Founder’s Day: Celebrating the Original G.I.R.L.

Written By: Stacie Simpson, Silver & Gold Podcast

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October 31 marks Girl Scout founder, Juliette Gordon Low’s birth in 1860 and is celebrated as Founder’s Day across the movement by girls and women who share Juliette’s vision, grit, and adventurous spirit. As the original G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™, Juliette saw a bright future for girls, gathering 18 girls in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia, to share what she’d learned abroad about a new outdoor and educational program for youth. With this, the first Girl Scout troop was formed—and the Girl Scout Movement was born to serve all girls nationwide.

Our earliest Girl Scouts, along with our pioneering founder, blazed trails and redefined what was possible for themselves and for girls everywhere. And ever since, Girl Scouts has provided girls with transformative experiences that set them up to lead in their own lives and the world. Because of Girl Scouts, millions of G.I.R.L.s have been prepared for a lifetime of leadership.

Juliette: the original G.I.R.L.

  • Go-Getter: As a child and young adult, she experienced several ear injuries resulting in almost total hearing loss that affected her for the remainder of her life. However, Juliette never let her disability stand as a roadblock to her goals.
  • Innovator: When she was just 16, she convinced her cousins to start the Helping Hands Club with her, to make clothing for families who had recently immigrated to the U.S. This was Juliette’s first foray into civic action, organizing in the community, and inspiring girls to take the lead for the greater good.
  • Risk-Taker: From that first gathering of a small troop of 18 culturally and ethnically diverse girls, Juliette broke the conventions of the time—reaching across class, cultural, and ethnic boundaries to ensure all girls, including those with so-called disabilities, had a place to grow and develop their leadership skills.
  • Leader: A meeting in 1912 with Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Boy Scouts, inspired Juliette to establish Girl Scouts that same year. Telephoning a cousin from her home, she announced, “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!”

Learn more about the life and legacy of Juliette Gordon Low: http://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/our-history/juliette-gordon-low.html

How awesome would it be to name a bridge in Savannah, Georgia, in honor of Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low? Let’s make it happen! Sign the petition: http://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/advocacy/the-girl-scout-advocacy-network/sign-a-petition-to-name-the-savannah-bridge.html