By Meridith Orr, Program Executive
Happy Birthday to Girl Scouts everywhere! On this 102nd anniversary of our movement, it is so important to look back at the life of our remarkable founder, Juliette Gordon Low. Many Girl Scouts today might not be aware of how many of our programs and traditions actually connect back to her amazing experiences.
For example, did you know our youngest Girl Scouts are called “Daisies” after Juliette Low herself? From the beginning of her life, she was called “Daisy” by her family. In the biography “Lady from Savannah: The Life of Juliette Low,” we learn that Juliette was named after her maternal grandmother, and that Daisy’s uncle actually said, “I’ll bet she’s going to be a Daisy!” The family immediately started calling her by her nickname to avoid confusion, and the name stuck. Virtually no one close to her ever called her “Juliette” during her lifetime. Later on, Daisy encouraged the first Girl Scout patrols in Savannah to name themselves after flowers to emphasize the importance of exploring and honoring nature.
You can also find many connections to our founder in programs such as “aMuse,” the Junior journey from It’s Your Story, Tell It. The acting and role playing exercises in “Amuse” are rooted in Daisy’s love of theater. As a child summering with her many cousins, biographer Stacey Cordery describes how Daisy wrote scripts, planned costumes and played as many of the parts as she could! She excelled at acting. She also wrote and illustrated her own summer newspaper! Storytelling was as dear to Juliette Low as her legendary love for animals, which are the focus of the Daisy journey, “Three Cheers for Animals!”
Financial literacy was also important to Daisy. While living in England she helped her first group of Girl Guides raise chickens for eggs to sell to nearby hunting lodges. After learning the skill from the village postmistress, she then taught the girls how to spin wool and sell it to a weaving shop in London! Her lessons to girls in gaining skills and financial independence continue today through our badge programs, such as “Money Manager” and “Cookie Business” in “The Girls’ Guide to Girl Scouting.”
How many more connections can you find between Daisy’s life and the Girl Scout program today? For more stories about our founder, look for these fascinating biographies: “Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts,” by Stacy A. Cordery, and “Lady from Savannah: The Life of Juliette Gordon Low,” by Gladys Denny Shultz and Daisy Gordon Lawrence.