Today marks 100 years since Juliette Gordon Low assembled eighteen girls and started the first Girl Scout troop in Savannah, Georgia. She believed that all girls should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually. With the goal of bringing girls out of isolated home environments and into community service and the open air, Girl Scouts hiked, played basketball, went on camping trips, learned how to tell time by the stars, and studied first aid, which they still do today.
I know many people think that all the Girl Scouts do is sell cookies. While Girl Scout cookies are a major part of the organization, there’s more to it than just Thin Mints and Samoas (a.k.a. Caramel DeLites!) Did you know that…
*Ten of seventeen women (59 percent)in the United States Senate are former Girl Scouts?
*Forty-five of seventy-five women (60 percent)in the House of Representatives are former Girl Scouts?
*Fifty-three percent of all women business owners are former Girl Scouts?
*Seventy-six percent of all Girl Scout alumnae reportthat Girl Scouts had a positive impact on their lives?
*Girl Scouts was founded “for all the girls” and as early as 1917 had troops for physically disabled girls? There are also records of African-American troops in New York in the 1920s; American Indian and Asian troops as early as the 1930s and 1940s; as well as a continuing history of innovative special projects involving underserved populations such as migrant girls, Mexican-American girls, girls in the inner-city, girls in rural areas, girls with mothers in prison, girls in Head Start programs.
*The first sale of commercially-baked Girl Scout Cookies took place in the Philadelphia council in 1936? Participating in the cookie sale teaches a girl important life skills such as the importance of organization and the need to be responsible.
*During both World War I and World War II, Girl Scouts served their country on the home front collecting waste fat and scrap iron, growing Victory Gardens, and selling defense bonds? During that time, special programs on seafaring and aviation, called Mariner Girl Scouts and Wing Girl Scouts were developed for Senior Girl Scouts.
*Caring for the environment has always been part of Girl Scout program? Early handbooks contained information on conserving materials and protecting nature. In 1945, the first Lou Henry Hoover Memorial Forest, was dedicated by Girl Scouts in honor of their twice former President and later honorary president. In 1970, Eco- Action, a nationwide environmental education and improvement program, began. In 1992, GSUSA launched a nationwide environmental service project known as Girl Scouts Care for the Earth.
*The Contemporary Issues series was developed in the 1980s to help girls and their families deal with serious social issues? The first, Tune In to Well Being, Say No to Drugs, was introduced in collaboration with a project initiated by First Lady Nancy Reagan. Subsequent publications dealt with issues such as child abuse, youth suicide, literacy, and pluralism.
*Girl Scouts inaugurated a health and fitness national service project, Be Your Best, to promote different ways of being healthy, keeping fit, and eating right in 1992?
*In 2011, GSUSA introduced a financial literacy program for all levels of Girl Scouts?
Isn’t that cool? Girl Scouts of the USA is the largest organization for women and girls today, and has some pretty neat alumnae as well: Katie Couric, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, Sandra Day O’Connor, Hillary Rodham-Clinton, Lucielle Ball, Gloria Steinem and more! How many of you LivLunatics were Girl Scouts? Did any of you earn your Gold Award?