Engage, Empower, Experience
"Girl Power!" Girl Scout exhibit opens at Institute of Texan Cultures
SAN ANTONIO – In 1912, Juliette Gordon Low set forward the founding principles of Girl Scouting: That all girls should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally and spiritually. The program she conceived and ideas she put forward would help shape the lives of some 59 million young women and influence countless others as Girl Scouting continued into the 21st century.
On Feb. 22, the Institute of Texan Cultures, in cooperation with Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas, will open "Girl Power!" The exhibit will look back on a century of Girl Scouting and reaffirm its core principles as the program enters another 100 years of service.
"The values Juliette Gordon Low established have remained consistent for a century," said Angelica Docog, executive director of the Institute of Texan Cultures and a Girl Scout alumna. "She laid the foundation for the nation’s premier leadership program for young women."
At the core of Girl Scouting are three principles: Engage, Empower and Experience. The exhibit will explore and illustrate each of these themes with stories from local "Girl Scout Greats" and artifacts from local and national Girl Scout programs.
Many girls and parents will recognize the first artifact at the exhibit’s entrance as a replica of the Storybook Tree from Camp La Jita. Visitors will have the opportunity to share their experiences and the impact Girl Scouting had on their lives by writing their memories on "leaves" and placing them on the tree.
Just behind the tree, Girl Scouts will recognize a giant sash, replete with badges that call to mind shared experiences and achievements. The sash was originally created in 1972, for a Girl Scouting 60th anniversary celebration, held overseas.
Among the many artifacts on display, the museum will show an early Golden Eaglet award, Girl Scouting’s highest honor, which evolved into the modern Gold Award. Anne Schelpher earned San Antonio’s first Golden Eaglet in 1936.
"The Girl Scout Gold Award gives girls the opportunity to create sustainable change in their communities," said Rose González Pérez, CEO for Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas. "Our council is delighted to highlight this prestigious award in the exhibit and to bring more awareness to the organization’s aim to challenge today’s girls to make the world a better place."
Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas was chartered in 1924 and now serves 21 counties. Notable alumnae include State Senator Leticia Van De Putte, San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley, and a diverse roster of public officials, business owners, physicians, lawyers and executives.
"Girl Scouting has impacted so many lives," said Docog. "It is a commonality many cultures share and it is a unique culture unto itself, with its traditions and values passed from generation to generation. This is a wonderful opportunity for Girl Scouts to explore their heritage and for family and friends to learn about the institution that has molded girls of strong moral character for 100 years."
The Institute of Texan Cultures is located on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd., a short distance from the Alamo and the River Walk. Regular hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults (ages 12-64); $7 for seniors (ages 65+); $6 for children (ages 3-11); free with membership, UTSA or Alamo Colleges identification. For more information, call 210-458-2300 or visit TexanCultures.com.
The Institute of Texan Cultures serves as the forum for the understanding and appreciation of Texas and Texans through research, collections, exhibits, and programs. The museum strives to become the nation’s premier institution of contemporary cultural and ethnic studies focusing on Texans and the diverse cultural communities that make Texas what it is. An agency of the Vice President for Community Services at The University of Texas at San Antonio and a Smithsonian Affiliate, the 182,000 square foot complex, featuring 45,000 square feet of exhibit space and five re-creation Texas Frontier period structures, is located on the UTSA HemisFair Park Campus in downtown San Antonio. Resources for multiple audiences are available at TexanCultures.com.
In partnership with more than 7,000 adult volunteers, Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas serves 23,500 girls in its 21-county jurisdiction. Girl Scouting helps girls in grades K–12 develop the courage to experience new adventures, the confidence to defy self-doubt and the character to impact a community. For more information, visit girlscouts-swtx.org.