Girl Scouts of America
A Tribute to their History
Chances are you know someone who is or was in the Girl Scouts. Ten out of seventeen women in the United States are former Girl Scouts. But what do you know about the history of this All-American phenomenon? Read on to learn about the early Girl Scouts.
Founder of the Girl Scouts
Founded in 1912, the Girl Scouts was created out of one woman’s desire to see girls and young ladies develop themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. Founder Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low was a phenomenal woman with a flair for travel and adventure. After participating in the Girl Guide in Scotland in 1911, she brought her passion of the outdoors into the homes of southern girls in Savannah, Georgia.
She was quoted as saying, “I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all America, and all the world, and we’re going to start it tonight.” – She literally did start the Girl Scouts that very same evening!
What began with only 18 girls quickly developed into one of the strongest and most impactful groups in America. Today, the Girl Scouts of America has over 2.8 million members (including both girls and adults) spanning over 92 countries.
Early Girl Scout Traditions
Girl Scouts were originally taught hands-on skills in food conservation, outdoor hiking and activities, and nursing and providing care. They were also taught social skills and how to develop their natural leadership abilities to help make the world around them a better and more meaningful place.
During the Great Depression, the Girl Scouts would help gather supplies such as quilts, clothing, toys, and food to help those who were struggling within their community. The Girl Scouts were also early advocates of civil rights.
Here’s a great video from the early days of the Girl Scouts. In this black and white video, you can see the sense of excitement on these girls faces as they join up with their peers in marching down the street in neat, uniform lines and tackle some great outdoor activities like camping, semaphore practice, and how to swim.
If you didn’t think that girls in the 1915’s were rough and tough or that they were sheltered and secluded from the outside world, you have to see this video. It’s incredible how many skills they have that today’s modern girl doesn’t even know about (do you know what a semaphore is?).
Created to inspire girls to join the national movement, this video is dubbed “The Golden Eaglet” and is the story of the Girl Scouts:
The Famous Cookies
So what about those cookies? How did those delicious cookies become a mainstay of our connection and affinity to the Girl Scouts? Believe it or not, those cookies made a very early entry into the Girl Scouts! Starting in 1917 in Muskogee, Oklahoma, a troop utilized the sale of cookies to help finance their upcoming camping activities and the rest, well, is history.
The next time you bite into that delicious Girl Scout Snicker Doodle cookie, know that you are taking part in a rich cultural heritage of American history that is dedicated to service of the highest caliber. Enjoy!
What are some of your favorite or fondest memories of Girl Scouts growing up? How has it changed? Were you a Girl Scout? Answer in the comments below! We would love to hear about your experiences.