Juliette Gordon Low had chronic ear infections as a child, which made one ear deaf.
A grain of rice thrown at her wedding in 1886 lodged in her other ear, which was punctured by the procedure to remove it.
Juliette Low's father was a U.S. Army General, after previously being a Civil War Confederate captain.
Juliette Low's mother founded the Colonial Dames of Georgia, and brought a Red Cross chapter to Savannah.
During the Spanish-American War, Juliette Low and her mother organized a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers returning from Cuba.
After an estranged marriage, her husband died in 1905.
Juliette Low traveled England where, in 1911, she met Boer War hero Sir Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts.
Baden-Powell wrote in the introduction of a pamphlet Scouting & Christianity, 1917: "Scouting is nothing less than applied Christianity."
His sister, Agnes Baden-Powell, was the leader of Girl Guides.
Juliette Low joined Girl Guides and became a leader. She formed a troop near her home in Scotland.
On MARCH 12, 1912, Juliette Low brought Girl Guides to America, starting the first two troops in Savannah, Georgia.
The next year, she changed the name to Girl Scouts.
Juliette Low died of breast cancer in 1927, and was buried in her Girl Scout uniform.
The original Girl Scout promise was:
"On my honor, I will try: to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people at all times, to obey the Girl Scout laws."
Other groups for youth were formed.
The Young Men's Christian Association was founded in 1844 by George Williams, who wrote:
"The only power in this world that can effectually keep one from sin, in all the varied and often attractive forms ... is that which comes from an intimate knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ as a present Saviour ...
and ... the safe Guide-Book by which one may be led to Christ is the Bible, the Word of God, which is inspired by the Holy Ghost."
The Young Women's Christian Association was founded in England in 1855 by Mary Jane Kinnaird, who worked with Florence Nightingale to train nurses to during the Crimean War.
Mary Jane Kinnaird led a prayer movement for world evangelism, writing in a tract: "united prayer in reference ... to the condition of the Jews, Mohammedans, and the heathen world" (London: Nisbet & Co., 1890, Mary Jane Kinnaird by Donald Fraser):
"Prayer ... awakens such strong opposition ... from the world, the flesh, and the devil ...
Hence the power of prayer -- when to one God and Father, through one Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and by one Holy Spirit, the prompter of prayer, the multitude of them that believe appeal for ... strength to fight the good fight of faith."
In 1902, Ernest Thompson Seton founded Woodcraft Indians for Boys.
In 1905, Dan Beard founded the Society of the Sons of Daniel Boone.
In 1908, Eaton and Beard agreed to combine their organizations into Sir Robert Baden-Powell's organization by incorporating the Boy Scouts of America in 1910.
Having been a part of both the Y.M.C.A. and the Boy Scouts, Dr. Luther Gulick and his wife Charlotte Vetter Gulick, founded a nondenominational organization for girls in 1910 - Camp Fire Girls.
They modeled their symbol after the Y.M.C.A. symbol of a triangle, emphasizing the development of the whole person - physical, mental, spiritual.
The Book of the Camp Fire Girls (1914) stated in Chapter II-Membership, Rank and Names:
"The candidate shall further indicate her love and understanding of the Camp Fire ideal by learning and expressing -
THE FIRE MAKER'S DESIRE
As fuel is brought to the fire
So I purpose to bring
My heart's desire
And my sorrow
To the fire of humankind.
For I will tend
As my fathers have tended
And my father's fathers
Since time began
The fire that is called
The love of man for man
The love of man for God."
In The Book of the Camp Fire Girls (1914) Chapter III-Honors is:
"Business--Yellow Honors ...
Earn three dollars and give it to some philanthropic, church, or community interest ...
Patriotism--Red, White and Blue Honors ...
Teach a class of not less than three, once a week, for eight months in connection with a church, tabernacle, settlement, Young Women's Christian Association, Young Women's Hebrew Association, or other educational or social institution.
Attend a service ten Sabbaths in three months.
Give brief accounts of of the life and service of five religious leaders, and five missionaries ...
Commit to memory the Preamble to the Constitution, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and the first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence.
Commit to memory one hundred verses of the Bible or an equal amount of other sacred literature, as hymns, Thomas à Kempis (The Imitation of Christ), etc."
In Chapter IV-Meetings:
"Quite a number of Camp Fires give part of their time aiding other organizations, assisting in church fairs, helping the Boy Scouts to raise money, and visiting orphan's homes and other institutions."
From the early 20th century on, other organizations were formed, often with church-affiliation:
Girls' Guild, Pioneer Girls, Frontier Girls, GEMS Girls Clubs, Pathfinders, Moonbeams, Sunbeams, Girl Guards, American Heritage Girls, etc.
Many have stayed true to the vision of their founders, while others have changed.
In an article "Girl Scouts leadership: pro-choice, pro-gay ideologues" (CNA), Mary Rice Hasson, a Fellow at the Ethics & Public Policy Center, Washington, D.C., wrote:
"In recent years, Girl Scouts have tacked left, and criticism has mounted - over ... partnerships with America's leading abortion provider, Planned Parenthood ... The Scouts mislead families - they maintain that ... the national office does not have a relationship ... but say nothing about the many local Girl Scout councils that do partner with Planned Parenthood ...
For the third consecutive year ... Girl Scouts lost half a million members ... Their Board of Directors ... reflect a hefty commitment to liberal causes - same-sex marriage, gay and lesbian rights, abortion rights, comprehensive sex education and 'girl power' feminism ...
Lesbians enjoy good press in required Girl Scout materials. These books - the 'Journeys' series ... push global environmentalism from a feminist slant; certain books go further, normalizing homosexuality and degrading sexual behavior."
On February 18, 2016, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson released a letter:
"For several years, the Archdiocese of St. Louis, along with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been investigating concerns regarding Girls Scouts USA ...
This is especially troubling in regards to sex education and advocacy for 'reproductive rights' (i.e. abortion and contraceptive access, even for minors) ...
In addition, recent concerns about GSUSA and their position on and inclusion of transgender and homosexual issues are proving problematic ...
The Girl Scout program ... is exhibiting a troubling pattern of behavior and it is clear to me that as they move in the ways of the world it is becoming increasingly incompatible with our Catholic values.
We must stop and ask ourselves - is Girl Scout s concerned with ... forming the spiritual, emotional, and personal well-being of Catholic girls? ..."
"In 'Renewing the Vision,' the US Bishops' framework for Youth Ministry, we read:
'All ministry with adolescents must be directed toward presenting young people with the Good news of Jesus Christ and inviting and challenging them to become disciples' ...
I continue to be concerned of messages at odds with our faith that our youth are receiving from GSUSA ...
Therefore, I am asking each pastor that allows Girl Scout troops to meet on parish property ... to review these concerns and discuss implementing alternative options for the formation of our girls ....
Several alternative organizations exist, many of which have a Catholic or Christian background ... For more information on each of these organizations and a more detailed listing of ongoing concerns, please visit archstl.org/scouting.
I ask that you ... strongly consider offering one of these programs in your parish instead of Girl Scouts.
Effective immediately, I am disbanding the Catholic Committee on Girl Scouts."
Franklin Graham responded March 1, 2016:
"Archbishop Carlson is exactly right -- the 'ways of the world' are incompatible with biblical values. More church leaders need his boldness in speaking the truths that set those who follow God's Word apart from the rest of the world ...
He told church members and scout leaders that the Girl Scouts is wrong in their support of transgender rights and homosexuality and is not aligned with the teachings of his church.
The archdiocese also revealed that a Girl Scout troop in Utah was formed specifically to reach out to transgendered youth and that the Girl Scouts celebrated the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage on its Instagram and Twitter accounts ...
The Girl Scouts organization sure isn't what it used to be! ... I don't know about you, but I won't be buying any Girl Scout cookies this year."
In 1995, parents in West Chester, Ohio, explored the idea of a new organization for their daughters.
This led Patti Garibay to found the family-friendly "American Heritage Girls," a non-profit organization dedicated to the mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country.
American Heritage Girls offers badge programs, service projects, girl leadership opportunities and outdoor experiences.
American Heritage Girls has rapidly grown to serve thousands of girls with troops in nearly every State.
With wholesome role-models, character building, traditional Judeo-Christian morality, focusing on "Faith, Service and Fun," the American Heritage Girls' Oath is:
"I promise to love God, Cherish my family, Honor my country, and Serve in my community."
Dr. James Dobson, Founder, Focus on the Family, stated:
"I recommend American Heritage Girls enthusiastically to parents who want their daughters involved in a traditional, Christian-based program that will reinforce what they are trying to teach at home."
Dr. Alveda C. King, niece of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stated of American Heritage Girls:
"They do address all the ethnic communities knowing that there's only one human race. And so any little girl, no matter what her background happens to be, can find the delight of girlhood while she's learning character traits that she's going to need. That's very encouraging to me."
When asked what motivated her, American Heritage Girls' founder Patti Garibay told the National Review Online, February 22, 2014:
"Girls discovering that they are made in the image of God, that the Father has a great plan and will for their lives,
and that, by discovering this plan, they can have great influence on their families, their churches, their communities, and their world.
I love to see a girl go from a backward, shy state of being to a confident, God-loving woman of influence in a short amount of time."