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Hawkwin

Looking Back, Looking Forward - girls in scouting history

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I am working with my AOL den on LB, LF soon and I am trying to nail down the history of girls in scouting. I am seeing conflicting information online as it pertains to when girls were allowed to join Scouts BSA. One reference has it listed as early as 1935 while others have it listed as 1969 or 1971 ("full membership" - which suggests some early version of partial membership). Anyone have something definitive? I even called the national HQ and they could not give me an answer over the phone, said they would have to get back with me. They even acted a bit suspicious and wanted to know why I was asking?!?

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If you really want to go back to the early days, pre BSA,  go back as far as the Crystal Palace Rally of 1909.   A number of girls showed up there calling themselves "Girl Scouts".   One of those girls was Marguerite de Beaumont who later wrote a biography of Baden-Powell, which my daughter really enjoyed reading.  The book is The Wolf That Never Sleeps and it was published by the Girl Guide Association in England in 1944 (with some later reprints.)  I was able to find it through alibris.com.

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If a girl was a member of Girls Scouts, Camp Fire, etc., she could participate in an Explorer Post activity in 1969, but was not a registered member of BSA.  In 1971 that changed and they could officially register with an Explorer Post or Sea Scout Ship (Venture Crews did not exist yet).  I knew several girls who were Explorers during that time.

'Scouts BSA' was on the uniform for a brief period at that time, but girls were never in Troops.  

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2 hours ago, Hawkwin said:

I am working with my AOL den on LB, LF soon and I am trying to nail down the history of girls in scouting. I am seeing conflicting information online as it pertains to when girls were allowed to join Scouts BSA. One reference has it listed as early as 1935 while others have it listed as 1969 or 1971 ("full membership" - which suggests some early version of partial membership). Anyone have something definitive? I even called the national HQ and they could not give me an answer over the phone, said they would have to get back with me. They even acted a bit suspicious and wanted to know why I was asking?!?

 

If memory serves, 1935 was when the position of Den Mother was created, and women were first allowed to volunteer. Prior to that Den Chiefs were the defacto den leaders.

Prior to Sea Exploring and Exploring going coed,  ladies were allowed to attend activities and participate as guests only. 1969 sounds about right. I thought 1973 was when girls were allowed into Sea Exploring and Exploring officially, but if @emb021 's website says 1971, I defer to him. as he is the expert.

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2 hours ago, Treflienne said:

If you really want to go back to the early days, pre BSA,  go back as far as the Crystal Palace Rally of 1909.   A number of girls showed up there calling themselves "Girl Scouts".   One of those girls was Marguerite de Beaumont who later wrote a biography of Baden-Powell, which my daughter really enjoyed reading.  The book is The Wolf That Never Sleeps and it was published by the Girl Guide Association in England in 1944 (with some later reprints.)  I was able to find it through alibris.com.

Thanks, I was going to cover the rally but I didn't know about the book. Good stuff!

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54 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

I thought 1973 was when girls were allowed into Sea Exploring and Exploring officially, but if @emb021 's website says 1971, I defer to him. as he is the expert.

I can attest to the 1971 date, as I was registered with both a troop and post at the time, and my younger sister joined the post in 71, just after I aged out of the troop at 18.

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6 hours ago, Hawkwin said:

Thanks, I was going to cover the rally but I didn't know about the book. Good stuff!

Only a couple of pages in the middle of the book are actually about the Crystal Palace rally.  But my daughter also enjoyed learning about Baden-Powell's earlier history also and the beginnings of Boy Scouting in England.  

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23 hours ago, gblotter said:

A good link about the history of girls in Scouting - way back to the beginning (in USA, at least).

Actually,  that one seems pretty scanty.

For more about the very early days of girls in Scouting in the USA,  try something like the biography Juliette Low by Mildred Mastin Pace.  (Maybe there are better biographies around, but this is the one I happen to have -- written for girls to read.)

And of course,  girls in Scouting did not begin in the USA -- you have to go back to the UK for that.

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