Think Halloween is just about ghost and goblins? Definitely not! As the days turn cooler and the 31st of October draws near, my thoughts inevitably turn to our founder, Juliette Gordon Low, whose birthday is that day.
Born in 1860, Juliette (or Daisy, as she was known) grew up in Savannah, Ga. A fateful meeting in 1912 with Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Boy Scouts, inspired Juliette to establish Girl Scouts that same year. Telephoning a cousin from her home, she announced, "Come right over. I've got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world, and we're going to start it tonight!" I just love that quote...who can resist her enthusiasm?
From that first gathering of a small troop of 18 culturally and ethnically diverse girls, Juliette broke the conventions of the time--reaching across class, cultural, and ethnic boundaries to ensure all girls had a place to grow and develop their leadership skills.
I love to talk with children about Juliette, and there are many aspects of her life that they find entertaining. They love hearing the story of how she sold one her most treasured possessions, her pearls, to launch the Girl Scouts. They think it's totally cool that she was born on Halloween, and never cease to find it amazing that some of her hearing loss was due to have a piece of rice thrown at her wedding become lodged in her ear. Mostly, they are amazed that a single woman could start such an amazing organization.
Thinking about Daisy makes me proud to be a Girl Scout and inspires me (and I hope you, as well!) to continue our work to help girls develop the leadership skills they need to make our world a better place.
This birthday week, I hope you and your girls will take a moment to remember our founder and the wonderful legacy that she has bestowed upon us. May we all live up to her great expectations...Happy Birthday, Juliette!