The Atlantic

What Should the Girl Scouts Stand For?

In 1955, readers weighed in on changes made to the Girl Scout Handbook and the international objectives of the organization.
Source: Corbis / Getty

Letters from the Archives is a series in which we highlight past Atlantic stories and reactions from readers at the time.


When Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts of the United States of America in 1912, her vision was one of international understanding and cooperation. It’s unlikely she anticipated backlash from far-right extremists. But 42 years later, in March 1954, an article in an “ultraconservative magazine” criticized the organization’s internationalism, and sparked a wave of as a result of the outside pressure.

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