Since 1912, the Girl Scout experience has positively influenced and transformed the lives of millions of girls and women! Stay connected and change a girl's life! As one of the 50 million Girl Scout alumnae, you are forever linked to a rich and vibrant movement! Click here to register your alumna status.
Famous Girl Scouts
Albright, Madeleine — former US Secretary of State Brothers, Joyce, Dr. — Psychologist; Radio & TV Personality Bush, Laura — Wife of President George W. Bush Carey, Mariah — Singer and Actress Carter, Rosalyn— Wife of President Jimmy Carter Clinton, Chelsea — Daughter of President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton Couric, Katie — Anchorwoman, CBS Nightly News Danner, Blythe — Actress Day O'Connor, Sandra — Associate Justice, US Supreme Court Dole, Elizabeth — Former President, American Red Cross Fanning, Dakota — Actress Fields, Pam – Mrs. Fields Cookies Founder Fleming, Peggy — 1968 Figure Skating Gold Medal Olympian Jones, Star — TV Reporter, Court TV Landers, Ann — Advice Columnist Pauley, Jane — TV Reporter, "Dateline" Ray, Rachel — Cook, Talk Show Host Reno, Janet — Former US Attorney General Rodham Clinton, Hillary — US Senator Steinem, Gloria — Author Stewart, Martha — TV Personality, “Martha Stewart Living” Walters, Barbara — Anchorwoman of ABC "20/20" and Co Host of “The View” Warwick, Dionne — Singer Williams, Venus – Tennis Professional
Local Alumnae Stories
Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. These local women are proof of that!
Celebrating the 50 Year Anniversary of the 1959 Senior Girl Scout Roundup
From 1956 to 1965 more than 40,000 Senior and Adult Girl Scouts traveled to one of four Senior Girl Scout Roundups. They were held every three years in Michigan, Colorado, Vermont, and Idaho, each hosting 10,000 girls and adults in primitive camp settings. Girls came by train, bus, and car from all over the United States and overseas to attend the Roundups and returned home with the energy and passion for Girl Scouting that made each Girl Scout council stronger.
In the years since, these remarkable women have become state governors, CEOs, Council Presidents and Board Members, Council Staff members, bankers, doctors, teachers, nurses, engineers, cancer researchers and much more. In July 2009, the Roundup Alumnae and Girl Scout friends traveled to Colorado Springs, the site of the 1959 Roundup. Read more.
Senator Lisa Baker represents the 20th Senatorial District which encompasses parts of Luzerne, Monroe and Susquehanna counties, and all of Pike, Wayne and Wyoming counties. She was sworn in to serve her first term on January 2, 2007.
Senator Baker was a member of a Girl Scout troop in Dallas, PA. “Brownies was my first experience with scouting,” says Senator Baker. “I still cherish a few arts and crafts that my mom saved, including the Mother’s Day card that had my photo in the Brownie uniform.”
When asked about her fondest memory, camping came to mind. “My fondest memory is my first trip to Camp Louise. It was a special summer full of meeting new friends, being away from home for the first time and learning how to enjoy the outdoors,” she said.
In addition to her Senatorial duties, Baker serves as chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. She is a member of the Communications and Technology, Community, Economic and Recreational Development, Education, and Public Health and Welfare committees, and the Community College and Sportsmen caucuses. Most recently, she served as the executive director of The Blue Ribbon Foundation, which was established to support health and wellness initiatives in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania. In each of these roles, she worked with officials from federal, state and local governments, the business community, and other concerned citizens, to create a better Pennsylvania.
Senator Baker is a graduate of Dallas High School and Shippensburg University where she received a B.A. in Government Administration. She is also a graduate of the Anne B. Anstine Excellence in Public Service Series, the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and the Strategic Leadership for State Executives program at the Governor's Center at Duke University.
Denn, Ginny (Celebrating 70 Years as a Girl Scout!)
Bear Creek resident Ginny Denn (last row on right) celebrates 70 years as a Girl Scout! Her story was highlighted in the Citizens Voice, a Wilkes-Barre newspaper March 2, 2008. The 80 year old joined Girl Scouts when she was 10 years old and made a career in Girl Scouting, serving professionally since 1953. Denn is seen here with troop 2831. The girls in the front row are wearing Girl Scout uniforms from the past, including some of Denn’s own.
Hildesheim, Roberta (York, PA)
Works at Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center in York, PA
Joined Girl Scouts in 1954 in Philadelphia when she was 10 years old
Earned Curved Bar award—the highest GS honor from 1940-1963
“I was in the city of Philadelphia. I believe the troop number was 378, it was held every Monday night from 7 to 9 p.m.” Roberta Hildesheim smiles when she thinks back on her time in Girl Scouts. She joined in 1954 when she was 10 years old and stayed involved over the years eventually becoming an assistant leader. “I believe it really helped fortify my values, my family values back at that time,” she says. “It was very much God, country, kindness. You treat everyone with respect. I think they instilled really strong values.”
One of her fondest memories involved Girl Scout cookies. “This will date me, because I remember when we sold Girl Scout cookies, I think they were 35 cents a box. And then they went up to 40 cents and at that time I believe the troops got a nickel a box.” It wasn’t the cookies or the money, but rather what her troop did with that money that left such a big impression on her. “For two years our troop saved up and we ended up going to Washington D.C. and went to 30th Street station and took the train and when we got to Washington D.C. there was a charter bus that took us around.” Roberta was just a teen then, but the hard work and perseverance it took to raise enough money for that trip created a lasting impression on her life.
In the late 1950s, Roberta earned the Curved Bar award. That was the highest honor in Girl Scouting from 1940-1963. “I know it was a strict regiment that you went through,” said Roberta. “I know you had to do so much volunteering and helping and I remember it took a lot of research. It was all tied into God, country and service to others.” After the Curved Bar, First Class became the highest honor. That was replaced in 1980 when Girl Scouts introduced the Girl Scouts Gold Award for girls 14-18 and the Girl Scout Silver Award for girls 11-14. In 2001, the Girl Scout Bronze Award was introduced for younger girls and today the three awards are a highlight of the Girl Scout experience.
For more than 95 years, Girl Scouting has proven even when times change, values remain and Roberta is a living example of that. She is no longer involved in Girl Scouts, but still uses the skills and values she learned back then to help others in her adult life. Roberta now works at the Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center in York, PA helping with youth educators. The center’s main goal is to educate and inspire people to make healthy choices in their lives. The center offers 25-30 programs for kids ranging in age from preschool to high school. There is also a comprehensive health education program for adults to help them make changes to reduce their health risks and enhance their quality of life. It’s also a place many Girl Scouts go to participate in programs and to earn badges.
While Roberta helps educate America’s future leaders about staying healthy, she also has a vision for the future of Girl Scouts. “If anything, my suggestion might be for the future is to keep instilling in the girls that they are special, that God made them and they are unique and not everybody’s the same, but everybody has good qualities. I think it’s just to keep instilling in the girls their worth and they can make a difference no matter where they are in their country, they can make a difference in other people’s lives.”
C. Lou Kirchen
Kirchen, C. Lou (Scranton, PA)
Gazing out a giant glass window adjacent to her office, C. Lou Kirchen sees Montage Mountain near Scranton, Pennsylvania. The view is reminiscent of the place where Kirchen spent her childhood as a Girl Scout, some 200 miles away in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Within an instant, Kirchen is called upon, leaving the tranquility and the memories it conjures to enter a bustling newsroom.
Kirchen is president and general manager of WNEP-TV, the ABC network affiliate in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. She also oversees the management of three additional television properties: WTKR-TV in Norfolk, Virginia; WHNT-TV in Huntsville, Alabama and WQAD-TV in Moline, Illinois. In 2003, Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal named her one of the community’s top business women. She is a leader.
Kirchen believes her success can be traced back to one simple decision she made many years ago. It was a decision to join Girl Scouts. “A lot of who we are in life is a result of decisions we make throughout our lives,” says Kirchen. “Things that you learn at every level, build who you are.”
Two college aged women led Kirchen’s Girl Scout troop when she was young. She says they helped shape her ideas about leadership and camaraderie. “My best mentors in life have always been women,” adds Kirchen.
Kirchen’s fondest Girl Scout recollections include camping, learning about botany and making aprons and decorating them using stencils carved from potatoes. She loved listening to her friend’s mother, a former Girl Scout who assisted wounded soldiers in Belgium during World War II, speak during troop meetings. It was a natural progression for her to volunteer as a Girl Scout leader throughout her college years, mentoring a group of physically and mentally challenged Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouting taught Kirchen the value of volunteering. She says, “I think scouting sets the fundamentals for volunteerism.” It carved a path of giving back to the community that’s evident by the half a dozen boards she serves on in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area including, the Boys and Girls Club, United Way of Luzerne County and the Scranton Cultural Center.
“Girl Scouting introduced me to things I never would have tried. Along the way I learned self discipline in a safe environment where there were no limits and I believed I could achieve anything,” says Kirchen. “Girl Scouts goes with you, the leadership, social skills – you can only find in Girl Scouts. You may have other social networks, but nothing is as broad and encompassing as Girl Scouts.”
Mitchell, Amanda (York County)
Amanda Mitchell joined Girl Scouts when she was a first year brownie around the age of six or seven in York County and stayed in the council until she graduated from high school.
When she first moved up to cadettes and senior, her troop was the only cadette/senior troop in the area, so there were about 30 girls in her troop. Amanda says as the years went on, her troop slowly but surely lost girls. By the time she graduated in 2005 only 3 girls were left in her troop.
“We had said for a long time that we would take a long trip and originally it was going to be to Europe but then 9/11 happened.” So the group decided to go down the east coast starting in North Carolina.
“We took weeks to go from North Carolina to Florida, with stops in between with South Carolina and Georgia. The one reason why we wanted to go to Georgia was because we said that we wanted to see the Juliette Gordon Low house. Ever since I was a little girl in Girl Scouts all of my troop leaders said that if we ever had the chance, to go to the Juliette Gordon Low house.
When we got there we were very excited to see the house where it all began. I remember walking through the house and thinking wow this is where this whole organization all started from. I remember seeing her bedroom and the guest bedroom. I also remember seeing the living room with all of the pictures in there.”
Amanda believes every Girl Scout should visit the Juliette Gordon Low House, “It is such an amazing sight to see.”
Spiese, Sue (Cedar Rose)
“Being a military brat, my family was always on the move. I attended 2 different 1st grades, 3 different 3rd grades, moved for 4th grade, moved again and attended 2 different 5th grades…you get the idea. One constant that was my rock was Girl Scouting.
The military is very supportive of both Boy and Girl Scouting and every duty station my dad went to found a scout troop waiting to welcome me. Not only was it a great way to meet new friends but it afforded me the opportunity to attend many great events, trips, and to become a seasoned camper.
The start of my freshman year in high school found me at Heidelberg American High School in Heidelberg, Germany and I attended there freshman through junior years. I remember my senior troop giving an Easter party for kids at a thalidomide clinic. I attended a primitive camping event for a week where we purified our own water and dug our own latrines, and I visited the Bavarian resort town of Berchtesgaden, London for a week, and, best of all, one of our Girl Scout World Centers, Our Chalet, in Adelboden, Switzerland with my scout troop.
I truly believe that scouting saved my sanity my senior year of high school. We left Heidelberg 3 weeks before the start of my senior year and moved to Van Nuys, California, just north of LA. I not only hated leaving Heidelberg where my classmates would be graduating in the castle, but LA was a major culture shock. I’d attended a department of defense school for military dependents where girls couldn’t even wear pants. It was a closed campus and you could not enter or leave during school hours without permission. This school had an open campus…people came and went all the time. Dress code was…whatever! Aside from my younger sister, Birmingham High School had no other military brats that I knew of. A high school that had some percentage of brats would have had other kids like me…just moving in for their senior year. This was not the case at Birmingham. It was so hard to make friends until I found the local senior troop. This was also the year that it became apparent that my parents had some serious problems and home was no refuge because of that fact.
Scouting allowed me to get away from the tension at home and the school where I felt like an alien and slip into a familiar and comfortable environment where there were lots of constructive activities. My troop in LA ran a camp for Brownies one weekend in Malibu Canyon, worked with disadvantage kids, and attended a camping competition that I enjoyed tremendously. In fact, that senior troop was the best troop I was ever in and it came just at the right time. I had some wonderful leaders and Lillian, my leader in LA, was a life-saver. I’ve tried to honor them all by serving other girls the last 27 years as an adult Scout. After all, someone did it for me and made a difference in my life. I can only try to return the favor.”
Senator Pat Vance
Vance, Pat (State Senator, PA’s 31st District)
Senator Patricia H. Vance represents Pennsylvania’s 31st District, which encompasses Cumberland and York Counties. A professional nurse, Senator Vance is the only member of the House and Senate with a medical background. She has been a member of the body since 2005 after serving 14 years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Since becoming a member of the Senate, she has authored six laws. These laws grant immunity to employers who respond in good faith with reference information on current or former employees; streamline foreign adoption procedures; require nurses to obtain 30 hours of continuing education every two years; blend the state's prescription drug program for low-income seniors with Medicare Part D; loosen barriers to routine dental care; and define and license assisted living facilities.
While a member of the House, she authored more than a dozen laws and has received numerous awards for her legislative and community stewardship. Senator Vance was also one of 30 women honored statewide as making domestic violence history by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence to mark its 30th anniversary.
Before her political career, Senator Vance was a Girl Scout. She says scouting gave her a chance to learn new things. “One of my fondest memories of Girl Scouts was going to Camp Pine Grove. Since I grew up in the city, this is where I learned camping skills and how to swim.”
Vance continues to be active in her community as a member of several charitable, community and religious organizations, including as a board member of Stabler Foundation and Caring Place; and as a trustee of Harrisburg Area Community College.
She also serves on the Holy Spirit Hospital Capital Region Maternal Assistance Committee, Keystones of Public Health Steering Committee and United Cerebral Palsy Advisory Committee, and is a member of St. James Presbyterian Church.