Tradition is one of the core values of Girl Scouts. One way that we honor Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts, is with service and ceremony on her birthday, which is October 31st.
Younger Daisy Scouts can do simple projects to commemorate Juliette and learn about her. Brownies and Juniors, who should already be familiar with her history, can have a simply ceremony as part of the meeting and to give honor to someone who helped make the world a better place.
Because scouting is steeped in tradition, you do not have to drive yourself crazy trying to create you own Girl Scout Founder’s Day ceremony. It has already been done for you! Unlike bridging ceremonies, rehearsal is not needed, as this is for the girls and not the parents. It does not have to be perfect, it just has to be!
Here are some Girl Scout Founder’s Day ceremonies for you to use.
After your ceremony, it would be a great idea to do some kind of service project. Depending on the amount of time you have and the girls ability levels and interests, you can do something simple or more complex. I have a Pinterest board full of service ideas. You can find it here.
At the end of the month, Girl Scouts around the world will be celebrating Founder’s Day. One way to do that is to do a service project for others, like Birthday in a Bag, which my troop did a few years ago (you can read how we did this here).
I found these great ideas to do the Birthday in a Bag and make plain gift bags look even better.
At A Daily Pinch, the blogger has pictures of crafts she did using Duct Tape. These are simple, easy to prepare and the extra Duct Tape can be used for crafts throughout the year.
The two I am partial to are the cake and the candle taped to the bag. All you have to do before the meeting is prep the tape by cutting four strips and a flame or the candle, a flame, and a piece of string. You can make your own kits by putting each set in it’s own baggie or inside the gift bags you have had donated or purchased.
Girl Scout Founder’s Day is a very important Girl Scout holiday. Here are activities for troops of all levels to do so they can participate in the celebration.
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*Updated for 2017
For Girl Scouts, there are two reasons to celebrate on October 31st. Besides Halloween, it is Girl Scouts Founder’s Day. On this day in 1860, Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts, was born in Savannah, Georgia. Juliette, whose nickname was Daisy, was born into a life of privilege.
Throughout her life, Daisy had several challenges to overcome, among them being almost totally deaf.Daisy was married to William Low and moved to England, where he was from. Unfortunately, their union ended when William died during their divorce proceedings.
Feeling a sense of failure, Daisy wanted to find some purpose in her life. She was very good friends with Lord Robert Baden-Powell, who founded the Boy Scout movement. He encouraged her to participate in the Girl Guides, the sister organization of the Boy Scouts. Daisy loved helping the Girl Guides, which inspired her to bring the idea to America; she started the Girl Scout movement on March 12, 1912 in Savannah.
Save the Date
Because Girl Scout Founder’s Day is on Halloween, you won’t be meeting on that day, as your girls will be celebrating Halloween. Plan your activities on your meeting date closest to the 31st.
Girl Scout Founder’s Day Celebration Ideas for Daisies
Young Daisies are going to need a very hands on approach when celebrating Girl Scout Founder’s Day. You can read parts of Juliette’s biography to the girls as an introduction to who she is. You can also download pictures of Juliette Gordon Low from the internet and share the different parts of her life with the girls. Write a paragraph about her on the back to read to the girls. This would be a good time to discuss the concept of “long ago” and when girls were told that they could not do the same things as boys.
Daisy Bracelet Bead Craft
An easy and fun activity for Daisies is beading. Have them make blue and white bracelets that they can wear to every meeting. Precut and knot the elastic at home to save time. You can always make the elastic shorter if necessary.
Make sure you have bowls for the beads-enough for two girls to share a bowl. Bring a few extra precut elastic strips for those who might need a replacement. You can ask an older Girl Scout troop to help you with the celebration, so they can be a “Sister to Every Girl Scout”.
Since it is Juliette’s birthday, cake is in order!
For a fun activity for little hands, have them ice and decorate cupcakes. Use flower cupcake liners, Daisy sprinkles and Daisy cake decorations to really tie in the Daisy theme! The icing can be blue and white. As leader, have a cupcake of your own and top with a candle. Sing “Happy Birthday” to Juliette Gordon Low! At the end of the meeting, ask the girls questions about Juliette’s life and see what they remember.
Daisy Cupcake Decorations
There is nothing more delightful than a bunch of little girls devouring cupcakes. Based on my own Girl Scout leaders experience, my troop always loves any badge that involves food or a special meeting when I bake a treat for them. It sets a festive tone. Fortunately for me, none of my girls have any food allergies, so I can bring in whatever I want. Before you bring in a treat, double check with parents and make sure this information is always in your leader binder.These flower power accents will be enjoyed by your Daisies!
Girl Scout Founder’s Day Celebration Ideas for Brownies
As Brownie Girl Scouts, your troop should be somewhat familiar with Juliette. A brief review of her life can be played as a trivia game. You can divide the girls into teams, and keep score of who gets the questions that you have written correct. Once the questions are finished, go over the answers together.This can lead into the following community service project, which will take up two meetings.
As leader, you will need to find a local organization that is in need of Halloween costumes for children who cannot afford them. Once that is in place, then the fun begins! At the first meeting, talk about how Juliette permitted anyone who wanted to be a Girl Scout to join. Religion, race, or how much money their parents earned could keep any girl out of scouting.
At Halloween time, which is Juliette’s birthday, there will be children who will not have a costume because their parents cannot afford one. Their service project will be to collect gently used costumes. Many people have old Halloween costumes sitting around in closets with no one to give them to. Brainstorm ways to go about doing this. Can they make flyers? Ask neighbors, family and friends? Can they get permission from the school principal to ask the school via announcements or ask their classmates?
Once the ideas are agreed upon, hand out white copy paper or Halloween themed paper for the girls to design a flyer. Talk about what information to include, like date they are due and when they can be picked up. The girls can then have their parents scan it for emails, print it for mailboxes, and to hand out to neighbors. Decide on a date to drop them off at your home.
On the day of the next meeting, have the girls deliver them to the organization. This will require prior field trip approval, so be sure to get that in order prior to this meeting. It makes a large impact on the girls when they see where their donations are going to be received.
Girl Scout Founder’s Day Celebration Ideas for Juniors and Older Scouts
For Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and Ambassadors, Girl Scout Founder’s Day should be service oriented. Whether they are helping a Daisy or Brownie troop with their meeting and service project, or creating one of their own, they can help make the world a better place.
One idea that spread nationwide in 2011 is Birthday in a Bag . Because many people cannot afford the basics, buying candles and pretty napkins for a birthday are an extravagance. Older Girl Scouts can collect the following items and put them in pretty gift bags or colored lunch bags:
You can ask local Dollar Stores for donations of gift bags and foil pans. Ask permission from grocery stores to have a donation box for the items you are seeking. The more advance notice you give, the more likely you will get approval for your service project.Older girls who have Facebook and Twitter accounts can ask their friends and family via social media with parental permission. Younger girls can put flyers in their neighborhood and ask friends and family to help.
Girl Scout Founder’s Day is a great way for Girl Scouts of any age to celebrate the life of it’s founder, Juliette Gordon Low.
On Friday we had our second Junior Girl Scout meeting. I was so happy to have two more girls at the table, bringing the number in my troop to nine!
Photo from Pixabay
I went over the business from our last meeting, which was to tell the girls which badges were would work on and which trips we would take. They were very excited about earning the Camera, Theater, Dance and Stress Less badges. I am also planning a field trip to Build A Bear, which everyone voted for!
I do all of the planning for our meetings, but since my co-leader is a photographer, I punted the Camera badge to her to lead at our next meeting. In order to give her time to get organized, I decided to do our Juliette Gordon Low birthday celebration earlier in the month.
My Meeting Prep Work
Since we were going to do the Birthday in a Bagcommunity serviceproject for our local food pantry, I emailed the parents to have the girls bring in three items-cake mix, a tub of frosting, and a can of peaches. The girls had to bring them to school on the day of our meeting.
I needed a bag to put the food in. I went to a few stores to try and find white gift bags, but the best I could do is the Dollar Store. Since we do not sell cookies, I was not wasting our troop dues on bags that would be tossed. I decided to go to Whole Foods and ask for nine small bags, and they happily donated a dozen for free.
This Photo and All Other by Hannah Gold
I already know a lot about Juliette and Girl Scout History, so all I had to do was print three pictures of her-one as a young girl, one as a young adult and one as an older woman in her Girl Scout uniform. I then used the picture from her younger days to make a card for the girls to glue onto the bag. I also bought cupcake and birthday stickers at the craft store for a dollar for them to put on as well. My plan was to have them draw pictures to cut and glue onto the bag to make it look unique and festive.
With the bag under control, it was time to plan a birthday Swap. I searched the internet and saw an idea that I tweaked to make my own. The original had a real candle in the middle, but I had no candles at home. So I found free clipart of a candle, cut and pasted it onto a document, printed and cut them out.
I also made little cards in the Cheri Liney font that read “Happy Birthday, Juliette Troop #______”
Other materials I had on hand at home were poker chips (I was a teacher and have tins of chips that we used for counting), mini cupcake liners (I bake a lot with my kids) cotton balls (left over from our First Aid Brownie Try It), and beads (from my 1970’s bead kits that I still have in my old lunch box!).
I made a Swap for the girls to see and to work out any kinks:
We started the meeting with the girls setting up and leading our opening. I was fortunate to have a surprise volunteer when one of the moms came to drop off her daughter’s bag and asked if she could stay (she is my friend and I never say no to extra help!)
After talking about Juliette’s life and explaining why we had a can of peaches (she was born in Savannah, Georgia), the girls went to town decorating the bags. They really took their time and I had to hurry them up at the end so we would have time to make our Swap. Then my co-leader took pictures of the girls for our scrapbook and then the meeting was over! Time really flew by!
I also bought Junior Mints to add to the bag (because we are Juniors!)
Here are the bags (the solo picture is my daughter’s)
I will bring the bags to the food pantry next week.
How will you be celebrating Girl Scout Founder’s Day?