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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

Beyond cookies

March 9, 2012

I was one. So was my sister. We did lots of things in Girl Scouts, but what I remember most is summer day camp and selling cookies — door to door — and having a good time with other kids. I don't remember being taught anything specifically, though I learned a lot. We were part of a Girl Scout troop where learning was engaging and part of all activities.

As I listened to the radio today, I found out that Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, and Lucille Ball were once Girl Scouts, too. (Each of these women clearly took the Girl Scout motto "Be prepared" to heart!)

The very first meeting of an American troop of Girl Scouts was held in March 2012 headed by Juliette Gordon Low. Juliette Low, nicknamed "Daisy," was a spunky girl, well ahead of her time. Who would have thought that her organization, established before women could even vote, would still be in existence — and seemingly thriving — a century later; perhaps because it took on the characteristics of its founder.

Readers interested in Juliet Low can meet her in a new picture book biography by Shana Corey. Here Come the Girl Scouts!: The Amazing All-True Story of Juliette 'Daisy' Gordon Low and Her Great Adventure (Scholastic) with lively illustrations by Hadley Hooper, presents Daisy and her lively personality, often through Daisy's own words.

For older, more sophisticated readers, there's First Girl Scout: The Life of Juliette Gordon Low (Clarion) by Ginger Wadsworth, a highly readable, well researched look at Low and the early Girl Scouts.

It's a terrific anniversary to note, especially during Women's History Month. Who knows... maybe a Girl Scout of today will be tomorrow's Secretary of State. She might even become U.S. President. After all, when one is ever-ready, anything is possible.


So great to read your post - it's funny that at age 42 I can still sing the Brownie Smile Song. Now that I have 4 daughters and am on the other side of the cookie sales...I can see that the same virtues that guided me now inspire my girls. Thanks for this post.

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"There is no substitute for books in the life of a child." — May Ellen Chase