By Meridith Orr, Program Executive
“There was nobody like her.” – Rudyard Kipling, author of The Jungle Book
On the last day of October, 155 years ago, a girl was born who would change the world. Juliette Magill Kinzie Gordon came into the world amid the turmoil and strife of the Civil War. And little was expected of her beyond the typical notions of becoming a lady of her time.
However, due to her own determination and to circumstances beyond her control, she reinvented herself in mid-life and became the Daisy Gordon Low that we know and love. She founded a movement that “supplied the education and understanding necessary to provide useful information and more opportunities for young women with an emphasis on fun and room for civic duty,” according to biographer Stacey Cordery.
There’s no doubt that if Daisy were here today, she would be pleased and proud to see the many accomplishments of the organization she built out of her carriage house in Savannah, Georgia 103 years ago. Here are our top five favorites:
Daisy Girl Scouts
The youngest Girl Scout grade level that bears her nickname was introduced in the 1980s. We think she’d love to see these little ones learning and living the parts of the Girl Scout Law, taking field trips, learning to sell cookies, and even making up their own cookie sale jingles!
Girl Scouts Outdoors
An avid outdoorswoman, Daisy would no doubt marvel at the traditions of outdoor experience and education we continue to uphold in Girl Scouting. She always valued what girls wanted, and would have wholeheartedly endorsed the Girls’ Choice campaign that resulted in these five new badges!
In Daisy’s day, world travel was long, difficult and expensive, yet she traveled extensively to visit relatives, oversee her interests, and further the expansion of the Girl Scout Movement. Today, Girl Scout Destinations makes world travel accessible for our girls, and troops make pilgrimages to our Girl Scout World Centers in England, Switzerland, Mexico and India! Our troops also travel locally for all sorts of amazing adventures, from exploring cultural events in major cities to camping and whitewater rafting, just to name a few!
National Young Women of Distinction
When the Golden Eaglet was introduced in Daisy’s day, the award was emblematic of a girl’s hard work to master many different skills as well as provide service in her community. Today, the award has evolved into the Girl Scout Gold Award, which not only represents local impact, but also projects that have the potential to reach around the world. The National Young Women of Distinction represent an elite group of Gold Award recipients recognized each year. Their projects have made an exceptional difference in the lives of others, well beyond the original vision of our Founder!
Last, but not least…59 million alumnae!
Our amazing alumnae include Supreme Court justices, astronauts, CEOs, artists and more. All our alumnae, regardless of fame or fortune, are remarkable women who inspire others to try new things, master new skills and look for ways to make the world a better place. Does it get any better than that?
As we mark our Founder’s Birthday, consider how her life has inspired yours. What’s your favorite fact about our Daisy? Share your thoughts in the comments!