Girl Scout Day
annually on March 12th
Today we celebrate Girl Scouts, which was formed on today's date in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low, who brought together 18 girls in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia. Low wanted girls to be prepared to face the world with courage, character, and confidence. She used the Girl Guides, founded in Great Britain in 1910, as her model. Her group soon became known as Girl Scouts of the United States of America, which it is still called today. Low's group focused on community service, inclusiveness, self-reliance, and the outdoors. Some of their activities included swimming, camping, basketball, hiking, and learning foreign languages.
During the 1920s, Girl Scouts expanded outside of the United States to China, Syria, and Mexico. Lone Troops on Foreign Soil began in 1925; it is now called USA Girl Scouts Overseas. During the Great Depression, Girl Scouts collected food and clothing for those in need, and During World War II, they organized Farm Aide projects, collected scrap fat and metal, grew victory gardens, and ran bicycle courier services. They responded to the Korean War in the 1950s by sending "Kits for Korea"—items that could be used by Korean citizens. On March 16, 1950, Girl Scouts of America was chartered by Congress.
As the Civil Rights Movement took hold across the United States in the 1950s, Girl Scouts turned their focus to issues of inclusiveness and equality. Racial issues continued to be a focus during the following decade. Girl Scouts held "Speak Out" conferences and started the "Action 70" project. During the 1970s, they started the "Eco-Action" program to focus on environmental issues. In the 1980s, they welcomed kindergarten-aged girls with the formation of the Daisy level. An important initiative of the 1990s was the Right to Read service project, and in the 2000s the Girl Scout Research Institute was formed to conduct studies and issue reports on the healthy development of girls.
The goal of Girl Scouts of the United States is still to help girls face the world with courage, character, and confidence. Girls Scouts have a code of behavior and work to make the world a better place. Today members take part in field trips, community service projects, works of environmental stewardship, sports clinics, and cultural exchanges. Girl Scouts can earn proficiency badges in activities such as writing, performing arts, cooking, outdoor recreation, and finance. Finance badges can be earned through the selling of Girl Scout Cookies. Girl Scouts are broken down into six age levels: Daisy (K-1), Brownie (2-3), Junior (4-5), Cadette (6-8), Senior (9-10), and Ambassador (11-12). Adults can be mentors, volunteers, or troop leaders.
There are now 2.6 million Girl Scouts, consisting of 1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults, in over 92 countries. The Girl Guides and Girl Scouts together form the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. This group, which was formed in 1928, is comprised of 10 million girls in close to 150 countries. Today there are close to 50 million women who were once Girl Scouts. This means that almost everyone was either a Girl Scout at one time or knows someone who was a Girl Scout. On Girl Scout Day, Girl Scouts are remembered for all they have given women during their formative years, and the work they continue to do for young girls.
How to Observe Girl Scout Day
Celebrate the day with all things Girl Scouts!
- Join Girl Scouts. Sign up yourself or encourage a daughter, granddaughter, or girl you know to sign up.
- Volunteer with Girl Scouts.
- If you don't live in the United States but would like to be a part of Girls Scouts, you could join USA Girl Scouts Overseas.
- Donate to Girl Scouts.
- Visit the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace.
- Visit the Girl Scout Museum at Daisy's Place.
- Visit the Virtual Girl Scout online museum.
- Buy some Girl Scout Cookies.
- If you were in Girl Scouts, remember some of the things you did. Perhaps you could do some of those things today or share stories of what you did with others who were in Girl Scouts in the past or who are currently in Girl Scouts.