|“I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all America, and all the world!” With those words, shared excitedly in a phone call on March 12, 1912, Juliette Gordon Low established Girl Scouts in the United States. In England, she had learned of Girl Guiding, founded in 1910 by Lord Robert Baden-Powell and his sister, Agnes. Juliette wanted for all girls to have the opportunity to grow in confidence, skills, patriotism and service. What she began as a group of 18 girls in Georgia has grown to nearly 4 million members, the largest volunteer organization for girls in the world!
It was not long after the founding of Girl Scouting, that the movement reached Guam. In 1935, two groups formed at George Washington High School. The program spread among villages as girls and their families discovered the value of girls learning and working together. The focus of the girls’ activities then included domestic skills, hiking and other outdoor activities, and service projects within the villages.
Girl Scout activity ceased during the war. But in 1947, Agueda Johnston, our first president, and Margaret McDonald reorganized Girl Scouting on Guam. Troop meetings took place in Quonset huts, with local citizens and businesses sharing leadership and resources. Articles and By-laws called for a local board of directors to be responsible for long-term planning and policy, and to assure the program’s adherence to the Girl Scout guidelines.
In the early 1980’s Mr. Ken Jones, local businessman, made available the Girl Scout Service Center on Marine Drive, Upper Tumon. Now known as the Kenneth T. Jones Building, the Service Center functions as a hub for Girl Scout membership activity and as a resource center for teachers, clergy, parents and all interested in supporting the growth of girls.
The local organization, serving the island of Guam, is licensed by Girl Scouts of the USA, and part of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Now celebrating 72 years on the island, and 95 years nation-wide, Girl Scouting continues to help girls grow strong… mentally, physically and spiritually.
In a new, nation-wide initiative, “Girl Scouting: For Every Girl, Everywhere”, Girl Scouts rededicate themselves to the dream of founder Juliette Gordon Low: that Girl Scouting is for all girls; that we must expand the accessibility and opportunity for all girls to experience the fun, friendship and power of girls together.
Guam Girl Scouts is open to all girls, ages 5 - 17. There are currently more than 26 troops in schools and villages across the island, with more being formed. Our membership is approximately more than 500, with 60% “local” girls and 40% girls whose families live on military bases. All together, as Guam Girl Scouts, the girls enjoy activities including environmental care, sports, art, music, service projects, career exploration, technology events, cultural diversity celebrations and summer camps.
Guam Girl Scouts, Inc. is 100% locally funded. The girls sell Girl Scout Cookies and calendars to earn money for their activities, badges and ceremonies. But it takes more than cookies to sustain the program - to assure the availability of ongoing training and support for adult and girl members, to see that Girl Scouting is available for every girl, everywhere. In the best of times, community support of Girl Scouting is essential. When times are tough, that support becomes priceless.