1962 4¢ Girl Scouts
US #1199 – Girl Scouts 50th anniversary stamp

On March 12, 1912, Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low held the first meeting of the Girl Guides, the forerunner of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.

1987 22¢ Girl Scouts
US #2251 – Issued on the Girl Scouts’ 75th anniversary.

Scouting groups were first started in England in 1907, when Lord Robert Baden-Powell began the Boy Scouts movement. When girls became interested in belonging to a similar group, he helped his sister Agnes Baden-Powell organize the Girl Guides program. Scouting quickly spread to other countries.

A British Boy Scout helped American businessman William D. Boyce find his way in London’s fog. When the boy refused his tip, telling him he was merely doing his “good turn” for the day, it left an impression on him. So Boyce then worked with others to found the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. The Handbook for Boys was published that same year. Some of the Scouts’ early contributions to their communities and their country were made to support Americans during World War I.

1998 32¢ Celebrate the Century - 1910s: Boy and Girl Scouting
US #3183j – Scouting stamp from Celebrate the Century Series

Juliette Gordon Low was a member of a prominent family in Georgia. Following the death of her husband, Low traveled to Europe in 1911 and met Sir Robert Baden-Powell and his sister Agnes. Low had long dreamed of an organization that would get girls out of their houses to experience the outdoors, while learning important skills to make them self-reliant and resourceful.

2012 45¢ Girl Scouting Centenary
US #4691 – Girl Scouts 100th anniversary stamp

That August, Low began working with Agnes and the Girl Guides, and eventually formed a Girl Guides patrol near her home in Scotland. She taught the girls how to spin wool, care for livestock, tie knots, and read maps. She also taught them knitting, cooking, and first aid. Additionally, she had her military friends teach them about drilling, signaling, and camping.

In early 1912, Low brought Baden-Powell back to America to expand the scouting movement. When she returned home to Savannah, Georgia, Low called her cousin with exciting news. “I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world, and we’re going to start it tonight!”

1948 3¢ Juliette Gordon Low
US #974 was issued in Juliette Low’s hometown of Savannah, Georgia. Low was so committed to Girl Scouts, she sold her pearls to help support it. Later, 25¢ national dues were adopted to help support the organization.

That something was the “Girl Guides.” She held the first-ever meeting of the Girl Guides of America on March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia. (The name was changed to the Girl Scouts the following year.)

1962 4¢ Canal Zone - Girl Scouts, blue & dark green
US #CZ156 – Canal Zone stamp marking 50th anniversary of the Girl Scouts

The first registered member of the American Girl Guides was Margaret Gordon, Juliette’s niece. Low’s first Girl Scout meeting included 18 girls, but by the next meeting there were 108 girls enrolled. By 1915 the organization had grown to include 5,000 girls. Because of the quickly growing numbers of girls, the organization was divided into three groups according to age. Today, there are even more groups. These levels are “Daisies” for the youngest girls (5-7 years old), “Brownies” (7-9), “Juniors” (9-11), “Cadettes” (11-14), “Seniors” (14-16), and finally “Ambassadors” (16-18).

2013 Girl Scouts Centennial Silver Dollar, Uncirculated
Item #M12025 – Uncirculated 90% Silver Dollar commemorating 100 years of the Girl Scouts of the USA

During World War II, Boy and Girl Scouts were actively involved in selling US Defense Bonds, growing Victory gardens, and collecting waste fats (to make ammunition) and scrap metals. In addition, they learned a wide variety of skills while earning badges.

2013 Girl Scouts Centennial Silver Dollar, Proof
Item #M12026 – 90% Silver Dollar Proof commemorating 100 years of the Girl Scouts of the USA

Over the next 100 years, the Girl Scouts of the United States of America instilled values such as honesty, courage, community service, and citizenship to over 50 million young women. In 1994, the group was named the eighth most popular charity or non-profit in America, with 41% of Americans polled saying they “loved” the Girl Scouts or “liked them a lot.”

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  1. Besides the GREAT COOKIES don’t forget that the girl scouts were quicker to discard the homophobic curse against gay women and girls in the girl scouts that so long hampered the boy scouts. Wanting to help children to grow up and accept themselves and others regardless of differences should be part of any program designed for young people. I applaud the Girl Scouts of America for their recognition that different is not bad.

  2. Have seen the home in Savannah where they were founded. Ironically, a box of cookies today before I read this.

  3. What an interesting and informative article. A bit of history about this wonderful organization. Keep up the good work Mystic. This site is such a treasure.

  4. I was a Girl Scout in the 60’s and 70s, then a camp councillor/co director/troop leader in the 90s, and tonight I am taking my granddaughter to her very first Girl Scout meeting. 5 generations of Girl Scouts in my family

  5. I used to be a Girlscout and it brings back memories when I see Juliet Gordon Lowe being honored on a stamp, and the Girl Scout getting their own quarter

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