"On My Honor, I Will Try...": The Founding of the Girls Scouts of America

"On My Honor, I Will Try...": The Founding of the Girls Scouts of America
Lou Hoover: First Ladies' Lives

Skill: Elementary School
Time Required: One Week


Lou Hoover loved the outdoors, and loved to camp and fish.   Her love of the outdoors made her the perfect candidate for a Girl Scout troop leader.  While serving as First Lady of the United States, Lou Hoover also served as the leader of Troop VIII of the Girl Scouts.  As the leader of her troop, she guided the girls to plant plots of vegetables and maintain a war garden.  Lou Hoover, however, did not only serve as a troop leader, but also president of the national organization and a member of the national board.   Lou Hoover believed Girl Scouts “made the girls better homemakers, citizens, and friends, and that it encouraged keener minds and stronger characters.”


In this lesson students will gain an appreciation for scouting as well as the opposite gender.

Materials Required:

Access to the Internet and/or a public library. 


Divide the class by gender. 
Assign the boys in the class the Girl Scouts and the girls in the class the Boy Scouts.
Notify each group that they are responsible for answering each of the following questions:
      Who is the founder?
      What is the life story of the founder?
      What is the goal of the scouts?
      Who are famous alumnae of the scouts?
      What would one learn by being a member of the scouts?
At the completion of their research, have students write and perform a play based on their findings.

Extending the Lesson:

To extend this lesson create a new scouting club that is co-ed.  Together as a class, decide what your club will borrow from the boy scouts, what you will borrow from the girl scouts, and what additional components will be part of your club. 

Sources & Resources:

Girl Scouts Official Website
Girls Scouts History
Girl Scouts Alumnae
Boy Scouts Official Website
Boy Scouts History
Boy Scouts Alumnae
   Degenhardt, Mary and Kirsch, Judith. Girl Scout Collectors’ Guide: A History of Uniforms, Insignia, Publications, and Memorabilia.  New York: Girl Scouts of America, 2005. 
   Kent, Deborah. Juliette Gordon Low: Founder of the Girls Scouts of America.  Chanhassen: Child’s World, 2003. 
   Macleod, David.  Building Character in the American Boy: The Boy Scouts, YMCA, and Their Forerunners.   Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004. 
   Mechling, Jay.  On My Honor: Boy Scouts and the Making of American Youth. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.  
 Children’s Literature: 
   Brown, Fern G. Daisy and the Girl Scouts: The Story of Juliette Gordon Low.  Morton Grove: Albert Whitman & Company, 2005. 
   Higgins, Helen Boyd. Juliette Low: Girl Scout Founder (Young Patriots Series).  Indianapolis:  Patria Press, 2002. 
   Hunt, Kathryn McMurty and Ross, Lynette, C. On My Honor.  Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press, 1994. 
   Hunt, Kathryn McMurty and Ross, Lynette, C. Whene’Er You Make a Promise. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press, 1996. 
   Petterchak, Janice A.  Lone Scout: W.D. Boyce and American Boy Scouting. Ann Arbor: Legacy Press, 2003. 
   Rowan, Edward L.  To Do My Best: James E. West and the History of the Boy Scouts of America.  Exeter: PublishingWorks, 2005.
Credits: This lesson was written by Debra L. Clark, Kent State University