Girl Scout Week is celebrated every second week of March to mark the great sisterhood of Girl Scouting and to commemorate the day when the organization was born. This year, it takes place from March 5 to 11. Did you know that Juliette Gordon Low got the idea of founding the Girls Scouts after meeting with the founder of Scouting, Robert Baden-Powell, in 1911? Girl Scouts, also known as the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, is a youth organization for girls of American origin. It runs camping and community service activities to empower young girls and enable them to build various skills, including leadership, entrepreneurship, active citizenship, confidence, compassion, and courage.
History of Girl Scout Week
In 1911, while living in the United Kingdom, Juliette Gordon Low met with the founder of Scouting, Robert Baden-Powell. From this meeting, Low developed the idea to create a girls-only organization that brings girls out of their homes to the great outdoors to serve their communities and provide a platform for them to develop self-reliance and resourcefulness. Upon arriving in the United States, Low began planning to start Girl Scouting.
On March 12, 1912, Low gathered 18 girls and organized the first Girl Guide troop meeting in Savannah, Georgia. That officially led to the founding of the organization. Later that year, Low tried to merge the Girl Guides with the Camp Fire Girls, but the organization rejected her proposal because Camp Fire was the larger group. She made the same attempt with Girl Scouts of America, but the founder, Clara Lisetor-Lane, believed Low copied her organization and threatened her lawsuit. Girl Scouts of America eventually shut down as it lacked financial resources.
In 1913, the organization’s name was changed to Girl Scouts of the United States and became headquartered in Washington, D.C. After being incorporated in 1915, the Girl Scouts of the United States moved its national headquarters to New York City. In 1916, Low created the aviation badge, which served to encourage girls to break barriers. From 18 girls in 1912, Girl Scouts of the United States grew to 200,000 girls in 1930. Low died in 1927 and willed her carriage house to the local Savannah Girl Scouts.
In 1941, the Girl Scouts established the Wing Scout program for senior Girl Scout members interested in flying and serving their country. Unfortunately, the program ended in the 1970s when United Airlines, the main sponsor for the program, suffered financial setbacks. The organization finally changed its name to Girl Scouts of the United States of America in 1947, and on March 16, 1950, it received a congressional charter. There are currently 2.5 million Girl Scouts — 1.7 million girl members and 750,000 adult members in the United States.
Girl Scout Week timeline
Low meets with Baden-Powell (Boy Scouts founder) in London and develops an idea of giving the United States and the world something for all the girls.
On March 12, Low gathers 18 girls in Savannah, Georgia, and organizes the first Girl Guide troop meeting.
The Girl Scouts of the United States of America becomes chartered by the U.S. Congress.
Girl Scouts reach a peak number of over 3.2 million members.
Girl Scout Week FAQs
What is Girl Scout Sabbath?
Girl Scout Sabbath is a day in the Girl Scout Week set aside for people who don’t attend their place of worship on Sundays and Fridays to connect with their beliefs and values and learn about others’.
Can a 12-year-old join the Girl Scouts?
Yes. Girl Scout memberships are determined by grade and not age. The minimum grade for a Girl Scout membership is second and third grades, called Girl Scout Brownies.
What is the highest Girl Scout rank?
The highest Girl Scout achievement is the ‘Girl Scout Gold Award’. It’s given only to Girl Scout seniors and ambassadors who have carried out a large-scale service project that demonstrated leadership.
Girl Scout Week Activities
Participate in the Girl Scout Week events
Girl Scout Week is filled with events and activities from the first day, Girl Scout Sunday, to the last day, Girl Scout Sabbath. These include charity events, camping, and a birthday party on March 12. Check with your local council to know the activities laid out for this Girl Scout Week.
Organize a community service activity
One of the main Girl Scout foundations is giving back to your community, and what better time to do that than on Girl Scout Week. You don’t necessarily have to run a week-long charity or fundraising activity. Choose a day and decide on how you plan to give back. You can choose to raise funds by selling cookie boxes, lemonade, running, or camping — the choice is yours!
Buy Girl Scout Week merchandise
Are you looking to own a Girl Scouts souvenir? You don’t necessarily have to pass challenges to obtain some Girl Scouts patches. You can easily get them at the Girl Scouts shop. There is usually various merchandise on sale, including a full Girl Scouts outfit, badges and pins, and journey books and guides.
5 Interesting Facts About Girl Scouts
Girl Scout cookies generate more than Oreos
Compared to the $675 million generated by the sales of Oreos in 2017, Girl Scout cookies generate an average of $800 million every cookie season.
The largest girl-run business
Close to 200 million boxes of cookies are sold each cookie season, making the Girl Scout cookie program the world’s largest girl-run business.
Most female senators are Girl Scouts alumni
Close to 69% of the female senators in the United States were Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts played a role in WWII
During World War II, Girl Scouts members helped grow fruits and vegetables, ran bicycle courier services, provided survival skill training to women, and collected goods.
Members get medals for saving a life
Girl Scouts members are awarded the Bronze Cross when they save a life while theirs is not at risk and the National Medal of Honor when they save a life while theirs is at risk.
Why We Love Girl Scout Week
It empowers girls
Years before Low introduced Girl Scouting, the traditional convention was that the great outdoors was for men while women had to stay indoors. Through its camping and community service activities and various programs, Girl Scouts broke this belief. It empowered a generation of girls who became astronauts, pilots, superstars, senators, and more.
It provides essential life and business skills
Confidence, camping, outdoor skills, first aid, cooking, and DIY are some of the life skills every member develops through their journey in the organization. The Girl Scouts also runs challenges and programs, such as the cookie business, to promote leadership, entrepreneurship, STEM learning, and innovation in young girls.
One of the main pride of being a Girl Scout is having those nifty badges on your uniform. The more, the better. The process to obtain these badges are as fun as they’re challenging. You get to learn scuba-diving or snorkeling, ride horses, explore arching and marksmanship, and more. The Girl Scouts even allows you to create your own adventure with your family.
Girl Scout Week dates