Juliette Gordon Low: Our Original Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, and Leader

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She is our inspiration.

Juliette Gordon Low, or Daisy to her friends, is proof that girls can do anything.

Today, as Girl Scouts everywhere celebrate Girl Scouts’ 105th Birthday, let’s take time to acknowledge that she was the very embodiment of courage, confidence, and character, and she did, indeed, make the world a better place.

In fact, Juliette Gordon Low was the original G.I.R.L. (Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader)TM!

Born Juliette Magill Kinzie Gordon on October 31, 1860, in Savannah, Georgia, she descended from a long line of strong and independent women.

jgl-quoteDaisy was a sensitive, curious, and adventurous girl known for her sense of humor, compassion, and concern for others. She was interested in athletics, the arts, animals, and nature—attributes that would one day become central to the Girl Scout Movement.

Her long and storied life was full of challenges overcome, opportunities seized, and victories savored.

She was a Girl Scout first and always, and she exemplified the essential traits that make up the Girl Scout DNA.

She was a—

Go-getter. Daisy’s desire to make the world a better place came to the fore early in life. When she was just 16, she prodded her cousins to start the Helping Hands Club. Their goal? Learn how to sew and make clothing for a recently immigrated family. While their sewing skills left much to be desired, it was Daisy’s first foray into organizing and inspiring girls to make the world a better place.

Innovator. In 1912, she famously announced, “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!” From that first gathering of a small troop of 18 culturally and ethnically diverse girls, Daisy broke the conventions of the time—reaching across class, cultural, and ethnic boundaries to ensure that Girl Scouts offered all girls a place to grow and develop their leadership skills.

Risk-taker. Launching the Girl Scout Movement was not without challenges. Daisy worked tirelessly to grow the new organization and for many years used her own money to pay expenses, even selling her valuable pearl necklace when she was short of funds. In 1920, when she was 61, she launched a fundraising campaign in a daring flight over Manhattan in an old-fashioned biplane, leaning out to drop Girl Scout flyers on the crowds below. It was a spectacular launch for Girl Scout Week, which also included a 6,000-girl parade and a pageant in Central Park.

Leader. Using her innate talent for fundraising and public relations, combined with her vast network of high-profile friends and supporters, Daisy led Girl Scouts with passion and determination—ensuring it was, and always would be, an experience that was “girl led.” In 2012, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, in recognition of her “remarkable vision,” and to celebrate “her dedication to empowering girls everywhere.”

In 2017, the vision of Juliette Gordon Low lives on in millions of Girl Scouts across the nation—and the globe—who carry on her legacy. She is remembered and honored by generations of people whose lives have been positively impacted by Girl Scouts.

Happy Birthday, Girl Scouts!

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