First Class Memories
Dawn Jolly got her 15 minutes of fame as a Cadette Girl Scout in the 1970s when she earned her First Class Award (1963-81), the highest honor at the time. She remembers because she still has the letter of congratulations from the President of the United States, Jimmy Carter (1977-81). She still has a copy of her picture when it was in the local newspaper. “I felt important for the first time in my life.”
“I remember the ceremony vividly. It was a council-sponsored ceremony. There were only four girls who received the First Class pins and we were from different service units. I was the only one from my troop. The church was full. We were called up individually. Afterwards there was a reception in the back of the church. And later that day, my parents gave me a party at home so all our other family and friends could celebrate, too.”
Dawn wore her uniform proudly at the ceremony: green pants, yellow turtleneck and a vest. Insignia were worn on the sash. Dawn still proudly wears a uniform as a surgical nurse at Crouse Hospital. In her teens she volunteered at Crouse and that helped her achieve the service requirements for First Class. Dawn says that she was driven to earn this award, and she still has lots of drive to accomplish whatever she wants.
To this day Dawn Jolly wears her Girl Scout First Class pin whenever she attends a formal Girl Scout event. It reminds her of the first time she felt really special.
9 years a girl member; 14 years a leader