Friday, October 30, 2009

Golden Eaglet

Jaclyn Libowitz, Delores Swirin, Josie Duckett-Boyd, Laurette Hinkson, Susan Brooks and me

I recently meet a group of eleven extraordinary women, all Girl Scouts and all members of the The Golden Eaglet Order of the Hendrik Hudson Region. These women all earned their Golden Eaglet (then Girl Scouts highest award) between 1919 and 1938. I had the privilege of attending a reception in their honor at GSUSA, one of these women; Dagmar Yabsley is a member of Girl Scouts of Nassau County.

My guest blogger today is Josie Duckett-Boyd, Manager, Individual Giving/Stewardship & Alumnae Relations for Girl Scouts of the USA who arranged the event. Here are her impressions of the day.

On October 22, eleven women, all in their late eighties and early nineties, from The Golden Eaglet Order of the Hendrik Hudson Region, were honored at a reception hosted by GSUSA.  The Golden Eaglet Order of the Hendrik Hudson Region was formed so that its members could stay connected with Girl Scouting as well as with each other.  While many of the members have passed on, those that remain continue to meet bi-annually since 1926. 

There was a flurry of activity on the 11th floor of National Headquarters as excited staffers greeted and mingled with the honored guests and their families. All of the Golden Eaglets wore their Golden Eaglet pins and one svelte 89 year old wore her original uniform adorned with the 21 badges required to earn a Golden Eaglet award. (She made us all jealous!)  

Muriel “Mickey” Smith, Kathleen Boettigheimer and Dagmar Yabsley visiting the National Preservation Center at GSUSA

Our founder, Juliette Gordon Low would be proud that her vision of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place has truly been realized in the Golden Eaglets.  While all are now retired, they served our communities as teachers, librarians, chemists, authors, secretaries.  In addition, each Golden Eaglet has been passionately committed to the Movement for over 75 years - as volunteers with their councils as well as with the Olave Baden Powell Society. In addition to contributing their time and talents, they have also lent their support through their financial treasures. 

Jaclyn Libowitz, GSUSA Chief of Staff provided a very warm welcome, followed by a rededication ceremony led by Susan Brooks, CEO, Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey and our very own, Donna Ceravolo, CEO, Girl Scouts of Nassau County, Inc. Later,Dolores Swirin, CEO, Girl Scout Council of Greater New York, Inc. provided remarks.

Special highlights of the afternoon included a heartfelt speech by Sarah Mackay, third generation Girl Scout whose “Golden Eaglet” grandmother also attended.

Dagmar Mackay and Sarah Mackay

Marion Schreter, President of The Golden Eaglet Order of the Hendrik Hudson Region, also spoke on behalf of The Golden Eaglets and delivered a humble thank you to the GSUSA staff who helped make this event happen.
All in all, it was a very special day highlighting the importance of Girl Scouts in the past century and beyond. It gave those who attended a deeper appreciation for the women who shoulders today’s Girl Scouts stand on.  More importantly, it connected our past with our present as we head toward the future and particularly, our 100th anniversary. 

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