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.

Rosalynn Carter, Girl Scout History Project
White House Installation Ceremony, March 1977 (GSUSA Archives)

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.

Rosalynn Carter, Girl Scout History Project
White House Fashion Show (GSCNC Archives)

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)
Rosalynn Carter, Girl Scout History Project
First Lady Rosalynn Carter in Halston uniform, 1978 (GSUSA Archives)

Troop Mom

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.

Rosalynn Carter, Girl Scout History Project
CapiTalk (November 1978)

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.

Rosalynn Carter, Girl Scout History Project
Amy Carter (left) and friends with a Girl Scout birthday cake, 1979 (GSCNC Archives)

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

3 responses to “Remembering Rosalynn Carter”

  1. Thank you for sharing a look at Honorary President Rosalynn Carter. She was a very active First Lady.

  2. Ann, once again you remind us of the esteem Girl Scouts once enjoyed and the women who have nurtured and supported the movement. Mrs Carter was a lady of grace and fortitude. Thank you.

  3. Oh dear….I am so sorry to hear of her passing! I am at the same time grateful for her continued life long support of Girl Scouting. My mother was a lifelong Girl Scout too starting in 1913, so I hope they are meeting now. My entire ethical structure came from Scouting for which I am eternally grateful. Roselynn and Jimmy both exemplify those same values.
    – Marty Hassell: Curved Bar, 1965 Girl Scout Round Up, Field Adviser in the
    early 1970’s for the Girl Scouts of Greater Essex County, NJ

Leave a Reply


%d bloggers like this: