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The History of Girl Scouts in the USA

Oct. 31, 1860 Birth of Juliette Gordon

December 12, 1886

Juliette Gordon Marries William Mackay Low


Girl Guide movement begins in England


Juliette meets Sir Robert Baden-Powell, founder of Boy Scouts in England, and his sister, Agnes Baden-Powell founder of Girl Guides in England

Juliette starts a Girl Guide company (troop) in the Scottish valley where she is spending the summer


March 12, Juliette Gordon Low establishes the first Girl Scout troop in the U.S. with 18 girls

Margaret Daisy Gordon, Juliette's niece, becomes the first registered Girl Guide in America

108 Girls enrolled as members following the first troop meeting

The Tenderfoot Pin, (the trefoil), is chosen as the symbol to be used by Girl Scouts

Thanks Badge, an adult award, is introduced.


Girl Scouts becomes the new name for Girl Guides in America

W.J. Hoxie prepares the first official G.S. handbook, How Girls Can Help Their Country

June 1, National Headquarters established in Washington, D.C.


Trefoil design for membership badges is patented and becomes the official membership symbol

By now, 22 proficiency badges are in existence


Girl Scout membership reached 200 troops, 5,000 girls

Juliette Low sells her pearls to support the Girl Scout Movement

First Annual Convention held in Washington, DC

A Constitution and Bylaws are adopted

Juliette Gordon Low is elected National President of the Girl Scouts, 1915-1920

National membership dues of 25 cents adopted


G.S. national headquarters is moved to New York City

Juliette Gordon Low introduced the Golden Eaglet award - the highest award in Girl Scouting

The first Brownie-age troop is organized in Marblehead,Massachusetts


Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, the country's First Lady, becomes the first honorary president of Girl Scouts, a tradition that continues today

Editorial Department is established at National Headquarters

The first issue of The Rally, a monthly publication for girls begins

First troop of physically disabled girls in the United States is organized in New York City

The first National Training School for Girl Scout leaders is established in Boston


Design of the Girl Scout Pin to include the letters "GS"


Concept of an International Council of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts began

The Golden Eaglet, a black-and-white silent film, produced

Premiered in new York City's Fine Arts Theater on January 16th
Believed to be the first motion picture produced by a public service organization

First nationwide celebration of Girl Scout Week; the week beginning on the Sunday that included JGL's birthday, October 12.

First Blue Book of Rules published


At this time there are nearly 100 Girl Scout Councils in 11 states and the territory of Hawaii, with almost 70,000 girl members and over 3,000 troops

Juliette Low retires as President of Girl Scouts and takes the title "Founder of Girl Scouts"

October 31 becomes known as Founders Day in Girl Scouts

First International Conference of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts held in England

The U.S.A. introduced the song "Taps" to the Girl Guide and Girl Scout movement

Scouting for Girls, new handbook is published

American Girl magazine is published, titled changed from The Rally

Camp Edith Macy at Briar Cliff Manor, NY is opened as a national training center


Camp Andree Clark established as the first national Girl Scout camp, Briar Cliff Manor, NY, Adjacent to Camp Edith Macy

Field News, a monthly bulletin for Girl Scout leaders, began publication


The name Field News changes to The Girl Scout Leader

Formal training is made a requirement for leaders

Design of the Girl Scout pin changed - the eagle's shield now had seven stars, placed in two rows and seven stripes


Normal Rockwell draws Girl Scout cover for Life Magazine

International Conference of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts held in England


International Conferences held at Camp Edith Macy

Program to include Brownie Girl Scouts, ages 7-9

Brown Book for Brown Owls published as the first official leader's guide to program for USA Brownie Girl Scouts


First group of U.S. Girl Scouts goes to an international event in Switzerland

Juliette Gordon Low dies

Juliette Low World Friendship Fund is established in her memory to support projects and events promoting international understanding

New Girl Scout handbook is published

First United States Girl Scout Troops on Foreign Soil are registered

First celebration of Thinking Day, February 22


International Council is replaced by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) is formed


At the end of the year there are over 200,000 Girl Scouts


World Flag design is adopted

First all-Indian Girl scout troop registers at the Indian Boarding School in Pawnee, Oklahoma


March 12 is designated as the official Girl Scouts birthday

Our Chalet opened in Adelboden, Switzerland, a gift of Mrs. Helen Storrow of Boston


The Girl Scout handbook is transcribed into Braille and large type


Mariner Scout program officially launched


The first documented council-wide cookie sale of commercially baked cookies, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Girl Scout program to include older girls, ages 14-17


25th anniversary of Girl Scouting in the United States

National and International Silver Jubilee encampment held at Camp Andree Clark; 100 girls from the USA and 26 other countries came together to celebrate


Girl Scout membership reached one half million

Girl Scout program reorganized into three separate groups:

Brownie Girl Scouts, ages 7-10,
Intermediate Girl Scouts, ages 10-14 and
Senior Girl Scouts ages 14-18

Over 1 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies are sold


The Girl Scout Chalet, a replica in miniature of Our Chalet in Switzerland, opened at the New York World's Fair

Served as a headquarters for Girl Scouts and their friends
Displayed and sold Girl Scout Equipment

Our Ark opens in London, England

Over 2 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies are sold


Curved Bar award introduced, 1940 - 1963


Wing Scout program developed for Senior Girl Scouts - emphasis on the study of transportation


First Girl Scout calendar is produced for council fund raisers

"A Million or more by 44" was the membership objective


Girl Scout check for 15,430,000 hours of service given to FDR

Senior Girl Planning Conference held at Camp Edith Macy

1 million members register in Girl Scouts

A Liberty Ship, "S.S. Juliette Low" of the Merchant Marines is launched

More than 1/4 million girls go to Girl Scout camps


First Lou Henry Hoover Memorial Forest is dedicated


The World Badge adopted at the 11th World Conference in France


The name of the organization officially changes to Girl Scouts of the United States of America


The U.S. Postal Service issues a 3 cent commemorative stamp honoring Juliette Gordon Low.

750,000 stamps are sold in Savannah on the first day of issue

Design of the World Badge was adopted at the 12th World Conference in Cooperstown, NY


WAGGGS Pin introduced in the USA

Almost 1.5 million are registered in Girl Scouts


GSUSA is incorporated under a Congressional Charter


First Brownie Girl Scout Handbook for girls is published

Motto becomes "Be Prepared"


Rockwood, in Potomac, Maryland dedicated as a National Girl Scout camping center (1952-1979)


GSUSA purchases Juliette Gordon Low's birthplace in Savannah, Georgia

Site of Our Cabana is acquired by WAGGGS


Annual Girl Scout week celebration is changed from October to March


Juliette Gordon Low's birthplace is dedicated, October 16

First Senior Girl Scout Round-Up in Michigan:  5,000 girls attended


3 million members in Girl Scouts

The first world center for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in the

Western Hemisphere , Our Cabana, opens in Cuernavaca, Mexico


The present Girl Scout headquarters in New York City are dedicated


Our Ark moved to Earls Court, London, England


Juliette Low Centennial is celebrated


50th anniversary of Girl Scouts

The Girl Scout Rose and Brownie Girl Scout Marigold developed to honor Girl Scouts

Post Office issues a 4 cent commemorative Girl Scout stamp

First Roundup for Senior Girl Scouts is held in Vermont


Girl Scouts are divided into 4 age groups:

Brownie Girl Scouts, ages 7-9
Junior Girl Scouts, ages 9-11
Cadette Girl Scouts, ages 12-14 and
Senior Girl Scouts, ages 14-17

New handbooks and leaders' guides are published

Junior program to include the Sign of the Arrow and the Sign of the Star

Our Ark is renamed Olave House


First Reader's Digest Foundation Grants are provided for

Senior Girl Scout troops to do community service projects

Girl Scout handbook is published in Braille


Brownie handbook is published in Spanish


Sangam, the fourth World Center, opens in Poona, India


Campus Girl Scouts becomes an official part of Girl Scouts

National Center West, Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming is established


Eco Action, a nationwide environmental education and improvement project is launched


30 millionth member of GSUSA is registered


New wording of Girl Scout Promise and Law are adopted

Eight new Cadette Challenges are introduced


Portrait of Juliette Low is presented to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Brownie membership is extended to 6 year olds


Bust of Juliette Low is placed in Georgia's Hall of Fame


Over 123 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies are sold


More that 150 Girl Scouts, 14-17 are delegates to the National Convention

Edith Macy National Center celebrates 50th anniversary


Worlds to Explore: Handbook for Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts is published

The Five Worlds of Interest in Girl Scouting are introduced

Junior Aide patch, Brownie B's, Bridge to Juniors are introduced


Contemporary version of Girl Scout trefoil is launched as the official emblem featuring three-profile silhouettes of girls' faces

From Dreams to Reality, a career exploration project for Cadette and Senior Girl Scouts is published

Girl Scouts prepare to celebrate the UN's 'Year of the Child'


Juliette Low is inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, NY

American Girl magazine ceases publication


The Silver Award and the Gold Award becomes the second highest and highest awards in Cadette and Senior Girl Scouts

Sign of the Rainbow, Sign of the Star, Sign of the Satellite and Bridge to Cadettes introduced into the Junior Girl Scout program


Girl Scouts celebrate 70th anniversary

Edith Macy Conference Center dedicated

April 22 is established as Girl Scout Leader Day

Lifetime memberships are offered to adults for the first time


The Juliette Gordon Low Federal Complex is opened in Savannah, Georgia. This is the second Federal building to be named after a woman.


Daisy Girl Scout age level program for 5 year olds or girls in kindergarten is launched

Delegates vote to change the wording of the Girl Scout Promise


Contemporary issues resource, Tune Into Well-Being, Say No To Drugs  introduced


Brownie Girl Scout Try-Its are introduced

Contemporary issues resource, Staying Safe, Preventing Child Abuse introduced

The Sign of the World introduced into the Junior program


Girl Scout 75th anniversary celebrated; theme, Tradition with a Future

The Post Office issues a stamp to commemorate GSUSA


The National Historic Preservation Center opens at National Headquarters


Earth Education programs introduced


New wording for Girl Scout law is adopted

New, separate handbooks for Cadettes and Seniors are published


85th anniversary of Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts from all across the United States meet on the mall in Washington, DC, to sing songs in honor of 85th anniversary

New interest project book for Cadettes and Seniors is published, stressing community service and career exploration in every badge

Girl Scouts continues to be the largest voluntary organization for girls in the world