The Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains recently celebrated the 90th anniversary of Camp Kiwanis Girl Scout camp.

“It’s amazing how far that camp has come after 90 years,” said Kathi Schutz, GSTOP community engagement coordinator.

The Girl Scouts celebrated their 107th year as an organization this past March. Schutz said they’ve stayed relevant throughout their years because programs meant to inspire innovation and career opportunities have evolved with the changing times.

“We’re really good at being innovative with the girls’ needs of today. Our founder, Juliette Gordon Low had 18 girls in her first troop and she knew that she couldn’t just continue to do the same old thing, she was going to have to find different ways to inspire them as they grew older,” she said.

“We’ve stayed relevant with what girls need and want and what they’re facing every day,” said Becky Burton, GSTOP CEO. “We were founded before women could vote and that’s amazing that she knew that women can do and are doing great things, and we kept building on that.

“This is their program – it’s girl lead.”

“It’s really about the dynamic of the girls, what they want to learn and what they want to aspire to,” Shutz added.

The organization introduces girls to a myriad of experiences and opportunities with four pillars of foundation -- entrepreneurship, STEM, healthy living and being outdoors. Recently they’ve introduced 30 new career related badges including coding, cyber investigation and robotics.

“We’re moving at the speed of girls,” Burton said. “The neat part about Girl Scouting is that the girls get to have a lot of opportunities and try new things.”

Nationwide, the organization has a goal of putting 2.5 million girls in STEM field careers by 2025.

Their programs may have changed but their core value -- the Girl Scout promise to be honest, fair and a sister to every Girl Scout has never changed.

Also consistent is their dedication to remaining an all-girl organization.

“We are an all-girl organization and we’ll continue to be an all-girl organization,” Burton said. “The all-girl environment is so important for our girls and the outcomes that have been proven from that space (are evident). Girls benefit in an all-girl space and I think I can confidently say that boys benefit in an all-boys space.”

Another consistency is their 101-year-old tradition and largest annual fundraiser, selling cookies.

“The cookie program offers every girl and volunteer the understanding of what it means to set goals, set a budget and reach for whatever dream they have for their reward,” Schutz said.

Burton added, “It’s more than just a box of cookies – it’s all the programs and it’s all the opportunities that a $4 package of cookies gives back to our girls.”

The pair said that selling cookies helps develop important life skills like having self-confidence and making eye contact.

Typically, the cookie sale is held from January to March. Locally, girls use the money raised from those sales to earn cookie bucks which can buy items in the GS shops or pay for their trips to GSTOP’s camps in Amarillo, Glen Rose, Crosbyton and Sweetwater. If you don’t want to buy cookies for yourself, Schutz added that you can buy them for the Troop to Troop project, and they will send them to troops in our US military.

GSTOP serves 82 counties -- three in Oklahoma and 79 in Texas. 3,200 girls are in GS troops in Potter and Randall counties alone. Schutz and Burton said GSTOP and the thousands of girls they mentor have a promising future.

“We have a huge future!” Schutz proclaimed.

Burton said, “We will continue to be relevant to our girls and our volunteers and give them what they need and encourage them to be leaders of themselves and of their families; so we will continue to build and build.”