of age, our Movement just gets stronger and more impactful with time.

On Monday, March 12, Girl Scouts proudly celebrated its 106th birthday as the premier leadership development institution for girls in the world. We marked this important milestone with festivities (complete with delicious, trademark Girl Scout Green cake and cupcakes, of course!) at Girl Scout Central, kicked off by CEO Sylvia Acevedo. And joining Sylvia for our celebration was Margaret Seiler, the great niece of our founder, Juliette Gordon Low.

We were very privileged to have Margaret in attendance, as she offered a reflective connection to our roots and history. In honor of the occasion, we wanted to share Margaret’s remarks from the event:

Good afternoon. I’d like to thank Sylvia for inviting me to celebrate with all of you on the birthday of Girl Scouts. In loving memory of my mother, who was Juliette Gordon Low’s youngest niece, and in honor of my own two daughters, I am happy to be here today.

Juliette―or Aunt Daisy, as my mother always called her―was known for her quirky, headstrong personality and her fierce determination. I love the story of her making sure the garden party she hosted for my Aunt Mary Stuart was perfect. When the weather turned cold and there were no blooms on her camellia bushes, she ran around Savannah asking people if she could cut blossoms off their bushes, then tied them on to her own! And of course she refused to hear no for an answer when soliciting help and funds in the early days of Girl Scouts. Whether it was her poor hearing or just her determination to always hear yes, we’ll never know.

Daisy was blessed with a loving family, a good education, and financial security. She also suffered from the death of a beloved sister, a childless and unhappy marriage, and severe hearing loss. But she didn’t let any obstacles stop her. I find it so inspiring that in middle age—as a 52-year-old widow—she found her real passion! I believe today that Daisy serves as a role model not only for girls but also for women of all ages. She showed us that it’s never too late to harness all our experiences in creation of something meaningful.

One-hundred-and-six years ago today, in 1912, Daisy founded Girl Scouts. To put that in context, American women were still six years away from gaining the right to vote. And though it took even more years for women of color to gain that right, I know that Daisy meant it when she said Girl Scouts was “for all the girls.” Her belief that girls should have the same opportunities as boys―to be athletic, learn about the great outdoors, and prepare for all sorts of careers—came naturally to her. She came from a long line of strong women, such as her grandmother, Juliette Kinzie, who wrote and published three books in the 1800s.

Please know that my family cares deeply about nurturing and maintaining our Aunt Daisy’s history and legacy. And because we believe in Girl Scouts’ mission of female empowerment and inclusivity, we thank you for all the work you do in service of girls everywhere.