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800 Girl Scouts Expected At State Capitol

Posted: 03/15/12 10:27 AM (Modified: 03/15/12 10:27 AM)


[Oklahoma City, OK] – Many of Oklahoma’s women who are serving in the Legislature, in city councils and other elected positions will take the oath to “live by the Girl Scout Law” during a special pinning ceremony at the State Capitol on March 21 as part of Girl Scout Day at the Capitol.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts. As part of the celebration, Girl Scouts in Oklahoma will pin many of the women who are currently serving in elected office or who have served in elected office to the honorary Troop 1912. Members of Troop 1912 will serve as the “voice” of girls in the state, championing issues that directly impact girls in Oklahoma. Honorary co-chairs of Troop 1912 are Rep. Lee Denney and Sen. Susan Paddack.

“As a former Girl Scout, I know the value that the organization has had on my life,” Paddack said. “In Girl Scouts, I learned what leadership meant. I learned how to rely on myself and express my own ideas. I learned that girls have a place in leadership in our state, and I look forward to promoting Girl Scouts as a charter member of Troop 1912, and encourage girls today to pursue public service in any way they want.”

Denney, also a Girl Scout, said it isn’t uncommon to ask women in leadership roles – whether in politics, business, education or any other field – to find they were once Girl Scouts.

“The mission of Girl Scouts is to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place, and that is exactly what is happening,” Denney said. “We see women on both sides of the aisle who learned as Girl Scouts how to work together and how to make change. This is an exciting time for Girl Scouts and I am proud to help launch Troop 1912 in our state.”

The pinning ceremony will take place at 12:45 p.m. on March 21 at the Capitol. Emceeing the event will be KOCO-TV anchor Maggie Stokes, a Girl Scout and current volunteer with Girl Scouts-Western Oklahoma. Girl Scouts from eastern Oklahoma will present the colors, and alumnae from western Oklahoma will lead the pinning ceremony.

Women who are scheduled to be pinned into Troop 1912 are:

Sen. Susan Paddack, honorary co-chair, Rep. Lee Denney, honorary co-chair, Rep. Emily Virgin, Rep. Anastasia Pittman, Rep. Lisa Billy, Rep. Ann Coody, Rep. Marian Cooksey, Rep. Elise Hall, Rep. Jeannie McDaniel, Rep. Skye McNiel, Rep. Jadine Nollan, Rep. Leslie Osborn, Sen. Kim David, Sen. Judy Eason-McIntyre, Sen. Constance Johnson, State Superintendent Janet Barrisi, Presiding Judge for OK Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Arlene Johnson, Former Lt. Gov. Jari Askins, honorary co-chair of Girl Scouts Day at the Capitol, Former Edmond Mayor Saundra Naifeh, Honorary co-chair of Girl Scouts Day at the Capitol, Former State Rep. Susan Winchester, Oklahoma City Council member Meg Salyer, Oklahoma County Clerk Carolynn Caudill, Edmond City Council member Victoria Caldwell, Edmond City Council member Elizabeth Waner, Former Edmond Mayor Patrice Douglas, Mayor of Eufaula Selina Jayne-Dornan, Mayor of Piedmont Valerie Thomerson, Former Crescent School Board member Barbara Kinney

Also on March 21, as many as 800 Girl Scouts from across the state will be at the Capitol for Girl Scouts Day at the Capitol. Many of the women who will be part of Troop 1912 are scheduled to visit with the girls to talk about advocacy and how to get involved in community service. Girls also will take time to meet their individual legislators, and will celebrate Senate and House proclamations announcing Girl Scouts Day in Oklahoma. Gov. Mary Fallin has already declared March 12, 2012 (the actual 100th birthday of Girl Scouts) as Girl Scouts Day in the state. Information booths on Girl Scouts also will be at the Capitol that day.

Serving as honorary co-chairs for Girl Scouts Day is Jari Askins and Saundra Naifeh.

“March 21 will be an historic day for girls and women in Oklahoma,” Askins said. “I fondly remember my days as a Girl Scout, and I continue to support the mission of Girl Scouts in our state. I have seen how important the organization is to the lives of the tens of thousands of girls served in Oklahoma.”

Askins added that Girl Scouts today serves girls in many more ways than some may realize.

“Girl Scouts provides a leadership opportunity to girls and women who are incarcerated in our state so that they make better life choices in the future,” she said. “Girl Scouts is actively encouraging girls to engage in science and technology through robotics programs, to study the environment, to serve others through community projects, and to have fun throughout it all.”

Naifeh, who also has served on the board for Girl Scouts-Western Oklahoma, said she hopes every family in the state will join Girl Scouts this year to support the efforts that the organization makes in the lives of girls.

Girl Scouts is playing a role in turning around some of the negative statistics that Oklahoma has at the moment,” Naifeh said. “Through self-esteem programs, leadership skills opportunities, high adventure and more, Girl Scouts is showing girls how to become everything they desire. When that happens, our high incidences of teen pregnancy, drop-out rates and incarceration rates in Oklahoma will continue to drop.”

Naifeh added that in 2008, the number of teen girls who gave birth was more than double the number of women who enrolled as freshman at OU and OSU that fall.

“That statistic is unacceptable, and Girl Scouts is working hard to change it,” Naifeh said. “I hope everyone comes out on March 21 in support of Girl Scouts in Oklahoma, and the leadership program that it is providing our young women.”

For more information on Girl Scouts in Oklahoma, visit www.gswestok.org for Girl Scouts-Western Oklahoma or www.gseok.org for Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma.


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