Some of those ideals, said Byers, are important to remember for a lifetime. They’re the Eight Rules for being a Girl Scout, and “they are beautiful.”
Asked about examples, Byers said, “A Girl Scout is loyal, a Girl Scout is honest, a Girl Scout has courage...”
The Girl Scouts in the United States started before World War I, and by the time Byers joined her first Girl Scout troop in southern Iowa 85 years ago, there were around 200,000 Girl Scouts nationally.
What she liked about Girl Scouts as a child were some of the aspects she liked as she grew: “All the different things we did. There were so many girls who wanted to do different things, and I enjoyed everything we did. A lot of it was outdoors.”
Those activities, like camping and building campfires, were some of her favorite.
“My dad was a Navy man, and he taught me lots of things. And I taught them to the children,” she said.
Even as an adult leader, she enjoyed the weekly meetings, including planning for upcoming events like camping.
To celebrate 85 years of Girl Scout service, Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa is honoring Dorothy Byers of Ottumwa at a private ceremony that will be held at her home on December 30. The event will begin with Ottumwa Girl Scouts and GSGI staff members leading a ceremony in tribute to Byers’ dedication and service to the Girl Scouts’ mission.
Following the ceremony, Byers will receive her 85-Year Pin.
Those wishing to congratulate Dorothy can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa say they will share the messages with Dorothy.
To follow reporter Mark Newman on Twitter, see @CourierMark