Juliette Gordon Low spent several years searching for something useful to do with her life. Her search ended in 1911, when she met Sir Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides. She became interested in the new youth movement. Afterwards, Daisy channeled all her considerable energies into the fledgling movement.
Less than a year later, she returned to the United States and made her historic telephone call to her cousin Nina Pape, saying, “I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world, and we’re going to start it tonight!”On March 12, 1912, Juliette Low gathered 18 girls to register the first two patrols of American Girl Guides. Margaret “Daisy Doots” Gordon, her niece and namesake, was the first registered member. The name of the organization was changed to Girl Scouts the following year.
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 develop self-reliance and resourcefulness. She encouraged girls to prepare not only for traditional homemaking, but also for possible future roles as professional women—in the arts, sciences and business—and for active citizenship outside the home.
Girl Scouting welcomed girls with disabilities at a time when they were excluded from many other activities. This idea seemed quite natural to Daisy, who never let deafness, back problems or cancer keep her from full participation in life.
From the original 18 girls, Girl Scouting has grown to nearly four million members. Girl Scouts is the largest educational organization for girls in the world and has influenced the more than 50 million girls, women and men who have belonged to it.
Juliette Gordon Low accumulated admirers and friends of all ages, nationalities and walks of life. By maintaining contact with overseas Girl Guides and Girl Scouts during World War I, she helped lay the foundation for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. After her death from breast cancer in 1927, her friends honored her by establishing the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund, which finances international projects for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world. Juliette Gordon Low died at her Savannah home on Lafayette Square January 17, 1927. She is buried at Laurel Grove Cemetery in Savannah in her Girl Scout uniform. In her pocket she has a telegram from the National Board of Girl Scouts of the USA, “You are not only the first Girl Scout, you are the best Girl Scout of them all”.