WILLIAMSTOWN -- With a needle and thread in hand, Ginny Sheldon rushed to get patches sewn onto her Girl Scout sash Sunday afternoon.
She had plenty of time to sew them on but had waited until just before the ceremony celebrating the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting to do so.
"Fifty years later, I'm still sewing them on," Sheldon said, laughing. "I work well under pressure."
Sheldon, a former Girl Scout, joined about 50 other former and current Girl Scouts and their families at the Little Red Schoolhouse on Sunday to mark the day, which will be 100 years ago today, when Juliette Gordon Low founded Girl Scouting.
In attendance were members of Girl Scout troops 11648, 40036 and 11626 of Williamstown and Lanes borough, Girl Scout troops 40003 and 11341 of Williamstown and Girl Scout Troop 11442 of Lanesborough and Cheshire.
"Today we celebrate 100 years of building girls of courage, confidence and character," Jennifer Welch, a troop leader and Girl Scout Service Unit ONE manager, said Sunday.
She said Low believed that all girls should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally and spiritually.
"With the goal of bringing girls out of isolated home environments and into community service and the open air, Girl Scouts hiked, played basketball, went on camping trips, learned how to tell time by the stars and studied first aid," Welch said.
Within a few years of that first Girl Scout
Currently, there are more than 3.2 million girls and adults in the United States who are members of the Girl Scouts and more than 50 million women who are alumnae, she said.
State Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, D-North Adams, told daisy, brownie and junior Girl Scouts at the celebration that she had fond memories of her time as a Girl Scout when she attended Notre Dame School in North Adams.
"We learned about a lot of different things, such as cooking, keeping our spaces neat, making friends and being a good friend," she said.
She asked the girls if they wanted to run for elected office, and a few raised their hands.
"As you get older, there are more things you can do to help out your elected leaders," Cariddi said. "We need a lot more women leaders."
At 3 p.m., the Girl Scout Promise and Law were recited in conjunction with other Girl Scouts in Central and Western Massachusetts.
The event also included opening and closing flag ceremonies, a ‘promise circle' and a candle lighting ceremony.
"It's really an honor to be part of this," Reva Whitman, 10, of Cheshire said.
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