Last Saturday, my youngest daughter and I attended an Oklahoma Centennial Event in the heart of Edmond. It was to celebrate our state along with ninety-five years of Girl Scouting in Oklahoma. This statue, of a girl scout planting a tree, was created by Shan Gray and was unveiled during the festivities. For those of you who live close to Edmond, it is located in Mitch Park behind the softball fields and in front of the pavillion. Mitch Park is at the intersection of Covell and Kelly streets.
I wanted to know more about the statue so I contacted Susan Bohl, Service Unit Director for the Trail Blazers Service Unit. The statue cost $25,000, and Susan told me that the girls themselves raised a lot of the money.
“We sold bricks, had car washes, a huge garage sale, a mother/daughter chocolate dreams event, handed out flyers, and partnered with Papa John’s, Panera Bread and Abuelo’s to have Girl Scout fundraising nights at their places of business.”
When the Girl Scouts approached the artist, he said that he only created statues that told a story. That got them thinking about what kind of story they wanted to tell.
“Since this is the 95th year of Girl Scouting and GSUSA has an nationwide effort going on to plant more than 30,000 trees across the country, we decided that was the story we wanted. This bronze lets people know that Girl Scouts have civic responsibility as well as a focus on our environment,” says Bohl.
For my part, the entire day was a blast for our Brownies. We made swaps that reflected historic events or products of Oklahoma. (For those who don’t know, swaps are handmade pins that girls trade.) There were sack races. There were speeches. A Native American dancer from the Muscogee Tribe performed.
I know that the theme of the event and the statue is “Girl Scouts 95 Years and Planting,” and I now know of the statue’s environmental message, but I also think of Girl Scouts as planting seeds for the future and in growing girls who take their responsibilities for the environment and their community seriously. These girls certainly did.
A bronze tree will be added to the statue in 2008 to coincide with Girl Scouting’s birthday. Donations for the rest of the statue will be accepted through November 30th.