On March 12th we will be celebrating the 109th anniversary of when Juliette Gordon Low registered the first 18 Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia. I’m sure Juliette could have never imagined the impact she would have on Girl Scouts, over a century later. With the organization turning 109 years old this year, has anything changed from Juliette’s original vision?
During a time when women still could not vote in 1912, Juliette wanted to defy standards of the time, and give girls the chance to gain skills, and become more independent. Skills including knot tying, harvesting food, and canning goods. The first Girl Scouts were encouraged to get outdoors, to camp, to hike and to play basketball. Community service projects and Take Action projects became a huge part of Girl Scouts especially when the Great Depression and World War II started. The cookie program was also started by Juliette, as a way to raise funds for her Girl Scout troops.
Looking at the Girl Scout values of today, not much has changed. Girl Scouts continue to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts can explore interests and learn new skills while working on badges that center around STEM, outdoors, life skills and entrepreneurship. The organization empowers girls to make connections so that they can make a difference in their community. All these years later, you cannot mention Girl Scouts without someone asking about buying Girl Scout cookies. We want girls to continue to chase their curiosity and dream big, in a girl only safe space.
The only changes we have seen in the last 109 years is the number of Girl Scout members, going from the original 18 in 1912 to over 2 million today. We need to celebrate not only because Girl Scouts is turning 109 years old next week, but also because our values and goals have changed very little since Juliette Gordon Low first registered the original 18 members. During the next week, take the time to celebrate this achievement. Leading up to March 12th, your troop could celebrate by having a small party at their troop meeting. What would a party be without eating some cake or cupcakes (maybe try incorporating your favorite Girl Scout cookies like this S’more campfire cupcake recipe from Little Brownie Bakers)? During your party your troop could sing their favorite Girl Scouts songs like “Make New Friends” and “Princess Pat”. To end this celebration, play a game of pin the petal on a daisy. No matter how you decide to celebrate this year, take the time to reflect on the Girl Scout first meeting, all those years ago.