March 12,2012 is the 100th anniversary for the founding of Girl Scouts. I find this to be of great significance as we honor and celebrate women world-wide this month with the message exclaiming women’s education and empowerment. The founder of Girl Scouts, a name familiar to those among us that wore the beanies as younger girls, is Juliette Gordon Low.
Ms. Low, known as Daisy to her friends, came from Savannah GA. Not unlike Ms. Hepburn whom I wrote about last week, she came from a family of financial means. She went to boarding and finishing schools before traveling abroad and marrying. The marriage was relatively short-lived however leaving Daisy wondering what she was to do with her life. It was shortly after that she met Sir Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, and became interested in the new youth movement.
Ms. Low returned home to the U.S. and less than a year later birthed the Girl Scout movement. Her vision was grand when she shared her idea with a family member. “I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world, and we’re going to start it tonight!” On March 12, 1912, Juliette Low gathered 18 girls to register the first troop of American Girl Guides. Margaret “Daisy Doots” Gordon, her niece and namesake, was the first registered member.
Today we read statistics such as, more than 50 million American women enjoyed Girl Scouting during their childhood—and that number continues to grow as Girl Scouts of the USA continues to inspire, challenge, and empower girls everywhere. As well as, today, there are 3.2 million Girl Scouts—2.3 million girl members and 880,000 adult members working primarily as volunteers.
I would say the vision “stuck”. Ms. Low’s vision has become her legacy. And we can’t forget to mention the cookies. Who among us hasn’t eaten a Thin Mint or enjoyed a frozen Samoa? In fact I saw packages of Girl Scout cookies in the office today.
As for me…I was a scout as a younger girl making it to the ranks of Cadette before “outgrowing” Girl Scouts(or just being too cool to go any more). I remember walking for miles, back when you could still sell door to door, pulling my wagon full of cookies. As an adult I led a group of 22 energetic young girls for 3 years. It was fun to work with them, get them motivated and take them camping(whew, that was quite the experience!) And cookies?! Well you have never seen cookies until you are the cookie MOM for the troop. Gosh I never thought I would see my front porch again the cookies were stacked so high. I won’t even tell you some of the pain that came from handling the money collected. All in all my experiences were nothing but positive.
I pay tribute to Juliette Low for being such a visionary. Working to create an organization that daily helps to empower and educate girls and women.