Girl Scout Traditions: Founder’s Day!
Are you ready to celebrate our founder this October 31?
The dynamic and visionary founder of Girl Scouts of the USA, Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low, was born on October 31, 1860 in Savannah, Georgia. Daisy, as she was called by family and friends, was an engaging and determined woman who loved the outdoors, the creative arts, and who poured her mind, spirit, and financial resources into creating Girl Scouts of the USA.
In the 15 years between her first meeting in 1912 to her death from breast cancer in 1927, Daisy watched the organization she loved grow from 18 girls to over 168,000 members, and now the number of lives she’s touched with her vision of Girl Scouts numbers in the millions. That’s quite a legacy, Daisy!
Celebrating her on her birthday has been a long-standing Girl Scout tradition, and like most traditions, there are many ways to celebrate this momentous occasion. Here are a couple of our favorite ways to celebrate Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low:
1. Host a “throwback” Girl Scout meeting or event.
Check out some old Girl Scout badges or watch The Golden Eaglet with your girls and try out some of the activities the first Girl Scouts might have learned from Daisy. You could also invite a Girl Scout alumna to your meeting to share some of her stories about badges and activities she did as a young Girl Scout.
2. Go fishing.
Daisy loved to fish and was not one to let her attire stop her from one of her favorite outdoor hobbies. She once talked Rudyard Kipling into going salmon fishing with her during a large formal party in spite of the fact they were both dressed in evening clothes.
3. Stand on your head!
We mentioned this in a post in 2014 and it’s still one of our favorites. One of Daisy’s special skills was standing on her head. She stood on her head every year on her birthday to prove she could still do it, and also celebrated nieces’ and nephews’ birthdays by standing on her head. Once, she even stood on her head in the board room at National Headquarters to show off the new Girl Scout shoes.
4. Throw a birthday bash.
Need ideas? Google Juliette Gordon Low birthday party ideas or check out Pinterest. You’ll find songs, crafts, stories, ceremonies, and many more ways to celebrate this important day. Let the girls get involved in planning the party. Daisy was the first to promote girl-led in Girl Scouts. She famously replied when asked what the girls should do, “What do the girls WANT to do?” We like your style, Daisy!
5. Help someone else.
Daisy was an advocate of doing a good turn daily and she would be ecstatic to know that girls and women the world over still consider helping others a part of their essential Girl Scout duties. So lend a helping hand in her honor this year.
6. Give a gift basket to the first girl born on October 31!
Last year, we received several stories of troops across western Ohio who put together gift baskets for the first girl born on October 31 at their local hospital. What a fun idea! Check with the hospital to make sure it’s okay, and either drop the basket off in advance or make preparations for some of the girls to deliver it in person that day.
7. Wear a strand of pearls.
Have you heard the story of Juliette’s pearls? In 1914, she sold a strand of rare matched pearls to pay the rent for the national Girl Scout office. She said “Jewels are not important, but my Girl Scouts are, they need money more than I need pearls.” In her honor, wear a strand of pearls for her birthday (fake ones are perfectly fine)!
So what will your girls do this year to celebrate our visionary founder? Whatever it is, we know Daisy would be proud to see that girls are still becoming courageous, confident women through Girl Scouts.
Originally posted on September 12, 2016. Updated on October 16, 2017.