By Eileen Bailey

Daily Journal

Merrell Rogers’ long history with the Girl Scouts started with her mother, who was in the first organized Girl Scout troop in Alabama.

Rogers’ mother passed down her love of Girl Scouting. In 1956 when she was 7, Rogers joined a Girl Scout troop on the military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She achieved Girl Scouting’s highest award at the time, the Curve Bar, which is the equivalent of today’s Gold Award.

Throughout her 48 years, Rogers has continued to take part in the Girl Scouts

Rogers became the president of the Mississippi Girl Scouts when she was a senior in high school. She has served as leader of her daughter’s troop. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Prairie Girl Scout Council, which serves 19 counties in Northeast Mississippi, for the last 17 years.

With all that experience under her sash, her selection as president of the council’s Board of Directors should come as no surprise.

Rogers was elected by her fellow board members on Jan. 1. She will serve a two-year term and is eligible for up to six years as president.

“I loved it all,” she said about her years as a Girl Scout and volunteer. As a child, Rogers said she loved to sell Girl Scout Cookies and camping. “Of course, cookies were only 35 cents back then,” she said. Today, cookies are $2.50 a box.

“Girl Scouts teaches girls about life, about self-esteem, and it is a great program for all involved,” she said.

Rogers is excited about her duties as president. “I would like to continue the excellence that is found in the Prairie Girl Scout Council. We have the best council in the state.

Rogers would like to see more girls involved in Scouting. In the council area, one out of eight girls is in the Girl Scouts.

As president, she will provide leadership and guidance for the Board of Directors in areas of policy, finance and goal-setting to ensure that the mission of Girl Scouting is continued throughout the council. One of her first duties was to attend a four-day training seminar, along with 14 other new Girl Scout council presidents.

Rogers’ daughter was one of four girls in Tupelo to receive the Gold Award in 1990. The Gold Award is the highest award given in the Girl Scouts. The award was established in 1980 and her daughter and the others were the first in Tupelo to receive it.

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