From the time that I started grade one until the time that I graduated from high school, I was actively involved in Girl Guides of Canada. Later on, when I graduated from university I became a Brownie leader, which I enjoyed immensely. I continued right up until I was in labour with my daughter Hannah, quite literally. I had expected to join up again when Hannah reached kindergarten, but that didn’t quite work out. All the same, after more than 15 years as an active member of the organization, part of me will always be a Girl Guide. This is why, when I had the chance to speak with Shannon Henry Kleiber, author of On my Honor: Real Life Lessons From America’s First Girl Scout, I took it.
Shannon is a writer with a particular interest in stories that highlight some aspect of American culture. When her own daughter became a Girl Scout and she volunteered as a Troop Leader, she became curious about Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts in the United States. I was curious to know more, since I knew literally nothing about her. I am very familiar with the story of how Girl Guides got their start at a Boy Scout rally in the UK in 1909, and how the movement came to Canada in 1910, but that was the extent of my knowledge.
What I discovered, thanks to Shannon, is the story of a woman who was very much ahead of her time. Daisy founded the Girl Scouts when she was 51 years old. She placed great value on teaching girls life skills, and encouraging them to be independent. Plus, she did all of this at a time when women didn’t even have the vote. Shannon believes that her story – and the organization that she founded – continues to hold value for girls and women today. After learning more about Daisy, I’m inclined to agree.
Whether you’re a former Girl Guide or Girl Scout, you have a daughter yourself, or you’d just like to learn more about this woman who wanted to encourage personal growth in girls, you’ll want to listen to the podcast:
Next week on the Strocel.com podcast I’ll be sharing an interview with Frances Jones from the BC Women’s Milk Bank here in Vancouver and Pauline Sakamoto from the Mothers’ Milk Bank in San Jose, California. Both women are also past presidents of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). We talked about human milk banking, the ever-present need for donor milk, and what makes HMBANA milk banks different. Subscribe to the Strocel.com podcast in iTunes, and you won’t miss a minute!