Girl Scouts Catholic Committee (Diocese of St. Petersburg) at 1600 54th Avenue South, Saint Petersburg, FL 33712 US - History of the Catholic Committee for Girl Scouts
|History of the Catholic Committee for Girl Scouts|
HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC COMMITTEE ON SCOUTING FOR GIRLS The St. Petersburg Diocese was formed in June 1968. At that time, Fr, David Cronin was the Boy Scout Chaplain. He also assisted the Girl Scouts. The First Bishop Scout Recognition Sunday was in November, 1970. Three St Anne Medals were presented on this occasion. The following year, Father Anton Dechering was appointed the Director of the Scouting Office for the Diocese of St. Petersburg, but he didn’t take office until after the Scout Recognition Sunday on November 7, 1971. Bishop McLaughlin told Fr. Dechering that “some ladies were asking for Scouting Programs for the girls” as well as those for the boys. Father Dechering was promptly elected the Regional Chaplain of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting (for boys). When he returned from the National Committee meeting he was inspired to organize the two Diocesan Catholic Committees on Scouting: one for both boys and one for girls. At the national level, the Boy Scouts had a well rounded religious recognition program for each level of Scouting. The Catholic program for Girl Scouts was administered by a subcommittee for Girls’ Organizations of the Advisory Board of the National Catholic Youth Organization. (CYO) The only national Catholic recognitions were the Marian Medal for the Cadette Girl Scouts and the St. Anne Medal for Adults. Hoping to offer more programs for Girl Scouts, the St. Petersburg Catholic wrote to Catholic committees around the country and found that many dioceses were developing their own medals and recognitions for girls. Similarly, the Catholic Committee developed three diocesan programs for girls: the Mother Mary Award for Brownie Girl Scouts; the Queen of the Rosary Award for Junior Girl Scouts; and the Our Lady Award for Cadette Girl Scouts. The National Marian Medal was temporarily moved to the Senior Girl Scout level. At the third Bishop Scout Recognition Sunday, November 5, 1972: the bishop presented four Mother Mary Awards; twenty Queen of the Rosary Awards; six Our Lady Awards; five Marian Medal; and three St. Anne Medals. The Catholic Committee presented the first of the annual Catholic Girl Scout retreats in 1976 and organized the Brownie Day of Recollection the next year. In 1977 we moved the Bishop’s Scout Sunday to the last Sunday in February, just between Boy Scout Sunday and Girl Scout Sunday. We realized that this did not give the girls and boys enough time to complete their projects, so in 1982, it was again moved to the first Sunday in May. Additional recognitions were developed at the national level: the I Live My Faith Award for Junior Girl Scouts (1975); the Family of God for Brownie Girl Scouts (1982); The Spirit Alive program for Senior Girl Scouts (1988); and the St. Elisabeth Anne Seton for Adults (1980). In 1982, the National Catholic Committee for Girl Scouts and Camp Fire was made a standing committee of the newly formed National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. At a diocesan and national level, the Catholic Committee on Scouting for Girls continues an active role in serving the Catholic Girl Scouts of the Diocese of St. Petersburg. In 2011 we introduced a new Diocesan Award, the Guardian Angel Award for Daisy Girl Scouts.