Girl Scouting in Indiana - Focus

March 12, 1997 is the eighty-fifth anniversary of the Girl Scouts founded by Juliette Gordon Low on March 12, 1912 in Savannah, Georgia. This issue uses that occasion to call attention to the importance of youth organizations in studying and documenting the history of children and childhood. Our guest author, Noraleen A. Young is introduced below.

The front cover provides a photograph of what may be the first Girl Scout troop in Indiana. The back cover photograph demonstrates the interest of Girl Scouts in an historical event in 1929.

On page 3, there is a very brief overview of the historical context in which the Girls Scouts was founded. On pages 4 and 5, there is an introduction of Juliette Low and Girl Scouting, and the timeline placing Girl Scouting in Indiana into the context of other national and world events.

Pages 6 and 7 are devoted to an examination of badges-the role they play and what historical information we can learn from them.

Pages 8 and 9 contain information about camping through the years-perhaps the most familiar image of Girls Scouts, besides the cookie sale, that many people have of Girl Scouting.

Service to community is an important part of Girl Scouting, and some contributions girls have made are surveyed on pages 10 and 11. Included is a transcription of a letter from Juliette Low to an Indianapolis troop leader.

The role of Girl Scouting as a training ground for girls and women is covered on page 12 in the context of the early development of Girl Scouting in Indiana-including a map of councils and first known troops.

As an example of the commitment of Girl Scouts to diversity, the story of an African-American troop in Indianapolis in 1921 is provided on page 13.

"Behind the Scenes" on page 14 provides an opportunity for our guest author Noraleen Young to talk about why historians should study the Girl Scouts and other youth organizations.

Selected Resources are provided on page 15.

Sources: The basic source for the information in this issue is Young. The Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) Archives and the Girl Scouts of Hoosier Capital Council Archives have provided both information and materials.