Director Christine Smith
Formation of a Junior Girls Unit
Throughout my years as a Ladies Auxiliary member, I have heard a number of stories from my Ladies Auxiliary sisters of their time as a Junior Girl and the fun they had as they prepared themselves to be future Ladies Auxiliary members. With pride in their voices and nostalgia in their hearts, they realized the lifetime commitment they have made to this organization and our veterans.
There is no greater investment than in our children and no greater pride than to see our children grow into responsible adults. That does not happen by accident. In the days when civic responsibility was taught in the home and school, children learned from a very young age about patriotism and respect for our country and our veterans. As time has gone on, our education has been homogenized and distorted and our young people do not have that sense of self, and of what is truly important and what is trivial.
Through our Junior Girls Units, we have an opportunity to shape our future leaders and teach them the values and skills that make our country strong as our founding fathers meant us to be. This is our National President’s goal this year, and our time and commitment will have far reaching effects in “Keeping Our Veterans & Families Strong” today and tomorrow.
As I mentioned at the National Convention Youth Activities Workshop, when working with our youth, the learning processes goes both ways. So, open your hearts and minds, as the experience will keep you young as you continue to grow.
I am excited and pleased to receive notice that there are five new Junior Girls Units in the process of being instituted this term. Congratulations to those Auxiliaries and Units!! I expect to hear wonderful things from your Departments.
For those Auxiliary members who have daughters or grand-daughters between the ages of 5 and 16, please consider starting a Junior Girls Unit. Opportunities to bond with your child, to teach and foster patriotism and appreciation for our veterans will create memories you both will cherish for the rest of your lives.
For those Auxiliaries whose Posts have adopted a military unit, contact the Active Duty Unit Liaison and let them know if you have a Junior Girls Unit or if you are starting one, and invite their daughters, granddaughters and sisters to join. Let them know about all of the wonderful ways the Junior Girls support our deployed troops and veterans at home.
Also, I have received several inquiries about what to do at the first meeting of a new Junior Girls Unit. A new Junior Girls Unit is similar to a new Ladies Auxiliary. The first meeting should be an official swearing in of the new Junior Girls members by the Ladies Auxiliary President, Department or Auxiliary Youth Activities Chairman or one who has held a higher elective office in the Ladies Auxiliary.
Once they are members of the Junior Girls, they can take a short recess and determine who will hold offices in the unit. This can be agreed upon prior to the meeting, if you wish, and you can then go into the rituals for nominations, elections and installation (reference the Junior Girls 3Rs Booklet on the Program è Resources page on the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW website http://www.ladiesauxvfw.org/programs-page/resources/.
I hope you are inspired and energized to begin a new Junior Girls Unit in your Auxiliary. “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way,” is not only a song lyric. It’s a certainty. So, it is up to us what type of future there will be for our country and our veterans.