Our History

History

Girl Scouts of USA - Established 1912

Juliette Gordon Low, founder of Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), was born October 31, 1860, in Savannah, Georgia. A sensitive and talented youngster, Daisy, as she was known to family and friends, developed what was to become a lifetime interest in the arts. She wrote poems and plays, sketched, acted and later became a skilled painter and sculptor. Full of inspiration herself, it was her destiny to inspire others.

On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Juliette Low gathered 18 girls together to organize the first two American Girl Guide troops. Daisy Gordon, her niece, was the first registered member. The name of the rapidly growing organization was changed to Girl Scouts the following year. Within months, girl members were hiking through the woods in their ankle-length blue uniforms, playing basketball in a curtained-off court, and going on camping trips. The following year saw the opening of a national headquarters in Washington, D.C., and the publication of the first Girl Scout handbook, How Girls Can Help Their Country, which featured knot-tying, first-aid, and outdoor cooking instructions.

In developing the Girl Scout Movement in the United States, Juliette Low brought girls of all backgrounds into the out-of-doors, giving them the opportunity to learn about nature and develop self-reliance and resourcefulness. She encouraged girls to prepare themselves not only for traditional homemaking roles, but also for possible future roles in the arts, sciences, business, and for active citizenship outside the home.

Headquartered in New York City, Girl Scouts of the USA is the world’s preeminent organization dedicated solely to girls-all girls-where, in an accepting and nurturing environment, girls build character and skills for success in the real world. In partnership with committed adult volunteers, girls develop qualities that will serve them all their lives, like leadership, strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth.

Visit their website here: www.girlscouts.org.

Girl Scouts of Central California South - Established 1929

Girl Scouting in our region started in Taft in 1924. In 1929, in Reedley, California, the first Girl Scout Council in the Central Valley was chartered and the first Girl Scout troop was organized. By 1938, just a decade later, there were troops all across Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare Counties. Between 1962 and 1963, the four separate Councils (Kings County Council, Tulare County Council, Reedley Council and Fresno-Madera’s El-O-Win Council) merged and became Golden Valley Girl Scout Council, Inc. which was headquartered in Fresno. In 1999, the name was changed to Girl Scouts Golden Valley Council.

In 1947, the Bakersfield Council of Girl Scouts was chartered. The Bakersfield Kiwanis Club agreed to help finance the new Council. In 1954, mergers with the Taft Council, the Ridgecrest Council and all of remaining Kern County formed the Kern County Council. By 1957, the Antelope Valley had been added. In 1960, the Council name was changed to Girl Scouts – Joshua Tree Council and Inyo County as well as the Santa Clarita Valley were added. The Council maintained the corporate office in Bakersfield with regional offices in Lancaster, Ridgecrest and Santa Clarita.

On October 1, 2008, the Kern County portion of Girl Scouts – Joshua Tree Council and Girl Scouts Golden Valley Council realigned to form Girl Scouts of Central California South. This reorganization symbolizes our commitment to provide girls in our five county service area with high quality and effective programs. Girl Scouts of Central California South continues to help thousands of girls in our Central Valley discover the fun, friendship, and power of working together.

In 2012 Girl Scouts marked 100 years of inspiring girls and young women with the ideals of courage, confidence and character. Our 100th anniversary year was the “Year of the Girl.” One girl can make a difference but girls together can change the world! Help us celebrate 100 more years!

Legacy Councils and Lone Troops

Year of formation and Council name compiled from various sources

Council Name Year
Girl Scouts Golden Valley Council 1999
Golden Valley Girl Scout Council, Inc. 1963
Girl Scouts Joshua Tree Council 1960
Antelope Valley Lone Troops 1957
El-O-Win Council 1956
Girl Scouts of Frontier Council, Ridgecrest 1954
Girl Scouts Kern County Council 1954
Girl Scouts Central Kern County Council 1953
Bakersfield Council of Girl Scouts 1947
Kings County Area Council of Girl Scouts 1945
Visalia Girl Scout Local Council 1939
Tulare County Council of Girl Scouts 1939
Fresno Local Council of Girl Scouts 1934
Reedley Girl Scouts 1929
Taft Girl Scouts 1924

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