Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

"The Year of the Girl"

This year marks the centennial celebration of the Girl Scouts, and 2012 has been named "The Year of the Girl" (learn more at www.girlscouts.org/).  On March 12, 1912, the first Girl Scout Troop meeting was held, consisting of 18 girls led by Girl Scouts founder Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low in her hometown of Savanna, Georgia.

Brownie Scouts Lea Griffin (left) and Brenda Holloman plant big kisses
on the cheeks of Mrs. Samuel Lawrence, the first Girl Scout, and niece of
Girl Scouts of America founder, Juliette Low.
Photo by Jim Bisson. Oct. 30, 1958. [source here]
"The young woman who was the first Girl Scout in the United States became so without either knowing it or accepting the honor.  In fact, when Aunt Juliette Low, who founded the first troop, in Savannah, GA in 1912, informed her niece that she, Daisy Gordon was enrolled as Scout No. 1, young Miss Gordon was "a little annoyed." [source: The Evening Independent 1940]

Since that time, Girls Scouts has grown to 3.7 million members and is the largest educational organization for girls in the world.  Generations of women and girls have enjoyed scouting over the years.

As a young girl in Memphis, TN, I joined the "Brownies" with my neighbor friend and her sister.  I remember my little hat and uniform, weekly meetings, making crafts, and learning about doing good deeds. One summer I got to go to a day camp - only the Girl Scouts spent the night - where we sang campfire songs like "Kookaburra" and "White Coral Bells".

My family moved away, and I never became a Girl Scout, but my Aunt Marna was involved in Girl Scouts for many years in Minnesota.  She recently reminisced, "When I was a child, Girl Scouts taught me some lifelong skills, including how to knit, how to be a team member, and how to camp. When I started to be a leader at the age of 16, I learned lots of leadership skills through the years. I also made lifelong friends." (She and her last co-leader were able to find 28 members of their troop and had a reunion this past August!)

If you've followed my blog very long, you may remember my post about Norman Rockwell and his first job - while still in his teens - as art director for BOY'S LIFE, the official publication of the Boy Scouts of America.

But are you aware that Rockwell also figured into the history of the Girl Scouts of America?
“Good Scouts (Portrait of a Girl Scout),” 1924, Norman Rockwell (1894-1978).
Cover illustration for “Life” magazine, November 6, 1924. 

Norman Rockwell Museum Digital Collections.
In 1977, Norman Rockwell was approached by the Franklin Mint to create a dozen designs for medallions depicting the ideals of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America on the occasion of the organization’s 65th anniversary. The artist, a long-time supporter of Scouting, created engaging scenes illustrating such tenets of the Girl Scout Law as “respectful,” “resourceful,” “be prepared,” and “on my honor.”

This Saturday, September 22, 2012 the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA, will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts with a special centennial celebration to be held at the Museum from 1 to 4 p.m. (Look HERE for more information. To learn more about Scout guided visits and workshops held year-round at Norman Rockwell Museum, visit www.nrm.org/visit/scouts.)

(click the images to link to Amazon for details)


  1. I love the Girl Scouts and learned so many things in my years as a scout! Looking back I'm bummed that I stopped going when I hit 6th grade. I wish I would have stuck it out and gone all the way!

    1. Why am I not surprised you were a Girl Scout? You live up to the character traits they inspire, Stephanie! :)