The Beginning of Girl Scouts
Juliette "Daisy" Gordon Low assembled 18 girls from Savannah, Georgia, on
March 12, 1912, for a local Girl Scout meeting. She believed that all girls
should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, and
With the goal of bringing girls out of isolated home environments
and into community service and the open air, Girl Scouts hiked, played
basketball, went on camping trips, learned how to tell time by the stars, and
studied first aid.
Within a few years, Daisy's dream for a girl-centered organization was
Today, Girl Scouts of the USA has a membership of over 3.4 million
girls and adults, a significant growth from its modest beginnings nearly a
century ago. In fact, more than 50 million women in the U.S. today are Girl
Scout alumnae. We invite you to learn about
our robust organization and its rich history. From our willingness to tackle
important societal issues, to our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness—Girl Scouts is
dedicated to every girl, everywhere.
Juliette Low started it all 100 years ago with a phone call and a vision. One
hundred years later her spirit lives on and her vision carries forward. Join us in celebrating our 100th anniversary.
History of Girl Scouts in Our Community
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.
Scout Council of the Mid-South was incorporated in 1935 to serve Memphis and Shelby
County, Tennessee. By 1954, the council
had grown to serve the counties of Fayette, Lauderdale, Shelby
and Tipton, Tennessee,
Crittenden County, Arkansas;
and DeSoto, Marshall, Panola, Tate and Tunica counties in Mississippi.
The council office was first located
in the Community Center at Second and Madison
and in the home of Mrs. R. J. Lilley. The Lee Lumber Company built a model home
at the Fairgrounds and the Girl Scouts were allowed to use the house as their
headquarters. Of course, when the Fair was held, they moved out and returned when
the festivities were over. For 23 years, Bry's Department Store furnished the
council with free office space. In 1969,
the council office was moved to Dorrie
Lane where it remained until December of 2001 when
it was relocated to Kirby Parkway. In January
of 2011, Girl Scouts Heart of the South purchased a new headquarters building
at 717 S. White Station Road
Girl Scouts of Northeast Mississippi Council was
incorporated in 1947 as the Prairie Girl Scout Association and originally
served the Mississippi
counties of Lowndes, Oktibbeha, Clay, Noxubee, Monroe and Winston. Headquarters were originally located in Columbus, MS
with office space given rent-free by the city at the National Guard
County was added to the jurisdiction
in 1948 and by 1964, the council added Chickasaw, Itawamba, Choctaw, Union,
Attala, Pontotoc, Webster, Alcorn, Tippah, Benton, Prentiss, and Tishomingo
counties. Mrs. Elizabeth Gwin was
Executive Director for the council from 1960 until 1974 and established a
resident camp program for children with special needs in 1975 which continues
today as the Elizabeth Gwin Session for Special Children. Maintaining a Columbus
the council office was moved to Tupelo in 1979
and additional service centers were added in Corinth
and Starkville. The Northeast Mississippi Council moved to The Link Centre on West Main St. in Tupelo. This regional service centers was sold in 2013 and the new center is located at 1140 West Main St., Tupelo, MS. In July 2014, the Columbus Service Center was closed, with those operations moving to the Tupelo Service Center.
Girl Scouts of Reelfoot Council was chartered on January 3,
1959 to serve girls in 18 counties of West Tennessee. Paris,
TN had the first known Girl Scout
troop in this jurisdiction in 1925. Madison County
was the first county to have an official formation and the jurisdiction grew to
include the counties of Benton, Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Decatur,
Dyer, Gibson, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson,
Henry, Lake, Lauderdale, McNairy, Obion, and
Weakley. The original headquarters,
built for Girl Scouts by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, was referred to as the
“Little House” on Lane Avenue in Jackson,
TN and the lot was purchased in
1950 for $100 which was donated by Mr. Mack Morris.
The Reelfoot Council later purchased the current regional service center located at 1007 Old Humboldt Road in Jackson, TN.
Girl Scout Council of Northwest Mississippi was chartered on
December 15, 1959 to serve the counties of Bolivar, Carroll, Calhoun, Coahoma, Grenada,
Holmes, Humphrey, Issaquena, Lafayette, Leflore,
Montgomery, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, Tallahatchie, Washington,
and Yalobusha in Mississippi. The council office was headquartered in Greenwood. When the council was organized, it served 77
troops and 1192 girls.
In January of 2010, the Greenwood
was closed and those operations were moved to Grenada, MS.
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 Crittendon County, Arkansas. Our council borders, Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, The
Mississippi River, Alabama
and Middle Mississippi. The combined
girl membership is over 9,300 girls and 3,100 adult members, approximately 45 dedicated
staff members, three camping facilities and four owned or leased regional service centers. The
headquarters are located in Memphis,
Tennessee at 717 S. White Station Road.