Below is a short biography of the founder of the Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts came about due to its founder believing girls needed to be empowered, shown how to be leaders, given skills to be productive members of society. This was a radical idea given the time Girl Scouts was founded in 1912. This was prior to all of the changes we have seen in the last 100 years when it deals with women. Just remember, woman did not acquire the right to vote until 1920, woman did not really move into the work force until WWII, women did not become respected as pilots until WWII with WAF (Women’s Air Force), and it wasn’t until after WWII that women were allowed into law and medical schools to any degree.
I remember being in girl scouts and enjoying my time in the troop. We did all sorts of things together: camping, cookouts, earning badges and of course, selling girl scout cookies. I hope you enjoy this short biography about a woman before her time:
Juliette ‘Daisy’ Low was a woman of social prominence who lived in Georgia. She was born in Savannah, GA in 1860. After she graduated from ‘finishing school’ in New York state she returned home to have her ‘coming out’ party. Daisy’s life was one of total unencumbered care. Her life consisted of one party after another. She was not a very good student in school, despite being bright. Instead, she got through school on her wit and charm. She could come up with all sorts of ideas, but lacked motivation to finish any of them.
During finishing school she had made all sorts of social contacts which served her well on both sides of the continent, in the deep South as well as London. Daisy’s life was one of her believing she had been born into high society and that’s just the way life was going to be. She didn’t have a care in the world. She thought others who had not been born into such social prominence were just unlucky.
Then when she was 41, her life came crashing down around her. Her husband revealed he was having an affair and divorce proceedings began. As the court proceedings dragged on, her husband died. Daisy thought this would end the legal battles and she could settle down. But this was not to be. Her husband’s will left everything to his mistress. Daisy had to go to court to even lay claim to what she had brought into the marriage.
Daisy was living in England at the time. She had spent the last four years of her life working through the court system her divorce and then settlement of what she had brought into the marriage. At the age of 45, she found herself bereft of friends, depressed and heavy with the knowledge that her life had accounted for nothing. It was then that she turned her life over to God.
Turn Around, The Beginnings of the Girl Scouts
It was at this time that she met Robert Baden-Powell, the man who started Boy Scouts in England. His sister had started a similar program named Girl Guides in the London area. Robert gave Daisy a chance to work with Agnes, which she enthusiastically took up. After spending several months under Agnes tutelage, Daisy sensed it was time for her to return to Savannah.
Upon her return home, she enthusiastically set up a similar program for the girls in Savannah, GA. She held her first meeting of 18 girls on March 12, 1912. Eventually the program spread and it became known as the Girl Scouts.
Daisy wanted the program to show girls the wonder of God and the joy of doing charity work. Daisy made sure that God was at the heart of each element of the program. Christian characters were the essence of scouting. Daisy used her social contacts to raise money for the Girl Scouts as she spoke about the program and what she envisioned for it.
A Life’s Purpose
Daisy worked tirelessly for her Girl Scouts. Despite her diagnosis of cancer in 1923, she continued on. After her funeral in January, 1927 more than 100,000 girl scouts took time in their meetings to honor their founder. A century later, there are now more than 4 million girls involved in Girl Scouts which has gone worldwide in its scope.
One relatively unknown woman was rudderless, bereft of friends, depressed and recently divorced. And yet this one woman turned her life around after having an encounter with God which changed the world of girls. She showed and embodied Christian characteristics in everything she did for the Girl Scouts. She spoke with her high society friends about the Girl Scouts and Christianity.
All of her society friends noticed how changed Daisy was. They had all expected her to fall flat and not follow-through on anything regarding her newest project. That had been her history with previous ideas. But now Daisy was different, she had God as her rudder and He was giving her purpose and zest for life. Daisy’s life was a continual witness to those around her, including all of her high society friends that Christianity was the most important element in her life.
On the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts 2012, Daisy Low was posthumously given the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her tireless work on the part of girls across the world.
If a defeated, divorced, rudderless woman at the age of 41 can have her life turned around due to her accepting God into her life, then just think of what He can do with your life, if you let Him act through you and in you?
Below is a video about the book written about Daisy Low and a few of the girls she impacted: