Digging wells, building log cabins and furniture, growing corn and potatoes - not activities you would think Girl Scouts participate in, but Anna Shaw did all this and much more. Anna Howard Shaw was born in England and came to America when she was four years old. She travelled to Grand Rapids by train in 1859 when she was twelve years old. When she got to Grand Rapids with her family, they then went by wagon to a log cabin just north of Big Rapids. She came with her mother and four other siblings.
How did I find out about Anna Shaw? She is mentioned in the 1920 edition of Scouting for Girls – Official Handbook of the Girl Scouts. Anna is held up as an example of “our own early history… sprinkled thickly with brave, handy girls, who were certainly Scouts, if ever there were any, though they never belonged to a patrol (troop), nor recited the Scout Laws.”
Anna Howard Shaw went on to do so much more. She was the first woman to be ordained as a minister in the Methodist Protestant Church; she received a M.D. degree from Boston University. And she was a vocal advocate of political rights for women, becoming a confidant of Susan B. Anthony in the woman’s suffrage movement.
You can read about all of this and more in her autobiography, The Story of a Pioneer.
And now you’re probably asking why I’m blogging about Anna Howard Shaw? She told her story to us. Reading her words, I’m immediately transported to pioneer days in the Big Rapids area.
The new Girl Scouts Journey… It’s Your Story – Tell it! is launching at GSMISTS in January. You can learn more about the new Journey here. All of us have interesting stories – tell them – people LOVE to hear stories!
During this holiday season, as you spend time with family and friends, encourage them to tell you THEIR stories. Perhaps those stories will inspire you to tell your own.
The very warmest of holiday seasons to all of you. Be safe, travel safely, enjoy your family and friends.