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What the History of the Girl Scouts Taught Me About Networking

“Anytime women come together, with a collective intention, magic happens.” - Phylicia Rashad

When I realized that I was writing my 99th column for hertelier, that old road trip classic, “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall,” immediately popped into my head. Probably learned it in the Girl Scouts many moons ago when life seemed kinder, gentler, simpler.


My intention had been to unpack the difference between a change of heart and a change of mind--yes, there is a difference which I will share a bit later, but I got sidetracked, as I often do…and after counting down to 76 bottles of beer on the wall, I got to thinking about the genesis of the Girl Scouts and what inspired the organization’s founder. So, I paid a visit to their website and here’s what I learned:

"Juliette Gordon Low—also known widely by her nickname, “Daisy”—started Girl Scouts in 1912 in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia. The first troop was made up of 18 girls who all shared a sense of curiosity and a belief that they could do anything. At a time when women in the United States couldn’t yet vote and were expected to stick to strict social norms, encouraging girls to embrace their unique strengths and create their own opportunities was game-changing. That small gathering of girls over 100 years ago ignited a movement across America where every girl could unlock her full potential, find lifelong friends, and make the world a better place.”

famous girl scouts
L to R: Reese Witherspoon, Taylor Swift, Debbie Reynolds

Given the illustrious alumnae, from Queen Elizabeth II to Queen Latifah, Reese Witherspoon, Madeleine Albright, Janet Reno, Condoleezza Rice and Gloria Steinem to Martha Stewart, Taylor Swift, Venus Williams and Dr. Sally Ride, to name a few, “Daisy” was clearly onto something. She understood that when XX chromosomes of any age get together for the common good, agents of change are created, and magic happens!


For a while now, I’ve been concerned that the ever-increasing number of women’s leadership organizations were going to cannibalize each other, which brings me to the difference between a change of heart and a change of mind. Change of heart means your feelings and emotions about something or someone have changed. Change of mind means your thoughts and ideas about something or someone have changed. In writing this column, I have had both a change of heart and mind.

Nancy Mendelson hertelier

"When Women Come Together, Incredible Things Happen" reads the headline for an article on LinkedIn by Naghilia Desravines, MBA , Founder and CEO at WomELLE, who says “The world needs women as leaders and game-changers. Women comprise more than half the population of earth. The reality of making real, positive change is entirely possible if all women come together and speak as a united voice. There would be no way they could be silenced if this were to happen.”

“The world needs women as leaders and game-changers. Women comprise more than half the population of earth. The reality of making real, positive change is entirely possible if all women come together and speak as a united voice. There would be no way they could be silenced if this were to happen.” – Naghilia Desravines

1 Comment


Nico Sheers
Nico Sheers
Oct 20, 2023

The world certainly need their input.


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