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Palo Alto Girl Scouts were first in the West

Original post made on Mar 11, 2012

When the Girl Scouts of America celebrates its 100th anniversary Monday evening, March 12, Palo Alto's Girl Scouts will have their 90th anniversary. In 1922, Palo Alto Girl Scouts Service Unit 1 became the first Girl Scout organization in the West.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, March 10, 2012, 3:14 PM

Comments (13)

Posted by Mary Carlstead
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 11, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Congratulations to the Palo Alto Girls Scouts. I joined the GS in 1939 (no Brownie troops in my hometown then) and could afford to go to summer camp once. During WWII we knitted "Bundles for Britain", learned to sew our own clothes and to knit for the military, can fruits and vegetables, first aid, did Red Cross work, and as senior scouts helped in local hospitals during a severe RN shortage. We all had to earn badge in identifying enemy aircraft and were junior wardens - (never mind that we lived along the MIssissippi River!! .I was an expert in making balsam plane models, manned the desk in the hospital 'primitive' ER . once all night when the night person failed to show up.(I was fifteen). And when the 'telegrams started coming in especially after the Bataan death march (the Illinois reservists from our area were there) and throughout the war. we made cards and paper flowers for the families.
My own two daughters joined here - the Walter Hays troop, and I have fond? memories of sleepovers at the Lou Henry Hoover house (on the floor) and a weekend at a camp out in the Santa Cruz mountains- stories from them still make me roar with laughter. Perhaps some other local moms will remember that - the 'mountain lion "scare" which was a joke - breakfast in bed for mom's on Mother's Day, and moms 'late night cup of coffee'. We earned it. I still have my original GS pin. Daughters have their badges. I hope the organization goes on forever. God Bless the Girl Scouts. "Day is done........gone the sun....... "(Does any old scout remember the words?

Posted by Ronnie
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 11, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Thanks for sharing that! It is really fascinating to hear a little bit about what it would have been like for a kid and girl scout during those times.

Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 11, 2012 at 10:02 pm

What a wonderful history for a wonderful organization!

Posted by Troop Leader 60647
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 12, 2012 at 11:42 am

Happy birthday Girl Scouts! Glad to be a part of SU601!

Posted by Appreciative Neighbor
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm

At the intersection of Lowell and Bryant (dead end with bike path) we have a neighbor who has been doing an wonderful job of decorating for various holiday and events (President's Day, Valentine's Day, Chinese new year, etc.)

There is currently a display set up celebrating the 100 years of Girl Scouts.

Thanks to our mystery neighbor putting these festive decorations up. It livens up the neighborhood and we go by frequently as a family to see what the latest display is - great work!

Posted by Sally
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm

"Juliette Gordon Low spent several years searching for something useful to do with her life. Her search ended in 1911, when she met Sir Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, and became interested in the new youth movement. Afterwards, she channeled all her considerable energies into the fledgling movement"

Web Link

My father was a scoutmaster, and I was in a Girl Scout troop. I always knew that the Girl Scouts were an outgrwoth of the Boy Scouts.

This celebration should honor the Boy Scouts, as well as the Girl Scouts.

Posted by SuperD
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 12, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Congrats to the Girl Scouts on their 90th anniversary . This is truly a worthwhile organization - I am glad to see continued interest in scouting these days. It's good to have these kids step away from the television and the video games and learn some old fashioned values and life skills.

Posted by GS leader
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 12, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Ah, yes, the much-venerated Girl Scouts. The organization that has exploited generations of little girls, sending them out on the streets to hawk cookies, nuts, and the like. The troop gets to keep a small percentage of sales, and if a troop doesn't meet quota, it risks getting booted out of Girl Scouts. I'll never forget the year we were commanded to return our meager earnings to regional headquarters so they could buy furnishings for their new Juliette Low dollhouse.

Troops are also not allowed to fundraise or support any other organization, no matter how worthy. It's all about enriching the mother ship. The girls have fun, and that's what counts, but I'm surprised Palo Altans aren't a little more savvy about what's under the hood of this mom & apple pie organization.

Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 13, 2012 at 9:27 am

@ "GS leader:"

There is always someone who likes it to rain on a parade.

No cookies for you.


Posted by AnotherGSLeader
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 13, 2012 at 9:47 am

Wonderful organization! SU 601 (Palo Alto) is run by volunteers. Every leader, co-leader has a life of her/his own .. many of them work full time and have equally busy (if not busier) lives at home. However, you see each leader's face brimming with enthusiasm and the drive to get "more" for their troop girls. Its not easy, but at the end of the day, its personally very rewarding for the leader to see that one shy kid, who wouldn't say a word, when she was a Daisy .. lead a group of kids to get a Bronze/Silver award. It is refreshing to see the girls, who could barely muster courage to rattle off the list of cookie flavors at the booth sale, stepping up and coming up with strategies to sell.

Yes, every organization has its own pros and cons. No organization is perfect. It depends on how you, as a leader, choose to work with the rules.

Posted by Nick
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 13, 2012 at 11:21 am

Are the PA scouts now ready to be the first to get the national group to offer cookies without wheat or gluten, or formulated for diabetics? Now that would be a great first! The country is ready.


Posted by A former Brownie Leader
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jan 10, 2015 at 4:54 pm

I was a former Brownie Leader at Fairmeadow,PA and I loved scouting!I was a Brownie in the Bronx, New York from in the third grade and flew up to Girl Scouts.I earned my Second Class,then my First Class and all my achievement badges.I took the classes and then served my late son,David and his troop as Den Mother for two years. We had fun earning badges. I took the classes and then and served my eldest daughter,Denise and her troop as a Brownie leader with a co-leader for two years.Denise took the classes with me and tried to start a Daisy troop and serve as co-leader in the first one in Palo Alto. Like Juliette Low I was deaf, but wore a hearing aid,talked and lipread. I remember camping out with my troop at the Lou Henry Hoover Girl Scout House and my son taught them how to light a fire from scratch. I taught knots, sewing and cooking. I later went to a GS Camporee. It was fun as my parents would not allow me to go camping as a youth. I remember the parades down Fifth Avenue after meeting at each one's house of religion in NY. I remember learning to sew,cook,knots,helping rolling bandages in a hospital,making stuffed animals and filling up red net shoes for the Red Cross for children and soldiers. I remember going to plays,puppet shows then going back stage to meet the performers and giving our dolls to be dressed in Brownie uniforms to go on display in a shop window. My leaders were wonderful women! Congregations to the Girl Scouts for their 100th birthday!!!

Posted by No quota
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2015 at 8:31 pm

There is a misinformation above. There is no quota. Troops don't even have to participate in cookie sales. They are encouraged to participate, but if they don't there is no fallout. The "new Juliette Low dollhouse" not clear what this is referring to, so its hard to refute.

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