1. A Giving Spirit
Founder Juliette Gordon Low started her first charity called "Helping Hands" to help the poor. She recruited her cousins and neighborhood friends to sew clothes for those less fortunate.
2. Small Beginnings
The first official meeting of the group, known then as the "Girl Guides" was on March 12, 1912 in Savannah, Georgia. The meeting consisted of 18 girls.
3. A Special Namesake
Low often went by the nickname "Daisy" given to her by an uncle. Now, there's a Girl Scout membership level after her namesake for grades K-1.
4. A New Name
In 1913, Low changed the name of the organization from Girl Guides to Girl Scouts at the request of her American members.
5. The Founder
Low was the second eldest of five siblings. She was a poet and playwright and often wrote plays for her younger siblings to perform though she could never spell well. She was a world traveler, sculptor and blacksmith. You can hear more about Low's story in this video.
6. Friendly Beginnings
One main reason Low started the organization was thanks to her meeting with Sir Robert Baden Powell. Powell was a war hero and founder of the Boy Scouts. The two were introduced by a mutual friend.
7. A History of Advocacy
Low lost hearing in both her ears through two separate accidents, one occurring on her wedding day when a grain of good luck rice thrown after the ceremony lodged in her ear and later caused an infection resulting in the loss of hearing. She advocated for Girl Scouts to allow, encourage and help young girls with disabilities to be able to attain the same level of achievement within the organization. You can hear more about Low's story in this video.
8. Growing Numbers
Today, there are 2.8 million Girl Scouts—2 million girl members and 800,000 adult members working primarily as volunteers.
9. A Unique Honor
Low is one of only eight women to be honored with a commemorative stamp authorized by then President Harry S. Truman.
10. Girls Gone Global
Girls at home and abroad participate in troops and groups in more than 92 countries through USA Girl Scouts Overseas and there are now 10 million girls and adults in 145 countries involved with the organization.
11. A Prankster
Low was a known prankster. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer in her later years, she made one last voyage to England to settle her affairs. A masquerade party was held on board the ship she was traveling and for Daisy’s costume, the Girl Scouts founder covered herself in a bed sheet, cut out holes for the eyes and mouth, and tied empty whisky bottle to a rope which she hung around her neck. She went as departed spirits.
12. Those Cookies
The sale of cookies as a way to finance troop activities began as early as 1917 when the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, baked cookies and sold them in its high school cafeteria as a service project. Thin Mints were probably the favorite cookie, even back then.