Back to Blog

The Legacy of Juliette Gordon Low and 5 Takeaways from the Girl Scouts

Author: Girl Power Talk


  • Girl Scouts of the USA have left an enduring mark on youth organizations.
  • In an era when women’s roles were limited, Juliette Gordon Low envisioned a legacy of empowerment for young girls.
  • Girl Scouts is a platform where camping adventures, STEM workshops, and the culmination of essential life skills are a part of their lasting impact.
  • A look into the iconic Girl Scout Cookie program
  • Our co-founder Sameer Somal takes a spellbinding tour of Juliette Gordon Low’s home and spends quality time with Harriet Hessam, former CEO of Girl Scouts. 

We live in a world where the voices of young girls are often drowned out by societal norms and expectations. The legacy of the Girl Scouts of the USA stands as a beacon of empowerment and opportunity in light of it. Founded over a century ago by Juliette Gordon Low, the Girl Scouts has developed into a global movement. They have been shaping the lives of millions of young women and girls worldwide. 

At a recent Jaboy Productions Elite Global Leaders Conference, Girl Power Talk co-founder Sameer Somal had the honor of meeting Harriet Hassam. She is the former CEO of the Girl Scouts of Northwest Georgia and Chief of Strategy Philanthropy at Girl Scouts of the USA. Harriet shared with Sameer the remarkable story of the Girl Scouts and its enduring impact on generations of girls and young women. Sameer couldn’t help but be inspired by the resilience, determination, and the empowerment that radiates from the Girl Scout’s legacy. The principles instilled by the Girl Scouts—courage, confidence, and character. Such inspires Girl Power Talk’s mission to forge young women into global leaders.


A Remarkable Moment of Sheer Empowerment Captured In Time

Girl Scouts in the USA 

In 1912, Juliette dared to dream big for girls. Back then, women couldn’t vote, and societal expectations were strict, but Juliette believed girls deserved more. A woman named Agnes Baden Powell led an offshoot of the Boy Scouts called Girl Guides in England. She taught young women and girls various practical skills beyond household domesticity. Inspired by Powell, Juliette started two American Girl Guide patrols in Savannah, Georgia, in 1912. Alongside her were 18 curious girls ready to explore their potential. This tiny spark ignited a movement. 

Girl Scouts became a haven for inclusivity, outdoor exploration, and self-reliance. During the Great Depression, the Girl Scouts collected food and clothing for struggling families. During World War II, they collected scrap metal, operated bicycle courier services, and sponsored Defense Institutes. The institute that taught women survival skills and techniques for comforting children during air raids.  


⁠Sameer Somal Admires The Legacy of Juliette Gordon Low


The fight for equality is woven into Girl Scout history. Early troops formed for Native American and Mexican American girls, and later decades saw a push for racial integration.  

As times changed, so did the Girl Scouts. From space science badges to computer coding programs, they embraced the future while staying true to their core values. Today, millions of girls continue to discover their strengths, build friendships, and positively impact their world and the world around them.

Iconic Girl Scout Cookies

The iconic Girl Scout Cookie program has a larger purpose than just fundraising. It teaches entrepreneurial leadership, financial literacy, and business ethos. It allows girls real-world opportunities with goal-setting, reliable marketing practices, and efficient customer service. Beyond its monetary gains, it instills a sense of pride and accomplishment in girls. Such as they witness the tangible outcomes of their work.

The impact of their programs extends far beyond their profitability. Whether it’s promoting sustainability, addressing food insecurity, or raising awareness about social justice issues. However, the unification of girls sharing their stories and coming together from diversified backgrounds for a common cause is worthwhile. Girl Scouts knows the program’s impact goes beyond mere cookies and badges to instill core values giving girls business acumen.


The Power In Juliette’s Words Speaking Volumes In Itself

The Four Pillars of Girl Scouts 

Girl Scout tenets that can help us all live our best versions of ourselves.

1. Empowered Decision-Making through STEM 

The Girl Scouts foster empowered decision-making by exposing scouts to STEM fields. These hands-on activities allow girls to learn and practice critical thinking and problem-solving skills while embracing new fields driving progress. Analyzing situations, weighing options, and making informed choices are essential to tackling life’s challenges responsibly. 

2. Building Community through Outdoor Exploration 

Being a Girl Scout means developing a deep appreciation for nature and our environment. Through outdoor adventures like camping, hiking, and environmental stewardship projects, scouts build strong community bonds. These experiences instill the scouts with self-worth and self-esteem. They learn to work together, respect living things, and make decisions that protect our shared outdoor spaces for future generations. 

3. Embodying Perseverance through Life Skills

The Girl Scout experience instills perseverance by equipping girls with essential life skills. From financial literacy and entrepreneurship to communications and civic engagement, scouts gain confidence to navigate life’s obstacles. They learn that setbacks provide opportunities for growth as they persistently work toward becoming resourceful, globally-minded citizens.

4. Empowered Decision-Making through Entrepreneurship

The iconic Girl Scout Cookie Program allows scouts to develop key entrepreneurial skills. Such as goal-setting, decision-making, money management, and customer interactions. This real-world experience empowers them to confidently pursue innovative ideas and make business decisions that create value for their communities.


Embodying The Spirit of Juliette Gordon Low’s Being

Girl Scouts Through Time

Women-held Leadership

Girl Scouts isn’t just about badges and campfires. A 2016 study by the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) found compelling evidence that Girl Scouts outperformed their non-participating peers. They exhibit more robust leadership qualities, achieve higher grades, and hold greater aspirations for college and careers. More so traditionally male-dominated fields like STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), business, and law. This translates into a well-rounded life path and a brighter future outlook. In short, Girl Scouts equips young women with the tools and confidence to become successful in whatever fields they pursue.

Gender Gap in Politics and Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts doesn’t just empower girls within the organization; it fosters future leaders who actively seek to change the political landscape. A 2020 study by the GSRI revealed that a significant majority of young people believe men and women make equally capable political leaders. This generation of girls is passionate about closing the gender gap in politics. With nearly 90% of young women enthusiastic about the prospect of a female president. Furthermore, over two-thirds of girls actively participate in their communities through civic engagement. Additionally, demonstrating their commitment to shaping a more inclusive political sphere. Nearly 60% of girls are interested in pursuing careers in public service or elected office. Highlighting how Girl Scouts has been cultivating a culture that advances female political leaders.

A Lifetime of Courage, Confidence, and Character

The Girl Scouts’ impact goes beyond their immediate activities. Research consistently shows it lays the groundwork for a successful future. A national study reveals Girl Scouts develop positive life skills. That further translate to academic achievement, career aspirations, and overall life satisfaction. Alumnae often credit Girl Scouts for setting them on a path to success. Additionally, fostering a sense of belonging to a larger community, and nurturing their passions and interests. This enduring legacy of courage, confidence, and character is the true mark of Girl Scouts. They are empowering girls to become well-rounded individuals who leave a positive mark on the world.


⁠Sheer Resilience Radiated by Juliette’s Portrait

5 Lessons the Girl Scouts Taught Us

1. Leadership Starts Early

Girl Scouts break down the stereotype that leadership is reserved for adults. Girls take on leadership roles through troop activities, from planning hikes to organizing community service projects. The beauty of Girl Scouts service projects is that anyone can participate, regardless of age. This fosters confidence, public speaking skills, and the ability to delegate tasks – all crucial for future success.

2. Confidence Through Competence

Girls can earn badges in various fields, from science and technology to outdoor skills. Additionally, entrepreneurship, giving them a sense of accomplishment and mastery. They learn valuable skills and gain the confidence to tackle challenges, knowing they can make it through.

3. The Power of Community

Girl Scouts create a strong sense of belonging and sisterhood. Girls learn to work together, navigate group dynamics, and listen to diverse perspectives. This supportive network becomes a lifelong source of encouragement and connection. It reminds girls that there is more we share in common than differences we have.

4. Service is a Strength

Girl Scouts are ingrained with a commitment to making a difference and taught to recognize they can. From local community projects to international outreach initiatives, girls can learn first-hand the importance of giving back and using their skills to benefit others. As Harriet emphasized, “It’s just being a good human being, helping others, being kind to others, and using the gifts and talents that God gave you for the betterment of humankind and the planet.” This fosters empathy, social responsibility, and a desire for positive change.

5. Lifelong Learning

The Girl Scout experience is not confined to childhood. The organization offers programs and opportunities for women of all ages, encouraging continuous learning and personal growth. This commitment to lifelong development empowers women to adapt and thrive in a changing world. 


Choosing to be a humanitarian is both selfless and challenging. Choosing to try your best every day is hard. The former first lady, Michelle Obama, said powerful words that speak to this calling: “Courage takes practice. As you learn in the Girl Scouts, courage is a part of leadership, and leadership is a thing that you practice over time and you practice in stages.” 

The Girl Scouts’ legacy is a powerful reminder that investing in young girls and women is not just the right thing to do. It is essential for building a future where women are confident leaders, active citizens, and lifelong learners. These lessons and the Girl Scouts’ mission can resonate with any organization. So we can together contribute to a world where empowered women and men can reach their full potential. 

Girl Power Talk


Recommended Reads