Girl Scouts celebrating 100 years

Published 8:06 pm Saturday, March 24, 2012

Renae McRoy, leader of Girl Scout Troop 1016, and her daughter Kelsey look over a book documenting the history of the Girl Scouts outside the gates of Camp Hardee in Blounts Creek. The camp will be the setting for Saturday event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the organization. (WDN Photo/Kevin Scott Cutler)

BLOUNTS CREEK — They’ve made their mark in the fields of medicine, science, journalism, politics, sports, arts and entertainment.

This month, they’re celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the organization that gave them the encouragement to excel in the world. Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts on March 12, 1912, and its members have been growing in number ever since.

Locally, a celebration of that century milestone will be held Saturday at Camp Hardee in the Blounts Creek community of Beaufort County, according to Renae McRoy, a leader of Troop 1016, which serves girls in the Chocowinity area. McRoy is coordinating the festivities along with Deborah Brady and Lenora Perry.

“We’re inviting all current Scouts and leaders and all alumni,” said McRoy. “The community is also invited.”

Scouts and leaders, past and present, are admitted free, while fathers, siblings and other special guests may share in the celebration for a charge of $3 each; that ticket price covers a hot-dog lunch, soft drink, popcorn, cotton candy and a full schedule of games and activities. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Although McRoy was not a Girl Scout while growing up, she wanted her daughter Kelsey, 8, to have that opportunity. When the McRoy family built their home overlooking the Pamlico River, literally next door to Camp Hardee, the stage was set.

“Kelsey was probably about 4 years old when we built the house and she saw and heard all the activity, and she said then she wanted to join,” McRoy recalled. “My co-leader Lisa Hill and I started this troop to fill a need in this area.”

For McRoy, Hill and the young members of Troop 1016, being a Girl Scout is much more than selling those famous cookies every year. There’s also the opportunity for community service and earning badges in a variety of fields.

“I prefer badges that are a philanthropic type thing. … As part of the 100th celebration, we challenged each of the 12 troops in our area to give 100 hours of community service,” McRoy said. “Our troop planted flower bulbs at Camp Hardee, worked with the Haw Branch Church of Christ food pantry and adopted a family at Christmas. The father lost his job as a result of Hurricane Irene. … There are four children in the family, and we shopped for them and wrapped presents. We also encouraged the girls to do things at their churches and in the community.”

Being a Girl Scout isn’t all work and no play. Troop 1016 and its sister troop, Troop 1816 in Washington, share in field trips and other activities. The girls have enjoyed outings to Goose Creek State Park and Brown Library, and they’ve attended dance classes and ball games at East Carolina University.

Planning for the Girl Scouts’ centennial began last fall, according to McRoy. Several local businesses — including The Rich Company, Washington Jewelers, Nameplates, F. Ray Moore Oil Company, Terra Ceia Farms and PotashCorp Aurora — stepped up to the plate to assist, either by making monetary donations or providing goods and services.

One of the highlights of next weekend’s celebration will be the opening of a time capsule buried on the grounds of Camp Hardee. There are plans to bury a new capsule, with mementos of the 100th celebration and life as a Girl Scout in Beaufort County in 2012.

For information about becoming a Girl Scout in Beaufort County and the surrounding areas, visit

Girl Scouts gave them a head start in life:

  • Hillary Rodham Clinton: former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state;
  • Elizabeth Dole: former U.S. senator and former president of the American Red Cross;
  • Lucille Ball: award-winning comedienne and actress;
  • Joyce Brothers: psychologist and television and radio personality;
  • Condoleeza Rice: former U.S. secretary of state;
  • Anna Fisher: astronaut;
  • Sandra Day O’Connor: former justice of the U.S. Supreme Court;
  • Barbara Walters: television journalist;
  • Susan Lucci: actress;
  • Dionne Warwick: singer;
  • Phyllis George: former Miss America, actress and television personality;
  • Peggy Fleming: Olympic gold medalist in figure skating;
  • Danica Patrick: Indy racecar driver;
  • Ann Landers: advice columnist;
  • Gloria Steinem: author;
  • Carole Gist: former Miss USA;
  • Cathy Rigby: Olympic gymnast and sports commentator.

Source: Girl Scouts of America