COLUMBIA – The recently elected South Carolina women legislators, including MaryGail Douglas from Fairfield County, were officially welcomed as new members of bipartisan Honorary Girl Scout Troop 1912 on Febr. 27.
First formed on May 11, 2011, the troop membership is composed of all women in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Until the election of Sen. Katrina Shealy, there had been no Senate representation. The troop number 1912 is in recognition of the year Girl Scouts was founded.
The event took place at a monthly breakfast meeting of the S.C. General Assembly Women’s Caucus at the Blatt Building near the State House. The two Girl Scout councils in the state, Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina and Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands, were one of the breakfast hosts.
The new members present participated in an investiture ceremony conducted by Mary Winter Teaster, chair of the Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands board, and Belinda Copeland, chair of the Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina board.
The ceremony welcomes new members into Girl Scouting. As part of the ceremony, the legislators made the Girl Scout Promise and recited the Girl Scout Law after they received their official membership pins. New Honorary Girl Scout Troop 1912 members are Rep. Beth Bernstein, Rep. Heather Ammons Crawford, Rep. MaryGail K. Douglas, Rep. Raye Felder, Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell, Rep. Leola C. Robinson-Simpson, Rep. Donna Wood and Sen. Katrina Shealy.
Girl Scouts’ legislative focus, both on a state and national level, encompasses four primary areas: promoting girls’ physical, social and emotional health; increasing girls’ involvement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); advancing the cause of girls in leadership; and strengthening their financial literacy
“With the involvement of these exceptionally bright, talented and diverse women, we couldn’t ask for more effective advocates for girls and young women in those areas,” said Kim Hutzell, president/CEO of Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands. “They will play a critical role in educating other state legislators and branches of South Carolina government about the barriers that hinder girls and young women from leadership opportunities.”
Joining the newly invested members, founding members also recited the Promise and the Law. Already invested members are Rep. Rita Allison, Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, Rep. Chandra E. Dillard, Rep. Shannon S. Erickson, Rep. Laurie Slade Funderburk, Rep. Phyllis Henderson, Rep. Jenny Anderson Horne, Rep. Patsy G. Knight, Rep.Deborah A. Long, Rep. Elizabeth R. Munnerlyn, Rep. Wendy K. Nanney, Rep. J. Anne Parks, and Rep. Anne J. Thayer.