Betsy Woodford

These quotes, from old Girl Scout handbooks, can be used as an inspirational quote at the beginning of each Service Unit meeting to remind us all of the mission of Girl Scouting and why we volunteer to be leaders. Read one per meeting.


Your job as a Girl Scout Leader is to:
help the girls have a good time
help the girls take responsibility for the troop's affairs
help the girls learn new things and have new adventures
help the girls learn to accept, appreciate, and enjoy other people
help the girls do their share as members of the Girl Scout organization in the community
help the girls live up to the ideals expressed in the Promise and Law

This is your job-the most significant in Girl Scouting. It will not always be easy, but it will always be worthwhile. In some unguarded moment you may be privileged to see that you, and through your Girl Scouting, has made a difference in the life of a girl. Then you will know that the best in yourself, which you gave to these girls, has returned to enrich your own life.-from the Girl Scout Leader's Guide, 1955

Welcome to a wider world for yourself, putting your attributes and skills at the service of Girl Scouts, reaching out and upward in an all-important leadership role, sharing with other adults who are competent, caring adults-just like you!

Girl Scouts need you because you: like children, are enthusiastic, are curious, are energetic, believe in the potential of each girl to contribute, and understand and respect the fact that each girl develops as an individual.-from the Daisy Leader Handbook, 1989

Lord Baden-Powell always referred to his scheme as the "game of Scouting" because he wanted it to mean fun and adventure. But to foster the self-discipline of the young Scouts, he also developed a code of ethics in their own terms-the Scout Promise and Laws. He was convinced that a program built around the comradeship of the group, so natural to children, and guided by the Scout Promise would result in an esprit de corps that would bring out the best in every member.-from the Girl Scout Leader's Guide, 1955

Girl Scouting was brought to the United States in 1912 by Juliette Low, a friend of Lord Baden-Powell. The moment she reached her home in Savannah, (from England) Daisy telephoned a friend. "Come right over, Nina," she said excitedly. "I've got something for the girls of Savannah, and all America and all the world, and we're going to start it tonight."

She wanted American girls to have a chance to learn the self reliance and skills that would make it possible for them to be active citizens when they grew up. And she saw Girl Scouting, with its emphasis on individual growth and zest for life, as an ideal way of forming such citizens.-from the Girl Scout Leader's Guide, 1955, and Junior Girl Scout Handbook, 1963.

Did you know that "Scouts" was adopted from the people who blazed the trail West? The scouts who lived long ago blazed the trails for the Girl Scouts of today. They ventured ahead and led and helped others. They were trusted by the people. They prepared themselves for every emergency. They made friends with all the things of nature.

The Girl Scouts of today have great pride in their name. They, too like to do things. They have fun and adventure, they hike, cook outdoors, and camp. They make friends within their community. They write to girls who live in other parts of the United States or who live in other countries. You can do these things, too. There is a place for every girl in the Girl Scouts.-from the Girl Scout Handbook, Intermediate Program, 1955

The first part of the Girl Scout Promise, "To do my duty to God and my country," would take pages and pages to explain. However, it is fair to say that a girl's duty to God is to honor god in the finest way she knows, by the things she says, thinks, and does. The second part says "To help other people at all times." Giving help means being mindful of other's needs. It is not always money or clothes or food. Sometimes the thing is a sign of friendliness or a chance to play a game or sing with the group.-from the Girl Scout Handbook, 1940

Why we are called Scouts:

In the days when our pioneer ancestors left the settlements on the eastern borders of our continent and went far westward, the most resourceful and hardy and experienced of the number went ahead to find the best way for the others to follow. They were called the scouts of the expedition. They had to have courage and perseverance and endurance, an understanding of the ways of animals and plants, of the meaning of the winds and the water, and the lay of the land. Their success meant the success of those who followed-they made the best trails through the land. And incidentally they had great fun doing it. Adventure was theirs and the joy of accomplishment and the satisfaction of great service to others. -from the Girl Scout Handbook, 1929.

The promise binds the Girl Scouts together as nothing else could do. It is a promise each girl voluntarily makes; it is not a rule of her family nor a command from her school nor a custom of her church. She is not forced to make it-she deliberately chooses to do so, and experience has shown that she fulfills her promise.-from the Girl Scout Handbook, 1929.

A letter from Lord Baden-Powell:

Go ahead; stick to your Scouting, make yourselves efficient as you can; be good friends with your sister Girl Scouts from other countries, and when you are older, don't forget the comradeship of your Scouting Days.

Remember that your promises were made on your honor, and a Girl Scout's honor is a very big thing. she may be trusted on her honor to do her best. It is the spirit in which the law is carried out that really matters. That is the whole essence of our success. The spirit of Scouting may be summed up briefly as the "work of friendliness and cheerful service."

Lord Baden-Powell, June, 1933

from the Girl Scout Handbook, 1936

A Girl Scout has kinship with the pioneers who have gone before her. The adventure that was theirs, the joy of accomplishment, the satisfaction of giving service to others belong to the girl of today just as much as they did to Louisa Alcott, Sacajawea, Juliette Low, or to any other pioneer spirit.-from the Girl Scout Handbook, 1936