Sixteen members of the Current Event Club attended the Nov. 8 meeting at the fellowship hall of St. John United Church of Christ, Defiance, with Judy Dally as the hostess. Tables were decorated with a Girl Scout theme denoting the club’s program of the day.
In keeping with the club’s study topic, notable female philanthropists, Regina Snyder introduced Agnes McDonald, who presented the program on the founder of the Girl Scouts.
Juliette Gordon Low was the founder of the Girl Scouts. She was born in Savannah, Ga., on Oct. 31, 1860. Low was always called “Daisy” and stories about her are legendary. Between 1890 and the 1920s, the Progressive Era swept the U.S. Women were in the forefront of this movement, organizing hundreds of clubs that worked toward social change.
Low’s sister in Great Britain organized the Girl Guides, which was a spinoff of the Boy Scouts. Both groups encouraged citizenship and the love of the outdoors. Low soon realized the possibilities such an organization had for American girls.
On March 12, 1912, she invited 18 girls to the first Girl Guide meeting. The name was changed to Girl Scouts in 1913. By 1920, there were nearly 70,000 Girl Scouts.
Today there are more than 3.2 million Girl Scouts in the U.S. and in more than 90 countries. Girl Scout alums have led the way for women in the arts, politics, science, sports and women’s rights. They’ve walked in space and won gold medals at the Olympics.
By 1921, the Girl Scouts officially open to minorities. Early troops were, for the most part, segregated, but by 1956, the Girl Scouts took their commitment to all girls a step further and launched a national drive to desegregate all troops.
Some things have changed since Low’s time. In the 1930s, the popular cookie sale was introduced. Uniforms were green instead of blue. But members still learn the Girl Scout promise and law. After more than 100 years, the Girl Scouts continue to empower girls.
The annual Christmas luncheon of the Current Event Club will be at noon Dec. 13 at Slammin’ Sammies, Defiance. Ann Small and Shirley Witteborg will coordinate the luncheon.