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Celebrating Black History Month

The Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital joins the nation in celebrating Black History Month throughout the month of February. We share a rich history and are proud of the great leadership contributions made by African-American girls and women in our council.

Nellie Moss
The first troop for African-American girls was formed in 1917, and in the Washington metropolitan area the first African-American troop was formed in 1924 by Nellie Moss for girls in Brentwood, Melrose, Hyattsville and Bladensburg areas. In 1934, Lelia Scott Thomas and Henrietta Green formed the first Brownie and Girl Scout troops for African-American girls in the District of Columbia at the Dunbar Recreation Center. The creation of troops for African-American Girl Scouts followed in Arlington and Alexandria. 
Troop 66 Captain, Nellie P. Moss
Global Girl Scouting
African-American Girl Scout troops gained national recognition and were active in developing girls' interest in aviation, global travel, new technology and leadership. By the early 1950's, Girl Scouts of the USA took bold leadership steps and began desegregating Girl Scout troops. This was later recognized by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who called the Girl Scouts a "force for desegregation." 
Girl Scouts aboard the Queen Mary on a cruise ship trip to England in the 1960s 
Ethel Harvey
In 1943, Ethel Harvey became a leader for a Brownie troop at Metropolitan Baptist Church and moved on to serve as GSCNC's first African-American President from 1972 until 1981. She led the way for other African-American leaders in the council including: Lois Bell, GSCNC President 1987-1993 and Donella Brockington, GSCNC President 1998-2004. African-Americans play an integral role in the council's leadership. Read the blog by our First Vice President Broadine Brown on her experience in Girl Scouting yesterday and today.
Ethel Harvey,
first African-American President of GSCNC

Marie John at Your Turn to Lead
Today, GSCNC plays an important role in developing leadership skills for all girls throughout the council. We honor the rich African-American culture and history with programs like the DC Step Showcase and Your Turn to Lead at Howard University and an African-Americans in Congress patch program with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and Dell Computer that celebrates the contributions of African-Americans in Congress.
Marie Johns talks with girls during the Power Mentor session at Your Turn to Lead
Donella Brockington
If you are interested in joining Girl Scouts, click here to find Girl Scout troops in your neighborhood. To learn more about the history of African-American troops in our region, visit our Archives page.
Donella Brockington,
GSCNC President (1998-2004)
Areas we currently serve.