Every year, Girl Scouts around the world honor the memory of our founder, Juliette Gordon Low, on her birthday, October 31st. Some troops choose to celebrate the whole month, while others plan special events on or near the actual day of her birth, which is also known as Founder’s Day. (And also happens to be Halloween, how fun is that?)
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One of the amazing things about Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday is that every troop has a their own special way of celebrating this amazing woman! Nowadays, not everyone throws a party—many Girl Scouts use it as a day to give service to others and to participate in community events. This year, my troop has chosen to not only celebrate through service and fun, but also to establish traditions that we’ll do year after year and are unique to our troop.
Since we’ve already gone through the planning process this year, I thought I’d share some inspiration for fun ways your troop can celebrate Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday!
Host a Birthday Party Supply Drive
Donate birthday party supplies in order to help others, who might not otherwise be able to celebrate, have a happy birthday. Have your girls collect items needed for a simple (but super fun) birthday party—this can include cake mix, frosting, party hats, noisemakers, and decorations. Then donate several kits to a local food bank or shelter. If you can, include a small gift, too!
Create a Special Troop Tradition
Earlier this year, we found an awesome tutorial to make cute Daisy hair clips, which we made during one of our recent meetings. Now, whenever someone asks the girls about their hair accessory, not only can they say they made it themselves (which is awesome), but they can also share their Girl Scout story by telling them why they made them!
Plan a Dress Up Party
We heard about a troop that had a party where the girls got to dress up as their favorite Girl Scout badge, which I thought sounded super fun and creative. If you choose to go this route, make sure girls are able to tell everyone about what the badge is all about and what you have to do to earn it.
Make a SWAP
Make a SWAP of Juliette’s Pearls to remind girls of the personal sacrifices she made to ensure Girl Scouts continued to grow. Make plans to meet up with a fellow Girl Scout friend, your troop, and maybe even your sister troop, and enjoy some time together and present your SWAPS!
Stand on your head!
I came across this fun fact and it’s amazing! Did you know that one of Juliette’s special skills was standing on her head? She stood on her head every year on her birthday to prove she could still do it! She also celebrated her nieces’ and nephews’ birthdays by standing on her head. Rumor has it that once she even stood on her head in the boardroom of the National Headquarters to show off the new Girl Scout shoes.
It’s Your Community—Serve It!
Since 1912 the Girl Scout slogan has been “do a good turn daily”. My troop imagined that if you totaled up all the acts of service inspired by those words that Girl Scouts have done, we’re confident the final count would be in the millions! October is a great month to do something in your community to make an impact and help others. Talk to girls about who they think needs the most help in their community and brainstorm places that might need volunteers. If you are not sure where to get started we found that the local parks department, food banks, community gardens, soup kitchens, and animal shelters are often open to all the help you can give. To keep things girl-led, allow older girls to lead the outreach to the organizations they want to serve, that way they really own the volunteering experience and are invested in it’s success.
No matter what you choose to do, Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday is one of the special Girl Scout days that unites our entire sisterhood—and it’s kind of fun to know that Girl Scouts around the world are all partying with you on October 31st, isn’t it? Be sure to let me know, in the comments below, how your troop is celebrating!
Richel Newborg—Richel is a troop leader to Troop 2740 located in Fort Worth, Texas (although she was born and raised in California). Her Mom and Grandmother were also Girl Scout Leaders. Her favorite memory so far as a troop leader was packing friends, family, and excited girls into her living room (almost 50 people) when their bridging/rededication ceremony was rained out. It was crowded but an awesome celebration of Girl Scouting and they even managed to have a real bridge!