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Girl Scouts

ImageThe Girl Scouts help girls build skills. Those skills have changed with the times. The first achievement badge—Child Nurse—was awarded in 1912. It was given to girls who showed they could care for children.

Today, Girl Scouts earn badges for achievements in many areas, including math, science, arts, sports, and managing money. They can even earn awards online for exploring computers and cyberspace.


There are about 3 million members of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. Girls of all backgrounds are welcome to join. Scouts range in age from 5 to 17.

There are five age levels of Girl Scouts. These levels are Daisy (ages 5 and 6), Brownie (ages 6 to 8), Junior (ages 8 to 11), Cadette (ages 11 to 14), and Senior (ages 14 to 17).

Scouts are guided by the Girl Scout Promise and the Girl Scout Law. The Promise states, “On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law.”

The Girl Scout Law states the qualities Scouts should strive for. These qualities include honesty, helpfulness, responsibility, fairness, and courage. The Girl Scouts also trains girls to be leaders.


Girl Scouts meet in small groups called troops with adult leaders. The troops and their leaders meet about once a month. They work on crafts or projects. They also plan activities to help their communities. For example, Scouts might distribute food for the homeless or raise money for a scholarship fund.

Girl Scouts also go on trips. These can be overnight camping trips at a nearby state park. Or they can be longer trips that might involve a tour of historic ruins or backpacking in a wilderness area.

Girl Scouts earn badges, patches, and pins for achievements in different areas. Girls might choose to work for these awards in fitness, pet care, community service, reading, sports, arts, and many other activities. Brownies win Try-Its for trying different activities.


In 1917, the Girl Scouts started selling cookies to pay for troop activities. Back then, the Scouts—with their mothers—baked the cookies at home. Today, there are companies that bake the special cookies.

More than 170 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies are sold every year. Thin Mints are the most popular kind.


The Girl Scouts were founded in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low. Low called a meeting in Savannah, Georgia, where she lived. Eighteen girls attended the first meeting.

Low got the idea for the Girl Scouts from friends she had met in England, Robert Baden-Powell and his sister Agnes. Robert had started the Boy Scouts in England, and Agnes had started a group for girls called Girl Guides.

Low liked the idea of bringing girls from all backgrounds together. She believed that girls should know their way around the great outdoors as well as how to cook and sew. She wanted to prepare girls for lives as homemakers. She also wanted them to be ready to join the business world, if that’s what they chose to do.

Low traveled and set up Girl Scout troops across the United States. She also established a national organization. The Girl Scouts expanded rapidly.

 Source: Microsoft ® Encarta