Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:42 am, Fri Sep 21, 2012.
By Kristen Coppock Staff writer
Troop leader Amy Stern, who organized the "Big Birthday Blowout," was notified this week by email that the group’s record had been certified by the international organization.
“I was just ecstatic,” Stern said. “We’re hoping this will spur other girls to join Girl Scouts.”
The March 11 candle party was a way for the 43 Medford troops to honor the Girl Scouts’ centennial. The worldwide organization was started March 12, 1912, by Juliette Gordon Low.
“It was a historic occasion, and we wanted to do something really memorable. What better way to celebrate a birthday than by blowing out candles?” said Stephanie Runner, manager of the Medford Girl Scouts service unit. “We also wanted to show the girls they can set goals and accomplish really great things.”
The previous world record of 250 people simultaneously blowing out candles was set during a New York City corporate event in 2011.
During Medford’s record-breaking event, all Scout ranks, from Daisy to Ambassador, were represented by girls in kindergarten through 12th grade. As they blew out their candles, Mayor Randy Pace and Fire Chief Thomas Thorn served as official witnesses, while seven other compliance monitors ensured that all Guinness requirements were met.
Organizers submitted video and photographic evidence of the feat, along with official witness statements and other documentation. Stern said they had expected to hear Guinness’ decision on their certification months ago, but the organization had been kept busier than usual at the Olympics in London.
“We were patient, and our patience paid off,” she said.
On Wednesday, many of the girls who participated were reunited at Freedom Park to celebrate the Guinness certification.
“They were all smiles,” Stern said. “It really meant a lot to many of these girls.”
A member of the Medford service unit, Stern said some of the girls had expressed “a lifelong dream” of earning a Guinness world record. They could be listed in a future edition of the organization’s famous Book of World Records.
In addition to blowing out candles, the girls used the record attempt to collect about 425 pounds of food for the Food Bank of South Jersey.
“Whether it’s a world record or a food drive, girls can achieve their goals,” Runner said.
The 378 girls who participated in the March 11 gathering will receive Scout patches to add to their uniform sashes and vests.