Newborns awarded lifetime Girl Scout memberships to mark centennial

Newborns awarded lifetime Girl Scout memberships to mark centennial

URBANA — She's a bit young to start selling cookies, but just give her time.

Any baby awarded a lifetime membership to Girl Scouts the day after she enters the world must have an order sheet and cartons of Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties and Caramel deLites in her future somewhere.

The lifetime membership distinction went to baby Angeleena Bailey, who was born to Tara and Michael Bailey of Monticello at Carle Foundation Hospital on Monday, the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts of the USA.

To mark the anniversary, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois visited one hospital in each of its service areas — Champaign-Urbana, Bloomington, Decatur, Peoria, Peru, Quincy and Springfield — to award lifetime memberships to the first girl baby born on that day, according to Kelly Hill, membership specialist.

The presentation at Carle was planned for 10 a.m. Monday morning, but 8-pound, 1-ounce Angeleena arrived at 12:17 p.m., forcing the use of the Girl Scout's trusty motto — Be Prepared — to move everything to Tuesday morning.

For Angeleena's family, a lifetime membership means a $12 waiver of the registration fee, should she decide to join Scouting when she reaches kindergarten or later, Hill said.

For the Girl Scouts of Central Illinois, the seven baby girls awarded those lifetime memberships become honorary members of "Troop 2012," representing the future of Girl Scouts, an organization dating back to March 12, 1912, when it was founded by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Ga.

From an original 18 girls, Girl Scouting has grown to more than 3.2 million members, the organization says.

The Baileys may already have Scouting on their horizon, but it's the boy kind they're considering first.

Tara Bailey said her husband was once a Boy Scout, and they've started to talk about Scouting for their sons, ages 2 and 4, as they're getting older.

Having their first daughter named an honorary Girl Scout the day after she was born was exciting, Tara Bailey said, and when she's old enough to join, they'll be interested.

The Baileys will just have to bring in the lifetime membership certificate they were given when they're ready, but even if they lose it, that won't be a problem, Hill says.

"We'll register her now," she adds.

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