A FEW OTHER EVENTS FOR
MARCH 12:

  • Happy birthday Arlene Alda (Did You Say Pears?), Daniel Cohen (Real Ghosts), Naomi Shihab Nye (19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East), Carl Hiaasen (Hoot), and Diane Gonzales Bertrand (The Party for Papá Luis).
  • It’s the birth date of Virginia Hamilton (1936–2002), M. C. Higgins, the Great.
  • In 1894 Coca-Cola is sold in bottles for the first time in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Read My Vicksburg by Ann Rinaldi, and The Drummer Boy of Vicksburg by G. Clifton Wisler.
  • Moscow becomes new capital of Russia in 1918. Prior to that St. Petersburg was the capital city for 215 years. Read Eloise in Moscow by Kay Thompson, illustrated by Hilary Knight, and Max Moves to Moscow by Winifred Riser.
  • Happy birthday to the Girl Scouts, first named Girl Guides in 1912. Read Daisy and the Girl Scouts: The Story of Juliette Gordon Low by Fern Brown, illustrated by Marie DeJohn.

On March 12, 1912, a new organization had its first meeting in Savannah, Georgia. Based on the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides in England that were founded by Sir Robert Baden-Powell and his sister, Agnes Baden-Powell , the Girl Scouts began in the U.S. as a meeting of eighteen girls who were convened by Juliette Gordon Low, nicknamed “Daisy.”

In Here Come the Girl Scouts!: The Amazing All-True Story of Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low and Her Great Adventure, Shana Corey provides a fitting tribute for the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts by writing a history of both Daisy and her amazing organization. Brilliant at conveying just enough information for the four- through ten-year-old crowd, Corey begins her saga with a single sentence “Daisy was a girl with gumption.” And then the opposite page provides definitions of this tantalizing word. Rather than sitting around doing needlework, Daisy wants excitement and adventure, and because she grows up in a privileged family, she can realize some of her dream. She rides elephants in India and flies in a monoplane. But only in her fifties, when she founds the Girl Scouts, does Daisy find her true life’s work.

As woman with a plan, Daisy creates uniforms, a handbook, magazine, badges, and activities. Then she travels the country to raise money so that the fledgling organization can spread and ultimately become a means “to break down petty barriers of race and class.” An extensive and excellent author’s note in the end provides background and fascinating details about Daisy. Both her eccentricities (like driving on the wrong side of the road) and accomplishments get equal billing.

The final two-page spread of the book shows portraits of Girl Scouts—from Lucille Ball to Hilary Clinton—with a blank space for “You.” For those of my age, it will probably bring back memories like mine of a well-worn Girl Scout Handbook, marked and studied for badge requirement. How I loved badges!  If only I could still get them.

But for any young reader unfamiliar with the Girl Scouts the book goes a long way in explaining what made and still makes the organization special. It places into historical context the bravery and daring of women who took their lives into their own hands to make a positive difference in the world. Seven years before women could legally vote, the Girl Scouts began training future citizens of the United States of America.

Just as she did in You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer, Shana Corey brings humor and insight into women’s history. Hadley Hooper’s paint and ink illustrations add vivacity and charm to the book. I can think of no better way to celebrate the anniversary of the Girl Scouts than buying this book and sharing it with the children in your life.

And, now, I am going to go hunt for those badges!

Here’s a page from Here Come the Girl Scouts!:

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Originally posted March 12, 2012. Updated for .

Tags: History, Women, Women's Suffrage
Instructional materials from TeachingBooks.net for Here Come the Girl Scouts!
One year ago: A Wrinkle in Time
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COMMENTS

  1. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for highlighting this book today! I was a Girl Scout growing up and then a leader for my daughter’s troop. Girl Scouts is a great place for girls to grow, to find their power and to be themselves! Happy Birthday, G.S.!

  2. G. Perry says:

    This sounds like a great read, which I have the, gumption, to go find.

    As many Girl Scout cookies as I’ve bought in my lifetime, I have no choice but to read this book anyway. Grin..

    Something else that caught my eye is the mention of merit badges being earned by adults. Well, I love going through all those booklets at the Boy Scout Store here, I have often thought that some kind of supervised adult program for those badges would be a fantastic idea, and might possibly be done as some kind of companion program with children.

    I also feel this same way about adults being offered education opportunities like children. I think that is a vastly untapped resource in this country. Why not educate adults all over again?

    (A friend’s father-in-law made the big eagle and scouts sculpture for our Boy Scout store here.)

  3. Star says:

    I LOVE the illustration you shared! Utterly charming. I have such fond memories of my own Girl Scout days. I, too, loved earning those badges! And the beret! When I moved went from Brownie to Girl Scout, I got that coveted beret! I was so proud and loved wearing those uniforms! I still pull my old uniforms out sometimes and my girls enjoy asking me what I did to earn each badge. I was a Daisy troop leader for several years after college, and I hope to do that again soon.

    My oldest will start Kindergarten in the fall and will definitely be joining Girl Scouts as a Daisy! I will be buying this book to share with her!

  4. MotherReader says:

    So glad that you are sharing this book on the Girl Scouts birthday! As a GS leader, I had to do so myself.

    And a Happy Birthday to Book-a-Day Almanac too!

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