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Girl Scouts in the United States was founded by a remarkable woman named Juliette Gordon Low. In the late 1880's, before most of today's greatgrandmothers were born, Juliette Low was a revolutionary. She was an environmentalist, a crusader, a woman dedicated to service to others. Above all, she was certain the future belonged to the young. Juliette was born into the wealthy Gordon family of Savannah, Georgia on October 31, 1860, a few months before the start of the Civil War. Known to her family and friends as Daisy, she was a person of many talents, diverse interests, and a strong sense of determination. She refused to let adversity stand in her way. A hearing problem that eventually developed into almost total deafness never stopped her from pursuing her goal. Juliette married an Englishman named William Low and went to live in England and Scotland. The marriage was not a happy one and Juliette was in the process of getting a divorce when her husband died. After that, she traveled for several years and settled in Paris to study sculpture. She met a man who started her on a venture that would become her life's work. That man was Sir Robert (late Lord) Baden-Powell, an English General and war hero who had founded the Boy Scout Movement only three years earlier. The Boy Scout Movement had spread to several countries. In England, it resulted in the formation of a similar organization for girls. It was the girls themselves who took the initiative, forming groups similar to those their brothers joined.
This new movement was just the sort of thing that appealed to Juliette Low, and she was soon back in Scotland leading a Girl Guide group of her own. As her interest in Girl Guides grew, Juliette was eager to introduce the program to American girls. Back in America, she telephoned an old friend to say, "Come right over. I've got something for the girls of Savannah, and all America, and all the world, and we're going to start it tonight." The time was 1912. Women led far more restricted lives than they do now, but change was in the air. Women were beginning to realize that many activities were barred to them through customs and prejudice. They were becoming convinced they could do hundreds of things that up until then only "radicals" and “eccentrics" had suggested women could accomplish. It was time to launch a program designed to help girls look beyond their sheltered lives. Most important, Girl Scouting pointed that way to independence through fun experiences that broadened individual knowledge and skill. The first meeting of Girl Scouts was in Savannah on March 12, 1912. In no time, troops were forming in many areas. By World War I there were enough Girl Scouts to make a real contribution to the war effort. Girls helped realize Juliette Low’s dream of becoming active, vital citizens. Founding Data - Juliette Gordon, Low, founder, organized the first group of girls on March 12, 1912, in Savannah Georgia. Girl Scouts of the USA was Incorporated June 10, 1915 in Washington, D.C. Girl Scouts of the USA was Chartered by the United States Congress March 16, 1950. National Honorary President Laura Bush Chair National Board of Directors Cynthia B. Thompson
Facts about Girl Scouts of the USA
Who we are:
Girl Scouts of the USA is the world's preeminent organization dedicated solely to girls - all girlswhere in an accepting and nurturing environment, girls build character and skill for success in the real world. In partnership with committed adult volunteers, girls develop qualities that will serve them all their lives, like leadership, strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth. Today there are 3.6 million Girl Scouts 2.7 million girl members and 860,000 adult members. Founder Juliette Gordon Low organized the first group of Girl Scouts on March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia. Through membership in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), GSUSA is part of a world-wide family of ten million girls and adults in 140 countries.
What we do:
In Girl Scouts, girls discover the fun, friendship and power of girls together. Through a myriad of enriching experiences, such as extraordinary field trips, sports skill building clinics, community service projects, cultural exchanges, and environmental stewardship, girls grow courageous and strong. Girl Scouting helps girls: develop their full individual potential; relate to others with increasing understanding, skill and respect by teaching values to guide their actions; develop a foundation for sound decision making; contribute to the improvement of society through their abilities, leadership skills and cooperation with others.
Girl Scouts is open to all girls ages 5 – 17. Girls participate through more than 226,000 troops and groups in the United States and in 81 countries through Girl Scouts Overseas. Through more than 300 local Girl Scout Councils, the opportunity for Girl Scout membership exists in every corner of the USA. More than 43 million women in the United States have enjoyed Girl Scouting during their childhood. Daisy Girl Scouts are 5 – 6 years old; Brownie Girl Scouts are 6 – 8 years old; Junior Girl Scouts are 8 – 11 years old; Cadette Girl Scouts are 11 – 14 years old; Senior Girl Scouts are 14 – 17 years old. It is never too late to be a Girl Scout Approximately 99 percent of all adults in Girl Scouts are volunteers. Women and men interested in volunteering in a variety of capacities are encouraged to contact their local Girl Scout Council. Messages about Equal Access to Girl Scouting that Need Consistent Interpretation Basic Beliefs and Principles of the Girl Scout Movement: Girl Scouting is open to all girls. As stated in the basic beliefs and principals in the Preamble to the Constitution of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., “”The Girl Scout Movement shall ever be open to all girls and adults who accept the Girl Scout Promise and Law.” Admission to Troops: A girl who meets or can meet membership requirements shall not be denied admission to any troop because of race, color, ethnicity, creed, national origin, or socioeconomic status. Selection of Adults: Every adult volunteer and executive staff member in Girl Scouting must be selected on the basis of qualifications for membership, ability to perform the job, and willingness and availability to participate in training for it. In selection of adults, there shall be no discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity,
sex, creed, national origin, or socioeconomic status. There shall be no discrimination against an otherwise qualified individual by reason of disability or on the basis of age. Members of Girl Scout council board of directors and the National Board of Directors shell be selected so that the boards of directors represent diverse population groups and can bring to their deliberations a variety of points of view and life experiences, as well as, access to cultural, religious, educational, civic and economic resources. Executive staff shall be selected as needed to provide managerial and specialist expertise, research capability, and continuity to support the delivery of program to girls through volunteers. Recruitment, selection, training and placement of volunteers and staff are consistent with GSUSA policies.
A Brief History Of Girl Scouting
The Girl Scout Promise
On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country, To help people at all times, And to live by the Girl Scout Law.
The Girl Scout Law
I will do my best to be: -honest and fair -friendly and helpful -considerate and caring -courageous and strong, and -responsible for what I say and do. And to -respect myself and others, -respect authority, -use resources wisely, -make the world a better place, and -be a sister to every Girl Scout.
Girl Scouts of Central Maryland 4806 Seton Drive Baltimore, MD 21215-3247 T (410) 358-9711, (800) 492-2521 F (410) 358-9918 www.gscm.org
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