Aloha Girl Scouts,
2002, the 90th Anniversary of Girl Scouts®, was an amazing year! Music took on a whole new level and meaning and in our gatherings and Celebrations. At Legend Productions Inc., we received an increased number of e-mails and phone calls from leaders and girls daily, from all across the nation and around the world requesting our music! We have been truly inspired are forever grateful for the privilege in serving the Girl Scout community at large in this way.
Thank You! You’re the reason we’re here! …to help make a difference for “Every Girl, Everywhere!”
90 years and Growing Strong, for Every Girl, Everywhere!
This year, we really started turning up the volume on the FUN in Girl Scouting! In September, 2002, Vol. 5, “Camp Songs for Every Girl, Everywhere!” (Link to order page) made its debut as an album, though the official Every Girl, Everywhere Commemorative single, was released on March 12, 2002 at the official Birthday Celebration in Wash. D.C. With easy, fun dance steps and movements, choreographed by Carla Perlo of Dance Place, Wash. D.C., the song soon swept the nation in video form, taking a life of its own! The Matching Songbook also includes these same dance steps and motions. This album had been by far our most requested collection – the fun, entertaining, frolicking songs and music that Girl Scouts of all ages love to sing!
Melinda – On the Road! . . .
2002 was a true Flagship year in Girl Scout Concerts, Songfests and Giant Celebrations across the nation! I certainly have never accumulated so many frequent flyer miles in one year!
The Year’s Celebrations enthusiastically began in Orlando, Florida on March 2nd, next, spreading into Sarasota, Florida on March 9th. All this while preparations were being made for the Grand 90th Birthday Gala to be held on March 12, 2002, in Washington D.C. …!
The grand Birthday Celebration on March 12, 2002 in Washington D.C. propelled Girl Scouting to a whole new height. Each aspect of the Gala would have made any Girl Scout proud to be a part of such a distinguished Movement! From the moment you entered the elegant National Building Museum decked in its 90th Anniversary corpulent copper-themed decor, you knew something extraordinary was about to happen! Upon arriving, the prestigious list of guests, the courtly food and service, along with the artistic presentations of the 10 Distinguished Women Honorees, one was swept into the realization of just how far Girl Scouting has come in helping change the way we perceive women’s roles in the world!
The esteemed women that were honored that night are all pioneers in the fullest sense of the word. They each paved her way so that our daughters can take on these new frontiers with much more ease than they were able. At one point, as I scanned the room, I was moved to tears as I recalled our humble beginnings and realized just how we are seen in the world today. Though we still have far to go, I felt a deep sense of reverence and pride in the great strides we’ve accomplished as a powerful girl and women’s Movement. I imagined Juliette Gordon Low attending the occasion and her delight at witnessing such a prominent gathering, acknowledging the fulfillment of her dream and celebrating its ongoing mighty impact on the world at large!
The exciting closing to the night, was truly a high point in my life! Eight Girl Scout singers from the Virgin Islands and a wonderful young singer named Aja joined me onstage, along with 125 well-rehearsed Girl Scout dancers of all ages from the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital. Together, we officially sang, danced and launched the 90th Celebration theme, Every Girl, Everywhere! The girl’s presence epitomized the reason we were all gathered in that room and the air was electrified with the energy, smiles and synergy of the girls and audience to the salsa beat of the music… a moment I will remember for many years to come! Our statement that night flung the door wide open to a new world of exciting possibilities for girls everywhere! It set the stage for our next 90 years in its vibrant enthusiasm and expectation that indeed something quite extraordinary is happening and can happen throughout our Movement!
The next wave of Celebrations began on April 6, 2002, where the Girl Scouts of Tierra Del Oro Council in Sacramanto, CA set a new standard for technical and artful presentations of Girl Scout gatherings! From the 2 giant screens on either side of the stage to the pyrotechnics (fog and fireworks!) and hi-tech lighting and sound, the 13,000+ girls who attended, and the 100 member Girl Scout Choir performers were treated to a professional, awe-inspiring presentation honoring Girl Scouts! Marty Evans, National Executive Director of GSUSA and President, Connie Matsui both joined in the celebration! The entire day activities and evening performances were filled with what we call in Hawai’i, “chicken-skin” moments!
Then on April 27th, the Girl Scouts of the Permian Basin Council in Odessa and Midland,Texas presented their first-time ever Girl Scout celebration for their area, gathering their numbers from as far as 6 hours away! A magical time was had by all when we opened the arena floor, giving the girls and their leaders permission (and room) to dance along with the music! Spontaneous spirals, circles and conga lines lyrically appeared out of the sheer joy and celebration of the day. I’m not sure who had the most fun… the girls or the adults…or me! While there, I had the honor of meeting one of Girl Scout’s National Songleader Icons, Daffy. In the 1960’s she toured with Debbie Reynolds who at the time was the featured spokeswoman and Sonleader for Girl Scouts of the USA’s “Round-ups” which would gather 10,000 Girl Scouts at a time for Camp-outs and Songfests!
The excitement and celebratory atmosphere was contagious as we flew into Washington D.C. once again, this time for the 2nd “Still Singing After All These Years!” On June 8th, over 120,000 Girl Scouts from across the United States made history (herstory) once again, when girls, Leaders, supporters and parents gathered on the Washington D.C. Mall for the sole purpose of lifting our voices together in song! It was an unforgettable, joyful event, spearheaded by the Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capitol Council, joined by 9 other councils in the surrounding Mid-Atlantic area. My Husband, my Daughter and myself were there in force to sing & celebrate along with everyone else! It was a classic Girl Scout Gathering of making new friends, (silver), and meeting once again the old, (gold!) immersed in the music!
Then, on June 22nd, it was onward to Chicago where 11 councils in that area combined forces to create “Girl’s Voices – Peer to Pier!”, a 90th Anniversary Celebration which included upwards of 40,000 Girl Scouts® at the Navy Pier! The day’s events included exhibits, show cases, dancers, singers and all the boardwalk activities that the Navy Pier offers! Wow!
To sum up the June Girl Scout concerts in Wash. D.C. and Chicago, they were, as my daughter says, “AWESOME!” Again, we basked in the wonderful support of the music in Girl Scouts®. In fact, from my unique vantage point traveling throughout the nation, I felt the rebirth and renewal of the Spirit of our Movement and our Vision for our girls. I realize how extremely fortunate I was to be personally experiencing this rise of amazing energy from council to council.
Next, the Girl Scout Celebrations charged onward to New York! On October 13, 2002, the Greater New York, Westchester-Putnam, Suffolk and Nassau Councils pulled together, pooling resources and woman-power to make Girl Scout Herstory, in one of the most recognizable venues in the United States! …The first ever Girl Scout Concert at Madison Square Garden! Around 15,000 of our closest Girl Scout girlfriends and family attended and besides Celebrating the 90th Anniversary, this concert also brought focus on support for the United States, New York and Girl Scouts! The event was called appropriately, “Sing Out for America-Girl Scouts® Unite!” The Girl Scout Choirs were Fabulous! News tags on CNN were seen throughout the nation… It proved to be a spectacular event for everyone who participated!
Directly from Madison Square Garden to the Girl Scout National Meeting in Long Beach, CA, the following week, October 17-20! Here, we were able to visit with many Girl Scout Friends, seeing many of you there! Legend Productions Inc. hosted a “Girl Scouts® Greatest Hits” listening station at Booth #1146, creating a little bit of the Hawaiian Islands in our little corner of the Exhibit Hall. There, we gave away free posters and Hawaiian flowers. And once again in the closing ceremonies, everyone danced and sang, “Every Girl, Everywhere!
Next, November 2nd took me to Atlanta, GA, where the Girl Scout Council of Northwest Georgia hosted their own Grand 90th Anniversary Celebration at Six Flags Over Georgia. With about 10,000 girls in attendance, the park became Girl Scouts over Georgia. With 200 girls in the choir from the many surrounding Councils, we took music to the next level and out of the Park!
Then finally, on the 16th and 17th of that month, the Girl Scouts of Flint Hills in Emporia, KS held their special 90th Celebration and concert that included a Hawaiian Luau, Creative Dance session led by me for about 165 Leaders and girls and a fabulous Girl Scout Choir! The entire weekend activities in that town were dedicated to Girl Scouts® and they arrived from far and wide to celebrate together for 2 Days! A more welcoming, enthusiastic and committed group of volunteers and staff cannot be found anywhere! The weekend proved to be an enchantment for us all with many memorable moments!
This year was a very special one for me, indeed! I was blessed to have met and Celebrate Together in music and song with so many Girl Scouts, Leaders and Council members, literally hundreds of thousands of us! Together we have created invaluable experiences in the lives of our girls, memories that will last a lifetime. We have renewed the unity of Girl Scouts, making us ever stronger and setting our purpose in motion once again.
They say that singing releases and activates the joy in your life…
If this is so, then 2002 definitely has been the most joyful year for Girl Scouting® (and for me!) to date! The lift and appreciation I gained from meeting and working with the phenomenal, kind-hearted folks from each Girl Scout council and the marvelous girls in each choir there, is difficult to put into words. All I can say is, it would do the world a great amount of good to know there is so much virtue and kindness in the world, all the time! …a new idea to promote for CNN…
People ask me where I get the inspiration to write songs for Girl Scouts®. I get it from you! Each time we celebrate together, we reconnect to our fundamental beliefs and create new memories and experiences to share with each other! The music carries us and the memories sustain us! Thank you for being a part of my life, thank you, Every Girl, Everywhere!
With Warmest Aloha,