Rosalynn Carter, another strong Georgia woman, honored and supported the Girl Scout Movement in many ways.
Honorary National President
Mrs. Carter accepted the position of honorary president of Girl Scouts of the USA in a White House ceremony in March 1977. After reciting the Girl Scout Promise, GSUSA President Gloria Scott and National Executive Director Frances Hesselbein attached a membership pin to Mrs. Carter’s dress.
Four years later, Mrs. Carter hosted a fashion show at the White House, where girls modeled the new Cadette and Senior uniforms (the bright green plaid ones). GSUSA officials also introduced her to the new Worlds to Explore program available for all age levels.
Mrs. Carter was unable to attend the October 1978 National Convention, but she addressed delegates by video, wearing the new adult Halston uniform.
This is a very important time in your lives. You exemplify leadership of a very special kind and in fact, you represent democracy at work in Girl Scouting. You are a mixture of accents, races, ages and talents, and I applaud you and your role as volunteers who, working together, create a living tradition of service to God, country, and humankind. These times offer all of us increasing opportunity to exercise leadership.
You are needed to help sustain the momentum of the women’s movement. If peace justice and human rights are to live and grow, they must be supported around the world by Girl Scouting. Beyond our pressing presence concerns, we look to the future. The year 2000 will call for the leadership you represent. Your work at this Convention, this opportunity and challenge you meet today, will build for that leadership tomorrow.Leader Magazine (January 1979)
As a Washington DC resident with a young daughter, Mrs. Carter also supported the local Nation’s Capital Council.
In October 1978, the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital dispatched a carriage to the White House to invite Mrs. Carter to the Washington International Horse Show, an event supporting local Girl Scout activities.
Mrs. Carter enrolled her daughter Amy in a Brownie troop connected with Stevens Elementary School at 21st and L Streets NW, a public school near the White House.
While there are stories of Amy setting up a lemonade stand on the White House grounds, I’ve never heard of a cookie booth at the president’s house.
At least, not yet.
© 2023 Ann Robertson, writer, editor, Girl Scout historian