What’s a Childless Woman’s Legacy? Millions of Kick-Butt Girl Scouts.

Surely you’ve noticed that Girl Scouts suddenly seem to be all over the place: front and center on Good Morning America, or prominently placed on LATimes.com. Girl Scouts are 100 years old this year. All that green doesn’t look a day over 50. The actual centennial day was March 12. 

I’m one of the nearly 60 million women living in the U.S. today who are Girl Scout alumnae. That’s why I’ve known since 3rd grade that March 12th was the day Juliette Low of Savannah, Georgia founded the Girl Scouts. I must have read every biography of her in the kids’ section of the library. I knew that after she met Boy Scouts founder Robert Baden-Powell, she was determined to replicate that group for girls.

What I didn’t know (or didn’t remember) is that Juliette was a NotMom.  Her marriagefailed, too, which was a HUGE deal in the early 1900s. 


I remember how much I loved Juliette Low when I was a girl. I loved her name. I loved her nickname, ‘Daisy.’ I loved my imaginings of Savannah. All these years later, I’m falling in love with her all over again after reading this description of her by the author of a new biography, Juliette Gordon Low

“By every standard of her day, Juliette Gordon Low at the age of 45 was a failure. She had failed at motherhood (in that she had not become a mother). She had failed at being a wife. But (those seeming failures) also play a role in her saying, ‘You know, one of the things I like about (scouting) is that there’s a Plan B here for girls.’”

Oh yeah. Life is all about the Plan B. Pivot. Punt. Switchback play.

Girl Scouting today involves 3.2 million girls and adults in 90 countries.  Later this year, the U.S. Postal Service will release a Girl Scouts stamp. All because of a NotMom who’s enhanced little girls’ lives for 100 years. 


Photo Credits: Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada, Associated Press, stamp art by Craig Frazier


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