By Krista Park, Communications & PR Director
Today, Girl Scouts is 3.2 million strong – 3.2 million girls and adults who believe girls can change the world. It began over 100 years ago with one woman, Juliette Gordon Low, who believed in the power of every girl. She believed girls could do anything – and in the early 1900’s that was rather avant-garde.
Juliette Gordon Low, affectionately known as “Daisy,” was born on October 31, 1860, in Savannah, Georgia. Every year on October 31, Girl Scouts recognize Daisy’s birthday as Founder’s Day and celebrate with parties and special projects to help others. Daisy was known to have said that she was glad she was born on Halloween, when everybody has fun.
Daisy was the second of six children and was known for her great since of humor. She loved pets and was especially fond of exotic birds. Daisy loved the arts; she was a poet, painter and sculptor. She even forged a metal gate that remains at her birthplace to this day!
By age 26, she had lost all hearing in one ear and most in the other. But that didn’t stop, Daisy! Being from a family of pioneers, she too sought out adventure and excitement in her life.
She travelled extensively in the United States, rode elephants in India, visited the Great Pyramid in Egypt, and spent time in Europe where she discovered the work of the Girl Guides. The more Daisy learned about Scouting, she grew more and more excited. She wanted girls in the United States to have the opportunity to better themselves and their communities through Scouting.
On March 12, 1912, Daisy started the adventure of Girl Scouting here in our country. That night, she gathered with eighteen girls and shared with them all the adventures they would have. These girls were divided into two groups which became the first two Girl Scout troops.
Daisy selflessly sold her own pearls to fund the first headquarters for Girl Scouts which was located in her carriage house in Savannah. Daisy traveled all over giving speeches and raising money, and she even used her hearing loss to her advantage. She simply refused to ever hear the word “no” when she asked people to volunteer or to mentor girls.
She inspired many with whom she spoke to start their own troops. Soon, Girl Scouts was growing! By 1920, there were nearly 70,000 Girl Scouts across the county. And in just another 10 years, there were nearly 200,000 Girl Scouts!
Juliette Gordon Low was a forward thinker. She was a true Girl Scout – a woman with courage, confidence, and character who made the world a better place. In 1979, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, NY. And in 2012, she was posthumously awarded with the Presidential Medal of Honor by President Obama.
Here at Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines, we continue her vision of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place by helping them discover their inner strengths, passions, and talents. Over a hundred years later, Girl Scouts continue to change the world.
This Founder’s Day, join us as we remember the leader of leaders – the most adventurous Girl Scout – Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low. Happy Birthday, Daisy!