Marion Gleaners and Girl Scouts celebrate 100 years of scouting

MARION -- Last week the Marion Arbor of the Gleaner Life Insurance Society continued an annual tradition of hosting a November meeting of Marion Girl Scout troop 3489.

Gleaners members, scouts and troop leaders gathered at the Marion Area Historical Museum on Nov. 13 for the yearly get-together.

This year’s event held special significance as the local troop joined others across the country that have held programs to commemorate 100 years of scouting.

The scouts trace their origins to 1912 when Juliette Gordon Low first met with a group of 18 girls, launching an organization that has played a role in the formative years of millions of American women who are Girl Scout alumnae.

Joanne Chamberlain, who served as a troop leader for 15 years, presented a brief history of the Girl Scouts citing the benefits of membership and key milestones in the growth and development of the organization.

“I’ve been a part of scouting for years and I think it’s a good well-rounded program for girls that helps teach them responsibility and working together with others,” said Chamberlain. “I’ve seen a lot of girls go on to become troop leaders and it’s so important these days for girls to learn leadership skills they need to succeed in the workplace and in their careers.”

To honor generations of scouts and the ideals that inspired them, the Marion troop staged a fashion show modeling uniforms of the past, providing a nostalgic glimpse of the early days of scouting.

The girls donned uniforms representing a century of evolving styles. A highlight of the show was a striking two piece uniform from the 1970s with dark green slacks, vest and matching beret modeled by Chloe Philo.

A craft activity followed the fashion show. The scouts put their creative skills to the test selecting colorful ribbons, flowers and other festive ornaments to decorate gold or silver reindeer, gifts from the Gleaners, that they took home to become part of the family holiday decor.

“I’m really into crafts,” said troop member Faith Wright. “I like the crafts we do at the meetings and how I can have time to spend with girls in my grade.”

Amber Gould, who has been the troop leader since 2009, is following in her mother’s footsteps. “When I was a scout, my mom was the troop leader,” she saId. “Now I’m the leader and we meet once a week in the VFW hall.”

Ten troop members, all in the fourth grade, attended the meeting and participated in the fashion show as models or narrators: Emily Barron, Makenna Hubble, Loren Kempher, Nicolette Maddox, Madison McLeod, Marlaina Nehmer, Chloe Philo, Natalie Stahl, Hailie Switalski and Faith Wright.

“We’ve been hosting the annual meetings in November with the scouts for more than five years,” said Gleaners member Donna Geyer. “We really enjoy it and we appreciate the support of the Marion Area Historical Museum for letting us use their meeting room.”

To learn more about opportunities for Girl Scout membership in Marion, contact Gould at (231) 388-5070.