Sunday, March 25, 2012

grrrrl scouts.

original girl scout emblem, designed by founder juliette gordon low.

just about two weeks ago, girl scouts of the usa
celebrated its centennial anniversary.

& while for many of us, girls scouts = good cookies,
this organization is — & ever has been — about much more
than the girlish sugar-&-spice stereotype.

juliette gordon, also known as daisy, was born & raised in savannah, ga,
by a spanish-american & civil war veteran & a yankee socialite.
juliette was educated via excellent boarding schools & a french finishing school.
at 26, she married wealthy british cotton merchant william mackay low.

unfortunately, low was an adulterous lowlife,
who eventually moved his mistress into his home while juliette was traveling.
juliette was forced into the servants' quarters & into divorce proceedings.
william died prior to the finalization of the divorce.

girls scouts of the usa founder "daisy."

juliette gordon low embarked upon the rare-for-her-era lifestyle of an independent woman,
traveling alone & creating friendships with men which didn't lead to marriage.
one such friendship was with sir robert baden-powell, british founder of
the boy scouts & their auxiliary group, the girl guides.

juliette decided to create a girls' organization of her own,
but with an american angle: rather than focusing on domestic labor & feminine arts,
her organization would center on more boy-scout-like activities, like camping & athletics,
& would carry the more proactive name of girl scouts.

& so the girls scouts launched its first troop on march 12, 1912, in savannah, ga.

nine other fascinating facts about gsusa:

:: nationwide, there are 2.3 million scouts & 880,000 adult members & volunteers.

:: as of 2005, almost 72% of women u.s. senators &
over 67% of women u.s. representatives were girl scout alumnae.

:: the scouts recently revamped badge options, adding modern badges like
geocaching, netiquette & science of happiness
to the classic naturalist or citizen options girls can earn.

:: the girl scouts' motto is the same as the boy scouts': be prepared;
the two groups also share their slogan: do a good turn daily.

:: each year, the country's #1 cookie brand during the first quarter is girl scouts;
during all other quarters, it's oreo.

:: during wwii, due to sugar, butter & flour rations,
the scouts sold calendars rather than cookies.

:: to celebrate the centennial, the scouts added a new cookie named for its birthplace:
savannah smiles are lemon-wedge cookies covered with powdered sugar.

:: thin mints are the scouts' best-selling cookie [25% of sales] . . .
& the least-healthy one. [boo.]

:: in earlier days, the girl scouts rather unpopularly reached out to poor girls & ethnic girls;
recently, the scouts have courageously embraced tolerance for atheist & glbt members.

& finally, just in case you may be searching for a code to live by,
you might want to consider the girl scout law — it rules:

i will do my best to be
honest & fair,
friendly & helpful,
considerate & caring,
courageous & strong, and
responsible for what i say & do,
& to
respect myself & others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, &
be a sister to every girl scout.

you go, girl scouts.
happy, happy 100th birthday, & many, many more!!

image sources:, house divided.

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