Being a Girl Scout is and has always been rad. Delicious cookies aside, the GSA has always been an organization dedicated to supporting women and helping them shine (remember when they shut down transphobic bigots this year? EPIC). In the flurry of cool cookie hacks and sick accessories it’s important to take a sec to remember the woman responsible for starting this organization: Juliette Gordon Low.
JLow was a southern belle born in Georgia in the 1800’s. This Halloween she would have been celebrating her 155th b-day. To celebrate, here are six fascinating things about this fantastic woman.
1. Her nickname was Crazy Daisy: Juliette was anything but a calm and collected southern lady. Growing up she was always running around exploring the woods around her home and learning new things and being silly. In a biography written by Stacy A. Cordrery a letter from Juliette’s mother recalls that “Daisy fell on her head today…as usual.” This nickname is the reason that the youngest branch of Girl Scouts are called Daisy Scouts today.
2. She became deaf at her wedding: WARNING: this story will make you afraid of rice forever! On her wedding day (to notorious cad but also super babe Willy Low) Juliette got a piece of rice thrown by a guest lodged in her ear and went deaf on one side. So yeah, maybe consider a confetti popper for your big day. (via Biography.com)
3. She founded Girl Scouts after a breakup: JLow and her husband had a tumultuous marriage. He was a drinker and infertile and kind of stepped out on our girl a lot. They were separated at the time of his death but when he finally kicked it he left the bulk of his huge fortune to his mistress leaving Juliette high and dry. Even though she eventually won back some property and moolah in a lawsuit this event inspired JLow to teach girls to be more self sufficient. (via Porterbriggs.com)
4. Girl Scouts was controversial for not being girly enough: After the death of her husband, Juliette decided to abscond to Europe where she met Lord and Lady Baden Powell. The notorious LBP was the founder of a little group called the Boy Scouts and Juliette and his wife Lady Baden Powell were like “heck, we could do that!” After setting up Girl Guides in Scotland Juliette came back to the states to try and start up the organization here. Her biggest competition was the Campfire Girls so she asked if they’d like to merge with her group. According to a biography by Gladys Denny Shultz The founder said no because he was upset that her ideas of activities included things like playing basketball and learning wilderness survival. (via Stacy Cordery)
5. She kept her breast cancer a secret: Once she started Girl Scouts JLow worked tirelessly to foster it stateside and spread it overseas. Because of this workaholic determination she kept it a secret when she found out she had breast cancer. She had several secret surgeries and her doctors kept telling her to rest but, in true Crazy Daisy fashion, she kept sneaking away to speak at Girl Scout conferences. Even when she was given six months to live, JLow devoted her remaining time to helping scouts all over. Think about that the next time you call in sick to work because you have cramps! (via Wbur.org)
6. She represents independent scouts: Some people don’t have access to a Girl Scout troop in their community or just prefer to be lone wolves. These girls are given the official name Juliette Scouts and are allowed to earn badges, go on trips and sell cookies without being associated with a troop. We have a feeling that super independent JLow would majorly approve. (via my mom)
What’s your favorite Girl Scout Memory? Tell us in the comments!
(Feat photo via Steve Jennings/Getty)