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Information: GSP at 75: Building a strong nation through youth development.

The Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP), a dynamic organization of patriotic Filipino girls and young women, is 75 years old today, May 26. The GSP was organized in the Philippines by two women suffragists - Pilar Hidalgo Lim, then national president of the National Federation of Women's Clubs (NFWC), and Josefa Llanes Escoda, NFWC executive secretary. On May 26, 1940, the GSP was chartered as a national organization under Commonwealth Act No. 542, with Escoda as the first GSP national executive.

From a membership of 3,000, the GSP today counts with more than one and a half million girl and adult members, making the Philippines one of the top five member-countries of World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). It was accepted in 1946 as tenderfoot member of WAGGGS during the 11th World Conference at Evian, France, and became in 1948 a full member during the 12th World Conference in Cooperstown, New York.

In celebration of its milestone 75th anniversary, the GSP conducts the Search for 75 Young Achievers to honor former and active Girl Scouts for their notable achievements within and outside the movement as well as their efforts to contribute positively to socio-economic, environmental, and cultural development of communities and the country as a whole. A Diamond Jubilee Songwriting Competition taps the creative songwriting skills of Girl Scouts and adult leaders and highlights GSP's role in the development of every Filipino girl and young woman. The 38th GSP National Encampment in Davao City coincided with the diamond celebration and participated in by 1,300 Girl Scouts and adult leaders from various GSP councils nationwide.

Girl scouting in the Philippines is anchored on the Eight-Point Challenge Program - spirituality and well-being, environment, preparedness, family life, economic self-sufficiency, heritage and citizenship, the arts, and world community. The program is building a strong nation through youth development, involving responsive, relevant and time-tested activities to prepare Filipino girls for life's challenges, guided by the Girl Scout promises to "do my duty, to God and my country, to help other people at all times, to live by the Girl Scout Law."

Field work, outreach programs, camping, spiritual retreats, physical fitness activities, livelihood activities, arts and crafts, and plays are elements of Girl Scouts lives that prepare them for responsibilities in the home and community, starting as Twinkler Scout (ages 4-6) until they reach Cadet Girl Scout (ages 15-21). Every Filipina is encouraged to experience being a Girl Scout at some point in her life and contribute to nation-building as well as to their personal growth. Many former Girl Scouts are in key positions today in the fields of law, business, politics, science, media, academe, and sports.

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Title Annotation:Opinions and Editorials
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:May 25, 2015
Words:447
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