Their voices resonating, the Girl Scouts’ sang out over Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium. The throngs of scouts, 15,000 in all, had assembled to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Cleveland Girl Scout Council, the scouts’ governing body. They marched on the field with a parade of 38 flags, each representing a country with a scouting organization. Scouts in Latvian and Hungarian garb performed traditional dances, and other scouts from a mounted troop from Berea spurred their horses through a show on the stadium’s cinder track.
Leading them all in songs such as “Girl Scouts Together” and “Song Without Words” was Zelma George, the pioneering local African American opera singer and diplomat. Mayor Anthony J. Celebrezze, The Cleveland Press editor Louis B. Seltzer and U.S. Rep. Frances P. Bolton all joined in. “Watch me,” George said as she led the songs, reported The Plain Dealer. “I won’t be difficult to find.”
The gathering was originally scheduled for May 8, with 40,000 scouts and their families expected. But that was rained out, pushing the event to the end of the month. When rain was also expected on May 30, the Girl Scouts took it all in stride. There were ponchos and songs enough for all.
The Northeast Ohio-area Girl Scout councils, including the one in Cleveland, have since consolidated several times, most recently in 2007, becoming the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio. This year marks 100 years since the founding of the Cleveland Girl Scout Council.