A century ago, a deaf woman with a dirtbag cheating husband, Juliette Gordon Low, had her first meeting of 18 girls. She wanted to get them out of their houses and teach them survival skills–both for the wilderness and the workforce. She taught girls how to play basketball and fly planes before women were even allowed to vote!
The Girl Scouts celebrate their 100th anniversary today–they’ve been going strong from 1912 to 2012! While you probably already know about badges and baked goods, there’s a lot more to the organization than Tagalongs and cute sashes. Here are our favorite fun facts about Girl Scouts that you may not have known before!
*Girl Scouts were a big help in World War I. Scouts sold war bonds, worked in hospitals, and collected peach pits to use in gas mask filters for soldiers.
*Girl Scouts recognized other cultures within their organization. In the 1920s, a Native American Girl Scout troop was created with girls from the Onondaga Nation in New York, while in Houston, Texas a troop of Mexican American girls was formed.
*The Great Depression was a little less, well, depressing when Girl Scouts got involved. Girl Scouts collected clothing and food for the poor, made quilts, carved wooden toys, and helped out in hospitals.
*During World War II, Girl Scouts were taught how to comfort children in and deal with air raids and black outs, as well as collecting and donating 1.5 million pieces of clothing to donate to victims overseas!
*While the first Girl Scout troops were segregated (because that was the law at the time), they quickly showed their progressiveness and changed all that as soon as they were able. Martin Luther King, Jr. declared the Girl Scouts a “force of desegregation” in 1956. Gloria D. Scott, the first African-American Girl Scout President, was elected in 1975.
*A study conducted in 1990 reported that Girl Scouts are less likely to cheat on tests!
*In January, a Colorado Girl Scout troop came under scrutiny after allowing a seven-year-old transgender boy, Bobby Montoya, to join. A fellow Girl Scout from Ventura, California gained media attention when she tried organizing a cookie boycott to protest allowing a male in their ranks. Regardless of which side you’re on, you have to give credit to both for each standing their ground!
*Just last week, some feisty Girl Scouts kicked the behinds of some jerks who tried stealing their cookie money! (But girls, don’t try this at home.)
*Badges are for more than campfires and cookies. You can also earn them for comic art, car care, budgeting, web design, athletic coaching, and cooking for a dinner party! (Dude, sign us up.)
*Girl Scouts Founder Juliette Gordon Low once said that she didn’t mind being deaf–because it means she doesn’t have to take “no” for answer. We knew we liked her.
Are you in Girl Scouts? What badges have you earned? What did you learn from being a Girl Scout? Tell us in the comments!
Were you ever a Girl Scout, or are you in a troop now? Tell us about your favorite Scout memories in the comments!