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History of Girl Scouts

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Girl ScoutsAfter the formation of the Boy Scout movement in 1908, it became very popular and quickly spread to different countries apart from England. However, young England women saw the need for organizations of such kinds among themselves. A lot of these types of groups were organized into clubs like the Boy Scouts by the young ladies. Girl Guides were therefore formed in 1910. The following year, there were Girl Scouts in South Africa, Finland, and Australia. By the year 1912, the Girl Scout had spread to Denmark, Sweden, Canada, and Poland.

Founding the Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts were founded by Juliet Gordon Low in the United States. She had been searching for a long time for something which would make her life valuable. In 1911, Juliet visited England and spent some time with Lady and Lord Baden Powell. After spending some time with Boy Scouts, Juliet Gordon decided to form the Girl Scouts because she thought it was what the United States girls needed. In 1912, Juliet Gordon returned to America with a copy of a handbook for the Girl Guide from England.

On March 12th 1912, the first meeting of the Girl Scouts was held. The first official members were Juliet’s niece and Margaret “Daisy Doots”. During this time, 17 other girls also registered for this first troop. Juliet provided her carriage residence for the girls to utilize for meetings; she also led the girls on several hikes. Juliet also took the girls, who had no outdoor adventures, and provided them several adventures. In the year 1920, there were more than seventy thousand Girls Scouts across the USA. At this juncture, the Girl Scout in America became independent and a handbook was developed specifically for American girls.

Women were facing several old struggles in 1912. Their education was hampered and so was their future. However, as WWII approached, women came to the realization that they could play a very vital role. At this juncture, Organizations like Girl Scouts were very important for the development of stronger, more gifted young women.

The Girl Scout Handbook

Water John Hoxie, who was a naturalist, wrote the first Girl Scout handbook in America. The book reflected several stereotypes of the time. In 1916, Juliet made a new version of Girl Scout handbook. The book encompassed a new height and a new badge for the all girl organization. Adults who were involved in troops only acted as advisers, but not leaders.

In the 1930s, the Girl Scouts started to change. Up to this point, there was only a single group for all girls regardless of age. Due to the changing needs of girls, a decision was made to divide Girl Scouts into three levels. The levels included Senior, Intermediate, and Brownie. The three levels put emphasis on what the girls needed to learn in a bid to make them good women. The senior category could decide to be Mariners, which is where water skills were taught. Prior to 1930, Girl Scouts engaged in several activities to raise money such as baking cookies. As years went by, several changes and sub divisions were made to the various levels to further accommodate the changing needs.

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