Girl Scout alumnae celebrate 100th anniversary of Gold Award
For 104 years, Girl Scouting has fulfilled the mission of building courage, confidence and character in young girls.
Alumnae of the Girl Scouts of Eastern PA Lehigh Chapter gathered recently at First Presbyterian Church of Allentown to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Gold Award at First Presbyterian Church, South Whitehall Township.
During the celebration, a brief history of the Gold Award was presented by Bonnie Young and Ann Donley.
“Girls have always had the opportunity to learn about their world through participation in programs, activities, events, badges and awards,” Young said.
Young said the highest award in the beginning of Girl Scouting was the Golden Eaglet of Merit.
“Only 50 girls earned this merit award, which was in the form of a ribbon with the words Golden Eaglet gilded onto it,” Young said.
“While the name changed to Golden Eaglet in 1919, many continued to use both names interchangeably.
“The Golden Eaglet was more popular, with the number of girls achieving this honor rising to nearly 10,000 by the time the name was changed again in 1919.”
Young said from 1938 to 1940, the First Class Award became the highest award of three ranks in the Intermediate Girl Scout program at that time.
Donley said in 1940, the Girl Scouts introduced the Curved Bar, which intended to help the Intermediate Girl Scout prepare for the senior level programming.
“Due to the metal shortage during World War II, instead of pins, the Curved Bar recipients received embroidered patches in the shape of an arc,” Donley said. “Later, a Curved Bar pin was distributed that consisted of the First Class logo atop the Curved Bar.”
“The Curved Bar was discontinued because of the change in age levels in Girl Scouting,” Donley said.
Donley said in 1980 the Gold Award was developed and provided many challenges and interests for the modern Girl Scout.
“Today, the Gold Award requirements have changed so that the girls must be a high school student and be either a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador,” Donley said. “Last year, 56 girls from our council earned the Gold Award.”
“The Gold Award is a national award, with national standards, it represents girls’ time leadership, creativity, and effort contributed to making their community better,” Donley said.
After hearing about the brief history of the Gold Award, the alumnae sang Girl Scouts songs from 1910 through 2016 and previous award recipients were honored.
The alumnae closed the celebration by enjoying refreshments in honor of Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday Oct. 31.