Monday, July 4, 2016

Girl Scouts and Patriotism: 10 Fun Facts to Celebrate July 4

Girl Scouts has a long history of showing support for their country, and it all started at the source with our beloved Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low. Our amazing founder was a lot of things; she was brave, inventive, giving, loving, passionate, outdoorsy, and self-reliant, just to name a few. She was also a patriot through and through with her always-on focus on duty, selflessness, and service.

Today, Girl Scouts continue to uphold Daisy’s tradition of patriotism by making cards and sending care packages (including yummy Girl Scout Cookies, of course!) to U.S. servicemen and women, participating in Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans Day parades and activities across the country, taking part in flag retirement ceremonies, placing flags at local cemeteries, and so much more. All of this helps to build a sense of pride in our country and its rich history, while also nurturing important skills for many of the great leaders who stand to mold its future—Girl Scouts!

So, we thought, what better way to celebrate our great nation’s birthday than to take a look back at all the inspiring ways Girl Scouts have celebrated and exhibited patriotism throughout history? Here are nine fun facts to share with your Girl Scout buddies around that barbecue, at the beach, or around a cozy campfire as you celebrate this Fourth of July, and remember why it’s such an important, memorable day.

  1. Girl Scouts offers a Citizen badge at every grade level that helps girls learn to celebrate their communities—from their towns and states to their country. The badges include Celebrating Community for Brownies, Inside Government for Juniors, Finding Common Ground for Cadettes, Behind the Ballot for Seniors, and Public Policy for Ambassadors. 
  2. Patriotism, citizenship, and community service are core elements of the Girl Scout experience. 
  3. Currently, Girl Scouts serves thousands of military families across 72 different councils. USA Girl Scouts Overseas alone serves more than 6,000 girl and volunteer members who are a part military families stationed abroad.
  4. Girl Scouting has a positive impact on civic engagement. A 2012 study found that Girl Scout alumnae are more likely to vote than non-alumnae. 
  5. Every female secretary of state in U.S. history is a former Girl Scout.*
  6. Fifty-eight percent of women in the 114th Congress are Girl Scout alumnae.*
  7. During World War I, as a new organization eager to jump in and help in meaningful ways, Girl Scouts helped roll bandages and make dressings for wounds for soldiers. 
  8. In the 1930s, with the United States consumed by the Great Depression, Girl Scouts participated in relief efforts by collecting clothing and food for those in need.
  9. During World War II, Girl Scouts knit socks for soldiers, planted victory gardens, and even sold war bonds. They also sponsored defense institutes that taught women survival skills and techniques for comforting children during air raids. 
  10. Though it was never implemented, Juliette Gordon Low once developed a stars-and-stripes design for Girl Scout uniforms. 
Moscow: A few of the girls at Spaso House - the Residence of the US Ambassador. The Girl Scouts led 500 American citizens in the Pledge of Allegiance.

That’s a whole lot to be proud of! And it’s just the tip of the iceberg. What a wonderful tradition to uphold. We can’t wait to continue to serve this great country by always finding new ways to help others (no deed is too small!), and working to change the world, together.

Happy Independence Day everyone!

* Girl Scouts of the USA Public Policy & Advocacy Office, Washington, DC (2015)