ORLANDO, Fla. – The Girl Scouts of Citrus is celebrating the accomplishments of women with its new Women’s History and Cultural Center. The center is along Orlando’s Cultural Corridor at the corner of Mills Avenue and Livingston Street.
The nearly 6,500-square-foot center offers the nation’s most robust collection of Girl Scout memorabilia. Girl Scouts of Citrus CEO Maryann Barry said the idea for the center came from volunteers on the archive team.
“They had a dream, a vision, of creating what they originally called a Girl Scout museum,” Barry said. “So as we began talking about how to make that vision a reality, it became apparent to us we needed to do something much more. So we expanded the idea to become the Women’s History and Cultural Center so we could celebrate all women.”
When you enter the women’s history and multicultural center, you’re greeted by a wall of women through the decades.
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“To really ground you in the fact that we are about to really celebrate women and what they have done for this country,” Barry said.
As you tour, you’ll find the story of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts. The organization just celebrated its 111th anniversary.
“We’ve been flexible or we wouldn’t be 111 years old. Today our focus is a little bit different than it was in our earlier days. We are building the scientists, politicians, and the women leaders of the next generation who will help lift this country to the next level,” Barry said. “And in doing so, we have to be very responsive to what’s happening in the here and now and what girls so. The Girl Scouts you see today and the Girl Scouting you see going on around you is very much different than what you saw years ago. And I think that’s a misconception. People don’t always realize we’ve kept up with the times.”
And while the Women’s History and Cultural Center highlights famous faces in Girl Scouting, Barry says it celebrates all women.
“When you come to visit us at the Women’s History and Cultural Center, what we really hope to do is inspire you. Whether you are a woman, a girl, a man, or a boy, none of that matters. This isn’t just for girls and women,” Barry said. “This is to inspire people when they see what women have accomplished. What happens when one person is passionate about an idea, or passionate about a subject, or a social issue and has the bravery or the tenacity to take even the smallest of actions that will impact the future for everyone in a positive way. We hope that when you come here and you see these stories, that you as an individual will be inspired and empowered to do what you want and need to do to make that difference in the world today.”
The Women’s History and Cultural Center is now open to the public. In addition to a permanent Girl Scout Exhibit, it also features rotating exhibits about women’s contributions throughout history, an inspiration room with hands-on activities for kids, a community meeting space, and an outdoor pavilion.
It’s open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. through 3 p.m. and on select Saturdays. You can plan your visit here.
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