103 Years: A Look Back (and Ahead) at Girl Scouting

As we embark on the 103 birthday of Girl Scouts, we reflect on our rich history and the exciting future that is upon us.

In 1912, our founder, Juliette (Daisy) Low had a vision to provide life building skills that were currently offered to young boys. She wanted every girl no matter her race, socioeconomic status, or religion an opportunity to cultivate their character, skills, technical knowledge and service to others. During a time when women’s rights were on the cusp of becoming the talk of the nation, the idea of creating an all-girl organization was not welcomed. But the opinions of a few people couldn’t stop the destiny of Girl Scouting. And as the saying goes, “the rest is history.”

Today, the Girl Scouts has 2.8 million members and is focused on enhancing the outdoor experience, including adding a brand new outdoor strategy! We are continuing to look towards the future by building four Centers of Excellence that will focus heavily on nature, equestrian programs and the environment, adventure camping and waterfront activities, an introductory camp experience, and how yummy foods relate to science! We are encouraging girls to pursue interests in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), financial literacy, and strong outdoor leadership and living a healthy life. With the help of our community, involved parents and dear partners, it’s up to us ToGetHerThere.

Stay tuned for our STEM Center of Excellence opening in the fall at Camp Whispering Cedars!

***

A replica of the first Handbook for Girl Scout, 1913.

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Inside, this book taught girls all about how they can help their country through the use of essential skills.

Like cooking outdoors…

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How to tie all sorts of useful knots…

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practicing important drills in the event that someone gets injured…

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Morse code…

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and how to find their way around using The Mariner’s Compass.

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***

In the 1933 edition of the Girl Scout Handbook,  General Baden-Powell addressed the positive influence that being a Girl Scout can have on someone.

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It reads:

A new handbook is like a rising barometer. It points to all being well with Scouting in the United States, with promise of yet better to come. This barometer is equally true of the movement all over the world whither it has spread and is flourishing and gives promise of greater things yet before it.

Girl Scouts, as you work and play together at the different forms of Scouting, you are sure to understand the other girl’s point of view, even if it differs from your own.

Go ahead; stick to your Scouting, make yourselves efficient as you can; be good friends with your sister Girl Scouts from other countries, and when you are older, don’t forget the comradeship of your Scouting days.

Remember that your promises were made on your honor, and a Girl Scout’s honor is a very big thing. She may be trusted on her honor to do her best.

It is the spirit in which the law is carried out that really matters. That is the whole essence of our success. The spirit of Scouting may be summed up briefly as “the work of a friendliness and cheerful service.”

 Here’s to another century  of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

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***Sources***

1. Cordery, Stacy A. The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts. New York: Penguin
Group, 2012. Print.

2. Baden-Powell, Robert S.S. “From The Chief Scout.” Girl Scout Handbook,
Intermediate Program. 1940. 3. Print.

3. Hoxie, W. J. “How Girls Can Help Their Country.” The 1913 Handbook for Girl
Scouts. 1913. 33-91. Print.

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