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Change Comes and Goes, But Girl Scouts Remains

A Guest Blog from Lynne Lawson Fugate, GSCSA CEO

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Fall is a season of change. A new school year is in full swing. The nights get longer. The temperature drops. Trees lose their leaves. Halloween candy and costumes fill store shelves. Thanksgiving and holiday shopping plans are in the back of people’s minds.

The fall of 2020 has undoubtedly brought a surge of change. The new school year looks even more different than usual. Chill and dreary days are a sharper contrast to the bright, sunny days of summer. It’s up-in-the-air how routine events like fall festivals, haunted houses, and treat-or-treating will occur.

Yet, in this time of ambiguity and unknowns, something is still going strong: Girl Scouts. Since 1912, Girl Scouts has survived through the World Wars, global pandemics, the Great Depression, recessions, civil unrest, just to name a few. This long tradition of perseverance paved the way for Girl Scouting to continue being the premier leadership experience for girls through the difficulties of 2020.

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COVID-19 first affected Girls Scouts by cutting our cookie booth season short, leaving troops with thousands of boxes of unsold cookies on hand. The council was able to buyback those unsold cookies so no troop was in debt. We then cleared the inventory through a digital cookie store and by donating cookies to hospitals, schools, first responders, the non-profit Friends of the Troops, and other worthy recipients.

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Eliza, a Girl Scout Junior, delivered donated Girl Scout Cookies to several places in Johnson City. She said it was, “The best day ever!” 

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These marines, stationed in Japan, received cookies that were donated to Chattanooga non-profit Friends of the Troops.

With in-person troop meetings halted and in-person events not permitted, Girl Scouts had to find other ways to bring programming to girls. Enter Virtual Girl Scouts, a series of videos shared on our Facebook page starring our own staff offering Girl Scout fun to girls at home. These videos take girls through the steps of earning badges, on tours of our camps, and more! After the Virtual Girl Scout video series came Virtual Badgeworks shops, another big hit with over 1,100 girls participating. Now, even though in-person gatherings are slowing being permitted and picking up speed, we still are continuing to offer alternative programming in the form of Virtual Troops. Virtual Troops began the first week of September and registration for upcoming sessions is now open.

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As we move through the fall and into the winter of 2020, and soon into 2021, other changes are bound to come our way. Whether they happen on the global, national, state, or personal stage, Girl Scouts will continue to be here for our members. We understand the importance of there being something that girls can rely on in these remarkable times; we are very honored to be that something. 

Yours in Girl Scouting, 


Lynne Lawson Fugate
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians

Lynne Lawson Fugate is the Chief Executive Officer of the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians. The Council is comprised of 46 counties in eastern Tennessee, southwest Virginia, and northwest Georgia. With nearly 14,000 members, the Council has service centers in Johnson City, Knoxville, and Chattanooga. 

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