When Juliette Gordon Low gathered together a small group of girls in Savannah, Georgia, in 1912, nobody could have known it would be the start of a national phenomenon. But from these humble beginnings came one of the biggest youth organizations in the world. In fact, this group would help to change the narrative for women across America.
A force for female empowerment
Founded just a few short years before the horrors of World War I, the Girl Scouts started life as a force for female empowerment before women were even entitled to vote.
And as the world rapidly changed beyond all recognition, Low’s organization became a kind of dependable bedrock, there to teach young women in America and beyond the value of independence, leadership, and strength.
Over 50 million members
Today, there are more than 3 million Girl Scouts around the world. Even more impressively, over 50 million women have proudly donned the uniform at some stage in their lives.
But this colossal movement all began with just 18 members, coupled with the pioneers’ sheer determination: they were on a mission to spread the ethos of scouting across the United States.
Juliette Gordon Low
Of course, if it hadn’t been for Low, who was known affectionately as Daisy, the Girl Scouts might never have reached America at all. Growing up in Savannah, she was just an infant when the American Civil War broke out.
Her father soon left to fight in the Confederate Army. And from a very early age, she was raised to believe in traditional Southern values such as respect and loyalty.
After the war
Although the Confederates lost the war, Low’s family survived relatively unscathed, remaining in Savannah throughout the early days of the Union. And at first, she looked set to be a model young woman and the perfect wife.
After attending a number of prestigious boarding schools, she traveled to New York. It was here that she took a series of painting lessons and classes at a finishing school.