Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/for the Washington Post via Getty Images
There’s no age limit to being a Girl Scout — just look at 92-year-old Anna Foultz. The Ocean Pines, Md., resident calls herself the “oldest active decorated member,” but “active” is an understatement. In talking with her, we'd say she’s one of the busiest scouts around.
“I’ll never give it up until the day I die,” she reveals to AARP.
Foultz has been living and breathing the Girl Scout way nearly her entire adult life. Unlike most Girl Scouts, Foultz didn’t join as a child but when she was a mother. She recalls her oldest daughter asking to become a scout in first grade, but when they went to sign up, they discovered there was no local troop. That wasn’t a good enough excuse for her daughter. She wanted to join and talked her mother into starting a local group. Little did Foultz know, this would be the first of many troops she led. The family moved around the country a lot, but no matter where they ended up, one of the first stops in their new city was always the site of the local Girl Scouts chapter. Over the years, Foultz worked her way up from scout leader to organizer to program director and, eventually, to the unique position she’s in today.
Foultz is what the Girl Scouts call a lifetime member. The membership (which requires a onetime fee) is open to anyone over 18 who accepts the principles and beliefs of the Girl Scout movement. In just the past 10 days, Foultz took a group of scouts to the White House, got a handful of people together to ride in a St. Patrick’s Day parade, sold cookies and took countless calls from media organizations — and from a man who called her just to ask how to get help for his dog. This shows the amount of trust and respect she has earned in her community.
So why does she do it? She wants to empower and teach different generations about self-reliance. She wants to give back to a group that’s helped her so much. Today the people she works with range from daisies (grades K-1) to ambassadors (grades 11-12).
“I love working with the children," she enthuses. "I like to give them something that they don’t get in schools. I’m so happy to be around them.”
While Foultz is busy being a Girl Scout, she also gives a lot of time to Star Charities, a nonprofit that she and her late husband, Carl, founded to help raise money for local and national organizations. She even finds time to help with other causes, such as Alzheimer's disease research and veterans groups. And just last year, she published a memoir, Two Steps Forward, about her interesting life. In the book, she credits her husband and the Girls Scouts leadership training program for her smart choices in life and for bringing her so many good experiences.