Dolly Parton Inspires New Girl Scout Patch
It's been a year and a half since Dolly Parton's childhood dream of becoming a Girl Scout finally came true. Now, there is another exciting accomplishment: Thousands of Girl Scouts around the country will wear her story as a badge of honor.
"It's amazing how many young girls are very familiar with not only Dolly Parton, but with that song 'Coat of Many Colors,'" said Mary Leidig of Tanasi Council in Knoxville, Tenn.
Dolly's signature patch Coat of Many Colors tells a story from her childhood.
"When Dolly was little, she was very poor, and her mother went and got some rags and sewed her a coat of many colors," nine-year-old Ally Winters said. "When she went to school, she got criticized about the coat. Now she loved it, but everybody else thought it was horrible," she said.
Ally and other Girl Scouts of the Tanasi Council are taking Dolly's story to heart. Many of the troops have created their own coat of many colors. Scout Jessica Stokey made one out of a coat from home.
"I put things on it that are special to me and what I like. On the back of my coat, I have a picture of me and my best friend, and I have a picture of my grandpa," she said.
Earning the new patch is simple. It represents one of the golden rules of girl scouting.
"It asks girls to step up and lead and look around them and see people in need and accept them for who they are and find ways to help them," Leidig said.
But the thread that ties it all together is inspiration, something Dolly has given to young girls
"I just think she's a real person you should look up to and think well, I've been criticized like that, but I might become like what she is: a great singer or the most famous person," Ally said.
The Coat of Many Colors patch even has Dolly's signature on it. It will be available to all troops this summer.