The Girl Scouts are about more than just cookies! The leadership organization, created over 100 years ago in 1912, has over 50 million alumni. For National Girl Scout Day, March 12, here are some of the well-known female leaders, entertainers, athletes, and other amazing women who started out as scouts.
The Girl Scouts no doubt set the first female astronaut, Sally Ride, on her path to reach for the stars. Ride was a trailblazer in her field, paving the way for girls to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers. After her accomplishments at NASA, she established Sally Ride Science to foster young people’s (particularly girls’) interest in these fields, wrote books about science for children, and spoke to Girl Scouts in a science camp at the Maryland Science Center. The Girl Scouts, which notes that just about every female astronaut was a Girl Scout, has recently rolled out new STEM badges in subjects such as space science and robotics. In a post about Ride’s death in 2012, the organization called her an “adamant Girl Scout supporter who changed the future.” Check out 25 famous people you didn’t know were boy scouts.
The industrious lifestyle mogul Martha Stewart may have learned some of her entrepreneurial skills from her time as a Girl Scout. “Girl Scout camp at South Mountain Retreat [in Orange, New Jersey] taught me the real love of the outdoors, camaraderie, and friendship,” Stewart told ABC News. For the Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary, she featured Junior Troop No. 20190 from her hometown of Nutley, New Jersey, on her show, The Martha Stewart Show, with the audience comprised entirely of Girl Scout members. Here are 21 women pioneers who changed the world.
Legendary Hollywood actress Debbie Reynolds credits the Girl Scouts for helping her find her way as a young girl. “I registered as a Girl Scout, and I want to die as the world’s oldest living Girl Scout,” she told USA Today. “I’ve been one for 70 years…It is such a good program, and it helped me in my youth.” In her memoir Unsinkable, she wrote, “In my heart, I’ll always be a Girl Scout.” According to the Girl Scouts’ website, when asked by Gene Kelly if she could do a particular dance move for Singin’ in the Rain, she replied, ” Yes, I learned it at Girl Scout camp!” Reynolds later became troop leader for her daughter Carrie Fisher’s troop and encouraged other girls to become scouts with the Girl Scout Piper Project. Read about another youth organization that keeps churning out trailblazers.