President Obama honours Girl Scouts of the USA founder
1 May 2012
United States President Barack Obama has announced that he will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Juliette Gordon Low, who founded Girl Scouts of the USA in 1912.
The Medal of Freedom is the USA’s highest civilian honor and is awarded to individuals who have made "especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors".
Obama said this year's award recipients had "made a lasting contribution to the life of our nation". "They’ve challenged us, they’ve inspired us, and they’ve made the world a better place," he said.
A White House statement praised Girl Scouts of the USA for teaching girls "self-reliance and resourcefulness" and for encouraging girls to "seek fulfillment in the professional world and to become active citizens in their communities".
Low met Lord Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the British Boy Scouts, when she was staying in England in 1911. She became interested in the Scouting Movement during her visit, and she organized a troop of Girl Guides among poor girls at her estate at Glenlyon, Scotland. She went on to found two more troops in London.
The next year, Low had returned to her home country and on 12 March 1912 she established the first troop of Girl Scouts in the United States. Low was born in 1860 and died in 1927. The award will be presented posthumously to Low at the White House in late spring.
Juliette Low Seminar
Did you know that WAGGGS has been running the Juliette Low Seminar since 1932 to develop international leadership, friendship and understanding among Girl Guides and Girl Scouts?
The Seminars are mainly held at the four World centres, in rotation. Each Seminar has a different theme or focus, though always focusing on international knowledge and leadership.