Historical Society, Girls Scouts celebrate women

By LISA CAPOBIANCO
STAFF WRITER

As March celebrates National Women’s History Month, Bristol Girl Scouts will learn from and be inspired by a number of women who overcame hurdles during their journey of success.

On March 26, 7 p.m. at the Bristol Historical Society, all Girl Scout troops in Bristol will learn to “push past no” when “overcoming obstacles on the path to success” through an interactive multi-media program facilitated by the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.

From famed geneticist and Nobel Prize winner Barbara McClintock to law pioneer Patricia Wald (the first woman to sit on the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia), to sports icon Joan Joyce, the program called “Pushing Past No” will recognize a number of women who maintained determined despite any obstacles.

The goal is to inspire girls through the stories of Connecticut women who pushed through obstacles to achieve success. The event is free and open to the public.

Bambi Mroz, director of administration and programming who will facilitate the program, said the program will highlight a vast array of women who “wouldn’t stop when they heard the word no.”

Founded in 1994 in Hartford, the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame is an educational outreach organization that aims to “honor publicly the achievement of Connecticut women, preserve their stories, educate the public and inspire the continued achievements of women and girls,” according to the organization’s website.

Through the program, Mroz said she hopes the girls not only gain a “renewed appreciation for the sacrifices of women who came before them, but also a sense of confidence to achieve their own goals.

Allison Valley, leader of the junior Girl Scout troop at St. Matthew School, approached the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame about hosting the program at the Historical Society. The Bristol Girl Scouts will host the Hall’s exhibit, “We Fight for Roses, Too,” which highlights the stories, struggles and achievements of women who shaped the culture and society in the state and nation. The exhibit will display 22 panels with images that recognize the struggle of each woman’s actions as a way to remind the audience that the search for women’s equality has not been easy, according to CWHF’s website. Each woman that appears in the exhibit has been inducted in the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame. The exhibit also is open to the public.

Currently, Valley’s troop is studying to receive the “Agents of Change” badge, which teaches girls to act “on their own” as themselves and as a team and then in the community, said Valley. Throughout every session of the badge, women in history are highlighted.

The theme of the program relates to the purpose of that badge.

About 30 to 40 Girl Scouts are expected to attend the event.

“I hope the girls realize that a lot of people have obstacles, that they are trying to overcome something whether it be a dream they have, or…some kind of change in the community,” said Valley, adding she hopes the program will be a source of inspiration for the girls. “I hope the [program] will allow them to see that people… were able to get through their struggles…and still obtain the goals they had.”

In addition to that program, the historical society will showcase a number of Bristol women who made contributions to the community from Tuesday, March 24 through Friday, March 27 from 5-8 p.m., and on Saturday, March 28 from 12-4 p.m.

The display will feature images of women along with a description of what they achieved or contributed to the history of Bristol. The Girl Scouts also will have an opportunity to interact with that program.

“It’s going to be a learning experience for people who come in,” said Tom Dickau, president of the Bristol Historical Society. “There are many genres of history, like women’s history…so this is just another venue for the Historical Society.”