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Foreword 00 Introduction 00

1912–1919 Something for the Girls of America 00

1920s Eyes on the Future 00

1930s Beacon in a Troubled World 00

1940s World at War 00

1950s The Great Outdoors 000

1960s Social Change 000

1970s New Roles for Girls and Women 000

1980s Modernization 000

1990s Technology | A Changing World 000

2000–present Leadership | Girl Power 000

Index 000 Acknowledgements 000

JGL had this photo taken for her Halloween Birthday message of 1924. Taken in the same yard where first Girl Scouts met in 1912.

12, 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Georgia after a trip to England during

which Low learned of—and was captivated by—the British Girl Guides organization. From its original membership of 18 girls, the organization grew to its current membership of 3.3 million girls and adults. Over 50 million girls and women (and counting!) have been Girl Scouts. From the beginning, Low was focused on the great outdoors, camping, athletic pursuits, and a connection to the natural world, and these have remained significant components of the Girl Scout organization. Low believed that physical strength and competence increased self-reliance, and that American girls needed to have active lives outside the home, where they could contribute to society as full citizens. As a deaf woman, Low believed that disability need not keep girls from reaching their full potential and that a diverse and varied membership would make the Girl Scouts a richer organization and more relevant in the world at large. Over the past 100 years, the Girl Scouts have made improving the lives of girls—and inspiring girls to improve the world around them—their singular mission. Their success has changed the course of countless lives around the world. Many of today’s female role models, women at the top of their fields in every arena, are former Girl Scouts who attribute their determination, integrity, and achievement to their experience with Girl Scouts. As the Girl Scouts approach their second century of impacting the lives of girls and women worldwide, it is safe to say they will continue to be at the forefront of helping to shape the leaders of the future for generations to come. Here’s to the next 100 years!




he Girl Scouts were founded on March


1912-1919 Something for the Girls of America 8


Something for the Girls of America



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plays with roles for all the other children and fell in love with the studio arts, painting, drawing and 1912-1919 Something for the Girls of America

sculpting in particular. It was during these summers that Juliette fell in love with the great outdoors, organizing camping and hunting trips, unorthodox for girls at the time. An animal lover, she seemed always to have at least one dog, a tradition she kept up throughout her adult life. As a teenager, Juliette was sent to boarding school at Virginia Female Institute, which still exists in the name of Stuart Hall School, and later to finishing school in New York City. When her schooling was finished, Juliette began what were to become her regular excur12

sions to Europe, where she was to eventually spend part of each year. It was in England that she met British millionaire William Mackay Low, whom she married in1886, against the wishes of her father, who was hoping for a more traditional choice. Low was a man who lived large, mingling with royalty, entertaining large groups of friends at his Scottish estate and traveling around the world on glamorous hunting expeditions with his equally worldly companions. Juliette, however, was searching for her own life’s purpose. Due to an injury, she could not enjoy the outdoor pursuits she had always loved, so she turned back to art, from sculpting and carving to interior design. When Low died unexpectedly in 1905, Juliette found herself wealthy but still somewhat purposeless. She continued to divide her time between London and Savannah, for the most part, unsure how she was going to fill the rest of her days.


A Girl Scout takes a foul shot in a basketball game while two scouts stand by the goal. Eight scouts stand on the sidelines. Setting outdoors on playground BOTTOM

Packed and Ready for Camp. Savannah, Ga. Early Savannah Ga Pix.


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The Rally The Rally was the Girl Scout magazine that was launched in 1917 and published in various formats until 1979. For many of these years it was the most successful and widely read publication for girls in America. After 1920 the 1912-1919 Something for the Girls of America

name of the Rally was changed to The American Girl, which remained its title until publication ceased.


The Golden Eaglet Golden Eaglet Movie: The movie every Girl Scout should see. Follow the 1918 adventures of Margaret as she forms a Girl Scout troop, communicates using semaphores, and cares for a soldier’s family on her way to earning the Golden Eaglet.


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Crouching for the start.

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It quickly became clear that a special category was required for younger girls

a national headquarters and invested a substantial amount of her own fortune in order to make the Girl Scouts a success from the very beginning. Juliette herself was the Girl Scouts first president, an honor she would assume for the first five years. By 1916, over 7,000 girls had joined, and the National Headquarters had been established in New York City, after a brief sojourn in Washington DC, where they remain to this day. Girl Scouts grew more quickly than Juliette herself had dared dream. World War I provided an opportunity to underscore the service aspects of scouting, so attractive to Juliette from her initial observations of the British Girl Guides and her personal values. The Girl Scouts threw themselves into the war effort, attracting attention for their civic mindedness and leading more and more girls to join up. As the Girl Scouts continued to grow, however, even Juliette’s substantial personal fortune was not enough to support ongoing expansion. Although Juliette herself made sacrifices at home to protect her funding, including banning electric lights in her

who wished to take part in Girl Scouts, leading to the creation of the Brownies in 1916. The creation of Brownies also increased the length of time girls were able to be active Scouts. Brownies are generally 7- and 8-year-old (or second and third grade) Girl Scouts who wear brown uniforms and participate in age-appropriate versions of scouting activities, earning badges and holding meetings like their older counterparts. Brownies today become Brownies after a bridging ceremony elevating them from their Daisy status.


in a number of states around the country, created


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Inclusivity A lifelong sufferer of chronic ear infections, Juliette had lost her hearing in one ear after harmful, ineffective treatments. In a bizarre series of events at her wedding, involving

1912-1919 Something for the Girls of America

a grain of rice thrown for good luck puncturing her eardrum and becoming infected, she became virtually deaf. Due to her own disability as well as her firmly held convictions, Juliette believed that tolerance and diversity were essential to her life’s great passion: Girl Scouts. From the very beginning, the organization took pride in its efforts to make Girl Scouts available to girls of all races, religions, income levels, geographic locations and citizenries. Decades 20

before the Civil Rights movement, African American girls were proud and active Girl Scouts; long before today’s immigration controversies, Hispanic girls earned badges and joined troops all over the country. In Juliette’s mind, Girl Scouts welcomed with open arms any girl who was willing to live up to the ideals of the Girl Scout Promise and Law. Since its origins, Girl Scouts has only become more inclusive, and today’s Scouts include girls with disabilities and special needs of all kinds, living in correctional facilities or homeless shelters and in countries all over the world.


Welcome Mrs. Woodrow Wilson when she visited the National “Little House” during Girl Scout Week to review the Arts & Crafts display made by Girl Scouts in their established & day camps. 10/30/35. BOTTOM

First Ladies

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In 1917, First Lady Edith B. Wilson

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launched what was to become an important tradition by agreeing President of the Girl Scouts. Since that date, every subsequent First Lady has assumed the role, including Michelle Obama, in 2009, who made a statement calling the Girl Scouts “a positive force for change—in their own lives, their communities, and across the globe.”


to become the Honorary National


Girl Scouts  

To commemorate its 100th anniversary, Girl Scouts of the USA is launching a yearlong celebration that kicks off with this special look at it...

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