Girl Scouts – Issued 1962

The Scouting movement began in England in 1907 when Lieutenant General Robert Baden-Powell held the first boys’ scouting encampment.  He later published a handbook, called Scouting for Boys, based on books by Canadian-American Ernest Thompson Seton (The Birchbark Roll of the Woodcraft Indians) and British William Alexander Smith (Boys’ Brigade) and on rewriting his military book, Aids to Scouting, aiming it towards youths rather than soldiers.  Baden-Powell wanted to marry the ideas of physical play and learning about nature with a military-esque structure.  Defined as a program of informal education with an emphasis on self-education in the outdoors based on natural learning processes, the scout method proved very popular with boys of all ages and generated interest among girls, as well. In 1910, Baden-Powell and his sister, Agnes Baden-Powell, introduced the Girl Guides to the British Empire.  Both the Boy Scouts and the Guide Girls gained international popularity in Australia, India, and Europe.  The United States followed the scouting trend, but developed their own groups based on the British model.

In 1912, Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia.  Her friend Jessamine Flowers Link followed with a troop in Tampa, Florida.  Both were modeled on the Girl Guides that Low worked with during long visits to Scotland.  In 1915, the Girl Scouts of the USA were incorporated into a national organization in Washington, D.C. The girls contributed to the war effort during World War I by selling war bonds, working in hospitals, and learning about food preparation and conservation.  After the war, a magazine aimed at Girl Scouts was published called The Rally (later renamed The American Girl).  By 1920, the Girl Scouts of America began to move away from the Girl Guides movement of England, and created their own constitution, bylaws, uniforms, and handbooks. The Girl Scouts’ handbook, Scouting for Girls, lists the laws of the Girl Scouts as the following:

1. “A Girl Scout’s honor is to be trusted.
2. A Girl Scout is loyal.
3. A Girl Scout’s duty is to Be Useful and to Help Others.
4. A Girl Scout is a Friend to All and a Sister to Every Other Girl Scout.
5. A Girl Scout is Courteous.
6. A Girl Scout is a Friend to Animals.
7. A Girl Scout Obeys Orders.
8. A Girl Scout is Cheerful.
9. A Girl Scout is Thrifty.
10. A Girl Scout is Clean in Thought, Word, and Deed.

The slogan of the Girl Scouts is “To Do a Good Turn Daily,” to promote the helping of others as an automatic activity for young girls and to instill in them the ideals of community service.

Click here to read more about the Girl Scouts.

- home - next