History of the GHACCYO
GALVESTON-HOUSTON DIOCESAN COMMITTEE ON GIRL SCOUTING
In 1965, at the suggestion of many Catholic leaders who wanted to encourage activities which would help the Catholic Girl Scout fulfill the first part of the Girl Scout Promise, Bishop John L. Morkovsky appointed a Chairman to study the situation and see what, if anything, should be done. The ensuing survey showed that at least three thousand Catholic girls were in troops organized out of Catholic schools and there was an estimate that about another three thousand were in troops organized out of public schools. With this information, a committee was organized and they set out to form a program through which the Catholic Girl Scout could, in her own way, adhere to the first part of the Promise, “to serve God”.
While this committee is a structure of the Church, under the Diocesan Youth Office, it worked in cooperation with the San Jacinto Girl Scout Program Committee. It was officially founded in April 1965, and was approved by the Program Committee on May 11, 1965. Mrs. Frank Zimmerman and Monsignor JJ Davis were founding Chairman and Spiritual Advisor. Other charter members were Mrs. James Current, Mrs. H.H. Terry, Mrs. Louise Stranahan, Mrs. L.C. Mays, Mrs. Joseph Precup, Mrs. James Honea and Mrs. S.D. Polochino, and Mrs. J.R. Bosworth. The Girl Scout staff Program Director was Mrs. Owen Curts.
PURPOSE AND GOALS
The committee set the following as its purposes and goals:
The general membership of this Committee consists of all Girl Scout adults associated with Catholic Girl Scouts
The committee bagn the pursuance of its purpose and goals by encouraging leaders to encourage the girls to work toward their religious awards, namely, the Marian Award which is a national award for Cadettes and Seniors, and by establishing awards for Brownies and Juniors, namely, the St Agnes Award and the Salve Regina award, respectively.
The first public recognition came in 1967 on Girl Scout Sunday when Bishop Morkovsky presented the initial awards to Catholic Girls at St Pius V Church in Pasadena. Later, an all-level program of spiritual activity was held at Marian High School and this was followed by a summer retreat for Juniors, Cadettes, and Seniors at Camp Arnold. The Committee’s objectives were well launched. Since that time individual days of activities have been held on the various program levels, another retreat and a Mother-Daughter Inter-Faith retreat have been held. Girl Scout Sunday celebration is well established on a Diocesan level and highly encouraged on a parish level.
In April of 1975, a National Conference on Catholic Girl Scouting and Campfire was held in New Orleans for the purpose of gathering together the many different committees throughout the natin and trying to establish a better system of communicating, sharing, and learning. The National Director of the Youth Office of the United States Catholic Conference was a guest speaker at the conference and presented information regarding the plan for a national award for Junior girls, the relationships between Girl Scouts, USA, and the United States Catholic Conference and many other things. At this point, a resolution was presented to the conference asking the United States Catholic Conference to approve a National Committee on Catholic Girl Scouts and Campfire Girls. This motion carried and the resolution went to the USCC. It was approved by their Department of Education in June, 1975. Committees will be set up on a reginal basis and from these committees, the National Board will be formed.
In August, 1975, this committee was informed that the Galveston-Houston Diocesan Committee has been selected to pilot the new award for Juniors (ages 9-11). It is entitled I LIVE MY FAITH and will be on a nine month test period. It replaces the Salve Regina Award for the 1975-76 year and at the end of the evaluation period, we will decide if we choose to retain the award.
Currently, a task force is evaluating and possibly revising the St Agnes Award for Brownies and their decisions will be revealed at the general meeting on September 25.
Also, a Policies and procedures Task Force is working on a manual to be presented at the September 25 meeting.
An awards Task Force will be appointed to redefine the eligibility of awards, both for girls and adults, and to recommend procedures to the Board for carrying out the same.
The enclosed calendar shows our hopes and plans for the future. We feel it is bright and hopeful and that the committees, interested adults and girls who have participated in the last ten years have made an indelible mark and have been a positive force to keep the first part of the Girl Scout Promise, “to serve God”.