My San Francisco: Girl Scouts of America’s 100th Birthday

  • Combining my spiritual discipline of photography and my long-time love of San Francisco, here is the next installment in my series “My San Francisco.” There is a little more info here, but suffice it to say that I am not trying to provide a comprehensive look into any gathering or neighborhood, but rather to provide a small glimpse into the beautifully complex San Francisco landscape. If you know of any events, gatherings or neighborhoods that I should try to get to, please let me know. In the mean time, check out past MySF Posts.

As some of you know, March 12 was the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Girls Scouts of America by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, GA. Both of my daughters take part in local Girl Scout troops and I have been impressed, not only by the content of the program but by the richness of the alumni support and overall trustworthiness of the organization. Our particular group is made of of kids from throughout the city and it provides them another opportunity to expand their experience of San Francisco. As they get older and experience more camps and outings, they will no doubt be blessed by the number of scouts and adults leaders who have committed to shaping the lives of girls for the better. For this and other aspects of Girl Scout history I am grateful.

What is especially important about the Girl Scouts’ rich history of supporting women’s leadership is their insistence on being a voice for all girls, regardless of their background or neighborhood. Founder Juliette Gordon Low’s first 18 Girl Scouts included girls from influential Savannah families, as well as girls from the Female Orphan Asylum and Congregation Mickve Israel. As early as 1917 the first African-American troops were established, as well as troops for disabled girls. One of the earliest Latina troops was formed in Houston in 1922; Girl Scout troops supported Japanese-American girls in internment camps in the 1940s, and by the 1950s, Girl Scouts was leading the charge to fully integrate all of its troops. [Read Full Post]

Our troop is part of the Girls Scouts of Northern California and we gathered at San Francisco City Hall to celebration the 100th birthday.  With city proclamations, speakers and singing the girls had a great time celebrating the day.  Here are just a few of my favorites pictures of the day.

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You can also see the entire album on my Facebook Page and if you want to keep up with the girls scouts here are a few more links of note:


  • CarlMN  

    Very good post, Bruce. I also do not hate Romney, despite my strong disapproval of so much of what he seems to stand for, as well as what he doesn’t stand for. There is yet another (huge) step to take, though. Can we love Mitt Romney for who he really is?

    If not, then we cannot claim to love God. Unless we don’t believe that everything that exists, and everyone who lives is a creation or manifestation of God.

    So the challenge and the opportunity before us is to see beyond the outward manifestations of individuals and into the essence of who they are as human beings. The behaviors are not the person. The true essence of a person is an embodiment of a bit of the divinity of God. Hindus (as well as many others) recognize this when they put their hands together in prayer position and bow to another with “Namaste” – “I honor the place within you where the entire Universe resides; I honor the place within you of love, of light, of truth, of peace; I honor the place within you, where, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us” as Mahatma Gandhi put it. “Love thy neighbor as thyself” is a Christian form of guidance to do exactly this – to love the essential God-nature of each and every person, regardless of how much we might disapprove of and perhaps fear their behaviors.

    Every religion and spiritual tradition offers some statement that is essentially equivalent to the “Golden Rule” of Christianity, thus providing essentially the same guidance to both challenge and inspire us towards our greatest potentials and our highest ideals.

  • Missy  

    Well said, but sadly, no one here seems to recognize that hate knows no party. Have you not seen all the tweets threatening to riot and murder Romney if Obama lost? We have to start being realistic and not think “hate” is owned by Republicans and conservatives. It’s an equal opportunity emotion.

  • Reader  

    I like the following quote:

    “I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them, 1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy: 2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against: And, 3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.”

    – John Wesley
    6 October, 1774

    I feel those words from long ago, still apply and fall in line with your article. Thank you for sharing your views with all of us, and please remember to vote.

  • Dumbsheep Thoughts  

    Bruce….to think you were moderator of the PC(USA)…..also in steep decline.

    • Bruce Reyes-Chow  

      Woud love it it if you left your real name, but I’ll answer anyway. Could you flesh this comment out as I am not sure what exactly you mean? Are you a Presbyterian and what has been your experience with the denomination? I simple do not want to make any assumptions about your perspective.

  • Richard Leonard  

    I’m not sure what is the lesser of two evils–to hate Obama or to be stupid enough to be for him.

    • Bruce Reyes-Chow  

      Richard, thanks for commenting and give a great opportunity for some conversation about language. Are you calling me stupid? My kids read many of these comments and I do need to help them to understand why folks do use language as they do, so any clarification would be great.

  • Small Town Rev  

    I am a pastor in the most conservative (and poorest) part of a generally liberal state. It is important to me that there be “room” for all my parishioners, so I work hard to avoid divisive partisan politics in our common life. This means that there are those who don’t really know where I “land” politically and so they include me when they forward an email from their respective political parties. The ones that come from Democrats are consistently about issues, wanting to use their energy and political power to make a difference for the poor and marginalized. The ones that come from Republicans are consistently filled with at best misleading half-truths (and more often outright lies) about the President and Democrats in general. They are more interested in spewing hate than presenting a vision for the future. It saddens me that the people who most readily claim the title “Christian” are the ones doing the least to embody actual Christian values.

    • Bruce Reyes-Chow  

      Thanks for taking the time to respond, you are def navigated a difficult path, but one we all must get better at . . . and WANT to be part of.

  • Julie Punty Olsen  

    The rising tide of hate and vitriol is quite troubling. I’m especially disturbed to see it in my Christian brothers and sisters (though, I don’t hold them to a different standard as that is a peeve of mine – it just surprises me as it’s not what I’ve come to know them to be like). When faced with factual truths that weren’t favorable about the candidate I support I think and respond wow that’s terrible and I look it up to verify the veracity of the claim…but what I’m seeing is others’ complete denial of even the idea that their original viewpoint might be based on a lie that evidence now disproves. To me, that is derived from hate and pride – behaviors that God clearly dislikes His children to engage in. It’s even more disheartening to see pastors perpetuating the divisiveness and hatred. It’s been a wake up call for me personally and I’ve made some changes in my personal associations and those who I have admired in the church and other circles as of late. It’s heartbreaking but a reality that had to be dealt with.

    • Mary Raine  

      Absolutely! I completely agree!

  • Saladdin  

    Beautifully written post. Often, I think we use the word hate too easily, especially when we don’t really mean it.

    • Bruce Reyes-Chow  

      Thank you very much. I very much agree with how the word used with a perceived lack of power.

  • Randi  

    Bruce, I have been following you through your writings and on Facebook and all I can say is “FINALLY someone I resonate with.” I am a Christian person who often feels out of place- being “too liberal” for conservatives and “too conservative” for liberals. Where your heart is at and the care with which you present your take on things gives me hope that there are people out there who can be progressive and Christian, people with passionate opinions and a respect for the opposition. Good for you, Bruce. Thanks for your great work.

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