GIRL SCOUTS THROUGH THE AGES: A LOOK AT GIRL SCOUTS IN AMERICA Colleen M. AHAP-NOP Horace Greeley H.S. Chappaqua, NY
ESSENTIAL QUESTION: How did Girl Scouts as an organization reflect the changing roles of women in society? ESSENTIAL QUESTION: How did Girl Scouts as an organization reflect the changing roles of women in society?
OriginsOrigins Founded in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low Called Girl Guides for its first year The first troop meeting was held on March 12, 1912 in Savannah, Georgia The idea came from Lord Baden Powell, who founded Boy Scouts in England, and his sister, Agnes, who founded Girl Guides At this time, a womans future was limited, as was her schooling One of the first troops (circa 1912) Four of the first badges
PurposePurpose The purpose of Girl Scouts was to establish self-development, good citizenship, and love of the outdoors Because of her marital problems (after his death, Lows husband left his estate to his mistress), Low encouraged independence in girls While still promoting the ideals of the era (housekeeping, child care, etc), Girl Scouts also emphasized independence, physical fitness, and careers for women Juliette Low awarding the Golden Eaglet, the highest award in Girl Scouts at the time
UniformsUniforms In this time period, women usually wore long dresses that covered their wrists, neck, and ankles Problem: Juliette Low wanted the girls to be able to move around The end result was a short dress, cinched around the middle with a belt, with thick stockings for winter and lighter tights for warm weather In 1912, the uniform was actually blue It was changed to khaki in 1914, and to the now- famous green in 1928
UniformsUniforms Uniforms were a way for the organization to be recognized When they were in public, people would be able to associate the girls with a specific organization This would connect Girl Scouts with a helpful, not revolutionary, purpose At first, the badges were sewn onto the sleeves of the dress Only later were vests and sashes created 1940s 1970s present
Badges and Handbooks Originally the badges were to let the girls show off their prowess in acceptable activities, such as sewing, cooking, etc The handbook contained helpful information on how a proper lady should think and act While Girl Scouts professed some new ideas, the organization mostly stayed true to the ideas of the ideal woman of that time The first handbook (1913) 1920 Girl Scout Handbook
The Girl Scout Laws The values of this time period were reflected in the laws Cheerful- …(she) should sing even if she dislikes it Women were meant to make the world more pleasant 1912 1. A Girl Scouts Honor is to be Trusted. 2. A Girl Scout is Loyal. 3. A Girl Scout's Duty Is to be Useful and to Help Others 4. A Girl Scout is a Friend to All, and a Sister to every other Girl Scout no matter to what Social Class she May Belong. 5. A Girl Scout Is Courteous. 6. A Girl Scout Keeps Herself Pure. 7. A Girl Scout Is a Friend to Animals. 8. A Girl Scout Obeys Orders. 9. Girl Scout is Cheerful. 10. A Girl Scout is Thrifty.
The Girl Scout Laws In 1916, the 6th Law was changed to Cheerful, and the 9th Law was changed to Pure In 1917, the 4th Law was changed to read: A Girl Scout is a Friend to All and a Sister to Every Other Girl Scout After 1917, the laws would not be changed again until 1972 At that point, Girl Scouts itself, as well as their ideals, had undergone many changes A medieval representation of the Girl Scout Laws and Promise
World War I (1914-1918) While the men went off to fight in Europe, someone had to pick up the jobs that they left behind Women began to work in jobs that had never before been done by females Girls helped to conserve and preserve food, sold war bonds, worked in hospitals, and collected peach pits for use in gas mask filters The war gave girls the chance to earn over 25 badges Child Nurse, etc Girl Scouts team up to preserve fruits and vegetables to prevent food shortages
Elizabeth Felegara Elizabeth Felegara was in the first Chappaqua Girl Scout troop in 1937 Some of her activities included hiking, photography, knots and lashing, and learning Morse Code In the early 1940s (during WWII), she and her troop helped their mothers (who were nurses) in local army hospitals I suppose we were the forerunners of The Candy Stripers. 1938 Mrs. Felegara with her troop in 1941
Elizabeth Felegara The girls planted Victory Gardens, even in 1940, before Pearl Harbor We…had a Victory Garden Contest…which I won… One who was of age had to (and wanted to) look like a lady …we asked Betty White to speak to the girls about good grooming- taking showers, using deodorant, a tad of lipstick, etc. Makeup was becoming popular Women were becoming an everyday part of society, and they wanted to look presentable A Victory Garden booklet
Lou Henry Hoover Throughout her life, Mrs. Hoover loved Girl Scouts "To me…scouting has always been the most important. She became the leader of Troop VIII She served on every branch of Girl Scouting: from troop leader, to president of the national organization, to national board member An example of the new woman- active in society As First Lady, she was the honorary head of Girl Scouts Mrs. Hoover making her first radio address in the White House, accompanied by two Girl Scouts
The Great Depression (1929-1939) During the Depression, membership in Girl Scouts continued to grow, partially because it provided relief and opportunities to girls (especially poorer ones) The girls did community service to help those severely affected by the Depression Collecting clothing, making quilts, carving wood toys, gathering food, assisting in hospitals, participating in food drives and canning programs, and providing meals Theatre, movies, art, dance, and music were all distractions from the hopelessness of everyday life, and the Girl Scouts participated in and created more of them Gathering food for neighbors in need
WWII (1939-1945) During the war, Girl Scouts rose to the occasion and greatly helped on the home front They operated bicycle courier services, invested over 48,000 hours in Farm Aide projects, collected fat and scrap metal, and grew Victory Gardens They collected over 1.5 million pieces of clothing and shipped them to Europe for the freed prisoners of war Pamphlets were given out about service projects and how to act in an aid raid Girl Scouts learn about aviation through the Wing Scout program
WWIIWWII Up until this point, there wasnt an event that really gave the Girl Scouts a chance to help and prove themselves Women met the needs of the nation by taking on jobs in factories that were once occupied by men After the war ended, many women didnt want to go back to their old lives, which paved the way for the revolution of women in the workplace The Girl Scouts of WWII became the women who fought for the right to work in a mans world Girl Scouts collect scrap metal for recycling for the war effort.
1950s1950s Brown vs Board of Ed (1954) shocked many in the demand for desegregation of the schools However, the Girl Scouts has already begun mixing races Ebony Magazine (1952)- Girl Scouts in the South are making steady progress toward breaking down racial taboos." Some of the social outcasts that were Girl Scouts expended much effort to include were the daughters of migrant agricultural workers, military personnel, Native Americans, Alaskan Eskimos, and the physically challenged Much of the rest of society hadnt accepted these groups as equal to whites yet Two Senior Girl Scouts prepare for a camping adventure. Girl Scouts encourage international friendships.
1950s1950s However, women were still considered inferior to men, and only there to serve and please males There were textbooks detailing what a good wife should and should not do Don't complain if he's home late for dinner, or even stays out all night. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it. Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. In all things be led by your husband's wishes…
1960s1960s The 60s were a time of great social unrest Martin Luther King, Jr and others fought for black civil rights The Girl Scout National Council publicly announced that the organization supported civil rights In this time, Girl Scouts was divided into Brownie, Junior, Cadette, and Senior Scouts, depending on age NASA invited 100 girls to see the launch of Apollo 12 at Cape Kennedy, Florida By 1969, over 43% of women were working In the 1950s, a womans place was in the house Girl Scouts witness the Apollo 12 moon launch at Cape Kennedy, Florida.
The Girl Scout Law The law became one sentence, focusing more on the qualities expected of every human being, and not just a woman Reason: women had become more valued members of society, and not just people to take care of the home 1972 I will do my best: To be honest To be fair To help where I am needed To be cheerful To be friendly and considerate To be a sister to every Girl Scout To respect authority To use resources wisely To protect and improve the world around me To show respect for myself and others through my words and actions.
1970s1970s In 1975, Gloria D. Scott became the first African-American National Girl Scout President In response to the growing environmental awareness, an program called Eco-Action was born The win in 1973 by Billie Jean King in The Battle of the Sexes created more feminist feeling- maybe men werent really better than women at all Anna Mae McCabe Hays becomes the first woman general in the U.S. Army Shortly before this, women were in their own separate unit Girl Scouts taught girls many things needed in the military- there were numerous Girl Scouts- gone-soldiers
The informational pamphlet Tune In to Well- Being, Say No to Drugs was first published in 1985 This was part of the Say No To Drugs campaign led by First Lady Nancy Reagan In response to the growing threat of the AIDS epidemic As the US reached out to other countries, Girl Scouts did too In New York, the Edith Macy International Center opened It would later serve as a meeting place for Girl Scouts of all countries, and a place where customs could be shared 1980s1980s Two informational pamphlets
1980s1980s In 1986, the spacecraft Challenger exploded, killing all seven astronauts, including school teacher and former Girl Scout, Sharon Christa McAuliffe. Sandra Day O'Connor, also a Girl Scout alumna, became the first female Supreme Court Justice. Christa McAuliffe The explosion of Challenger 7 Sandra Day OConnor
1990s1990s Nearly four million Girl Scouts, girls and adult leaders, tackled illiteracy alongside First Lady Barbara Bush in the Right to Read service project Girls came from being almost totally illiterate to helping others who were- how they had progress from their beginnings in 1912 Girl Scouts began a health and fitness national service project, Be Your Best, to promote different ways of being healthy, keeping fit, and eating right This came along with the new food pyramid, which happened to be drastically different from the previous ones
The Girl Scout Law The part courageous and strong was new It reflected the new idea of what a woman should be, or rather, what she did not have to be Women now had a say in their own lives 1992 I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.
September 11 th, 2001 After the tragic events of 9/11, Girl Scouts everywhere banded together to help In NY, hundreds of boxes of Girl Scout cookies were sent to the volunteers working at Ground Zero Thousands of women (some former Girl Scouts) joined the military to fight al Qaeda 60 years ago, women fought in separate units, most of which never saw actual combat No event since Vietnam had the general public been this involved in a national crisis They performed community services, hosted remembrance ceremonies, and wrote thank-you letters to rescuers 9-11-01 Girl Scout Patch (not earned, just to show support)
Afghanistan and Iraq One soldiers actually began going over to Afghanistan and Iraq, Girl Scouts started collecting food, clothing, and money to send to both the soldiers and the natives When asked by President Bush, almost every Girl Scout donated $1 to the children of Afghanistan There continues to be a drive with every cookie sale that sends cases over to the soldiers In March 2004, Girl and Boy Scouts were founded in Iraq A Brownie high-fives a soldier while delivering cookies to be shipped overseas to the troops
Modern Girl Scouts Membership in GSUSA went from 18 girls in 1912 to 3.3 million in 2007 Currently, wearing uniforms is not demanded for every meeting as it was in the beginning Not many girls wear the white gloves and skirt There are over ten different kinds of cookies sold each year Girl Scouts has become one of the most influential and well-known organizations in the world They have continued to give girls the opportunity to change the world around them Girl Scouts are extremely valuable By earning different awards, they are also helping their community
Extra Info Each of these awards tested the strength of character, as well as the motivation, of the girl earning it The Gold Award includes 30 hours of leadership, Interest Project Patches, and several other time consuming prerequisites The project Must have continuity, leadership, and community service, as well as being at least 65 hours Golden Eaglet of Merit, 1916 to 1919 (the first Girl Scout top award) Golden Eaglet, 1919 to 1940 Curved Bar Award, 1940 to 1963 First Class award, 1963 to 1980 Girl Scout Gold Award®, 1980 to present The Highest Award
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