Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines is proud to announce a new council patch commemorating National African American History Month. The patch was created and designed by Girl Scout Troop #3432 of Clayton, N.C., as part of the council’s Design Your Own Patch contest. As the contest winner, the patch now becomes a part of the Council Patch Program and is available for other council Girl Scouts to earn. The design of the patch honors the first African American Girl Scout troop and features the phrase “Girls United.”
Girl Scout Troop #3432 worked together to determine the theme of the patch, the patch design, and the specific requirements for earning the patch. The girls drew from their own knowledge and personal experiences as they developed the patch requirements. They wanted to ensure that Girl Scouts who earn the patch fully understand the significance of the African American contribution to American History, from the simple to the life-changing events.
The Council Patch Program is designed for Girl Scouts to earn patches by exploring a wide variety of topics. Each patch requires Girl Scouts to complete an age appropriate number of activities in the categories of Discover, Connect, and Take Action, which are the three keys to leadership central to all Girl Scout experiences. The requirements for earning the Black History Patch include doing research to learn facts about important African Americans who had an impact on the history of both the United States and North Carolina, reaching out to local NAACP chapters, visiting a North Carolina African American Cultural site, and connecting with fellow Girl Scouts in African countries.
Girl Scouts have historically blazed a trail for diversity and inclusion. The first African American Girl Scout troop was founded in 1917, over 40 years before the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As early as the 1950’s, Girl Scouts began working to desegregate all Girl Scout Troops (Source). Dr. Gloria D. Scott became the first African American president of Girl Scouts of the USA in 1975. Over the past century, African American women have taken leadership positions within the organization and nearly 300,000 African American girls now proudly call themselves Girl Scouts.
Girl Scout Troop #3432 is a multi-level troop with girls in kindergarten through 8th grade. They are led by Robin Colbert and are supported by the pastor and congregation of Mount Vernon Christian Church. Adult volunteers who played an active role in assisting the girls include Rev. Dr. Terence K. Leathers, Dr. Kim Leathers, Deacon Jamie Rowland, Wendy Rowland, and Janice Atkinson.