That fourth C — cookies — is what people think of generally, but it has merely been the fundraising tool by which the organization has been able to help effect change in young girls’ lives through skill-building and character-molding.
Girl Scouts has been a strong organization that has helped to create strong girls with strong character and morals. The roots of the organization run deep and can be seen in the very foundational life skills its long-term members have adopted and grown through.
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We’re not sure if it’s common knowledge, but the Girl Scouts has often been the vanguard of social change long before change was the accepted route. It provided minority groups troops of their own very early and integrated its ranks long before integration was a household term.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called Girl Scouts a “force for desegregation.” The first troops for black scouts and disabled scouts were created separately in 1917. The first Latina troop was in 1922. There were troops for Japanese-American girls in internment camps in the 1940s. The Girl Scouts completely integrated by the 1950s, before the civil rights movement became codified by federal law.
That’s a history to be proud of, and no small feat in a country that seemed to move socially with glacial speed.
Now, as the organization celebrates a century, it plans to aim even higher during the next decade as the national goal for Girl Scouts is to extend female leadership in this country and to encourage girls to enter into professional areas of science, technology and finance.
Such goals surely won’t be hard to attain if you think of where and how the Girls Scouts started and what it’s become. When Juliette Gordon Lowe began the first troop in 1912 with 18 girls in Savannah, Ga., we’re certain she never envisioned this. But what a beautiful vision, nonetheless.
The Girl Scouts was founded March 12, 1912.
The organization has been a strong one in the lives of millions of young girls and women.
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