Each October 31, we celebrate Girl Scout Founder’s Day on the birthday of our first leader, Juliette Gordon Low.
Juliette made history in 1912 when she convened the very first Girl Scout meeting in Savannah, Georgia. Motivated by a desire to ensure that all girls – regardless of their background, upbringing or family resources – deserved the opportunities to experience the outdoors, play and create. She encouraged girls to prepare not only for traditional homemaking but also for roles as professional women in the arts, sciences and business. She also wanted girls to be engaged in active citizenship outside the home – through community activism and service. It was a tipping point for women and girls that would reverberate throughout time.
I had the opportunity to visit Juliette Low’s birthplace in Savannah about a year ago. The home is rich in historical relics and artifacts, and stories of Juliette, her family and their life in that house. Like any girl, Juliette lived an ordinary life in that house - eating, sleeping, playing, creating and dreaming. It made me wonder what it might have been like for her to live at a time when girls and women were often overlooked – especially girls with sprightly personalities like hers – and at what age she began dreaming of doing more, being more.
Juliette carried that same exuberance for life into her leadership with Girl Scouts. Hiking and rigorous sports were though...