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Our History

Juliette Gordon Low had a dream.

When she brought that first group of girls together in Savannah, Georgia in early March 1912, she wanted them to explore new possibilities and the wonders of the world around them—and she wanted them to do it together.

Along with Juliette Gordon Low—also known as Daisy, these first Girl Scouts blazed trails and redefined what was possible for themselves—and for girls everywhere. They played basketball. They hiked, swam, and they camped. They learned to tell time by the stars. But most importantly, they shared a sense of adventure and a belief that they could do anything. And just like Girl Scouts do across the country and around the world today, they offered a helping hand to those in need and worked together to make their corner of the world a better place. 

Over the past century, Daisy's small circle of girls has grown to include more than 59 million Girl Scout alumnae—united across distance and decades by lifelong friendships, shared adventures, and the desire to do big things to make the world a better place. 

Read more about Juliette Gordon Low and Girl Scout history.

“Truly, ours is a circle of friendships, united by our ideals.” 
 Juliette Gordon Low 


Girl Scouts had its earliest beginnings in 1916 when troops began to meet in the Mid-South area.  Word spread quickly throughout west Tennessee and north Mississippi as troops began to take part in this wonderful new opportunity for girls.  There were lone troops throughout the area for several years before any local councils were officially chartered.  Council records document activities by these varying troops that include summer day camps and overnight camps. 

Today's Girl Scouts Heart of the South council was born from the merger of the Mid-South, Northeast Mississippi, Reelfoot and Northwest Mississippi Girl Scout Councils in June of 2008.  The area encompasses 59 counties in north Mississippi, west Tennessee and Crittenden County, Arkansas. 

Visit the Heart of the South Heritage Center!

To celebrate our inspiring history and tradition, Girl Scouts Heart of the South has established the Heart of the South Heritage Center, located in the Memphis Leadership Center. Born from the effort of many volunteers who carefully collected, stored and documented memorabilia over the years and the inspiration of dedicated alumnae to make this collection available to all, the center is open for browsing during regular business hours at no charge to visitors.

Displays change seasonally to include historical perspectives on camping, community service, skills and career development, cookies, famous Girl Scouts and other areas of special regional interest.

Do you have some Girl Scout memorabilia that you would like to share? The Heart of the South Heritage Center welcomes your donations! Contact Joan Carr for more information on contributing your items to our unique and exciting collection!