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´╗┐Title: Girl Scouts - Their Works, Ways and Plays
Author: Unknown
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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"_Be Prepared_"

[Illustration: Cover]

[Illustration: Girl Scout Logo]

189 Lexington Avenue
New York City

_Series No. 5_



"_Be Prepared_"

[Illustration: Girl Scout Logo]


"_Do A Good Turn Daily_"


          On My Honor, I Will Try:
    To do my duty to God and to my Country
    To help other people at all times
    To obey the Scout Laws


       I A Girl Scout's Honor is to be trusted.

      II A Girl Scout is loyal.

     III A Girl Scout's Duty is to be useful and to help others.

      IV A Girl Scout is a friend to all, and a sister to every
           other Girl Scout.

       V A Girl Scout is Courteous.

      VI A Girl Scout is a friend to Animals.

     VII A Girl Scout obeys Orders.

    VIII A Girl Scout is Cheerful.

      IX A Girl Scout is Thrifty.

       X A Girl Scout is Clean in Thought, Word and Deed.


Their Works, Ways and Plays

The Girl Scouts, a National organization, is open to any girl who
expresses her desire to join and voluntarily accepts the Promise and
the Laws. The object of the Girl Scouts is to bring to all girls the
opportunity for group experience, outdoor life, and to learn through
work, but more by play, to serve their community. Patterned after the
Girl Guides of England, the sister organization of the Boy Scouts, the
Girl Scouts has developed a method of self-government and a variety of
activities that appear to be well suited to the desires of the girls
as the 60,000 registered Scouts and the 5,000 new applicants each
month testify.


The activities of the Girl Scouts may be grouped under five headings
corresponding to five phases of women's life today:

      I. The Home-maker.
     II. The Producer.
    III. The Consumer.
     IV. The Citizen.
      V. The Human Being.

I. _Woman's most ancient way of service--the home-maker, the nurse,
and the mother._ The program provides incentives for practicing
woman's world-old arts by requiring an elementary proficiency in
cooking, housekeeping, first aid, and the rules of healthful living
for any Girl Scout passing beyond the Tenderfoot stage. Of the forty
odd subjects for which Proficiency Badges are given, more than
one-fourth are in subjects directly related to the services of woman
in the home, as mother, nurse or homekeeper. Into this work so often
distasteful because solitary is brought the sense of comradeship. This
is effected partly by having much of the actual training done in
groups. Another element is the public recognition, and rewarding of
skill in this, woman's most elementary service to the world, usually
taken for granted and ignored.

The spirit of play infused into the simplest and most repetitious of
household tasks banishes drudgery. "Give us, oh give us," says
Carlyle, "a man who sings at his work. He will do more in the same
time, he will do it better, he will persevere longer. Wondrous is the
strength of cheerfulness; altogether past comprehension its power of

II. _Woman, the producer._ Handicrafts of many sorts enter into the
program of the Girl Scouts. In camping girls must know how to set up
tents, build lean-tos, and construct fire-places. They must also know
how to make knots of various sorts to use for bandages, tying parcels,
hitching, and so forth. Among the productive occupations in which
Proficiency Badges are awarded are bee-keeping, dairying and general
farming, gardening, weaving and needlework.

III. _Woman, the consumer._ One of the features in modern economics
which is only beginning to be recognized is the fact that women form
the consuming public. There are very few purchases, even for men's own
use, which women do not have a hand in selecting. Practically the
entire burden of household buying in all departments falls on the
woman. In France this has long been recognized and the women of the
middle classes are the buying partners and bookkeepers in their
husbands' business. In America the test of a good husband is that he
brings home his pay envelope unopened, a tacit recognition that the
mother controls spending. The Girl Scouts encourage thrifty habits and
learning economy of buying in all of its activities. One of the ten
Scout Laws is that "A Girl Scout is Thrifty."

IV. _Woman, the citizen._ The basic organization of the Girl Scouts
into the self-governing unit of a Patrol is in itself an excellent
means of political training. Patrols and Troops conduct their own
meetings and the Scouts learn the elements of parliamentary law.
Working together in groups they realize the necessity for democratic
decisions. They also come to have community interests of an impersonal
sort. This is perhaps the greatest single contribution of the Scouts
toward the training of girls for citizenship. Little boys play
together and not only play together, but with men and boys of all
ages. The interest of baseball is not confined to any one age. The
rules of the game are the same for all, and the smallest boy's
judgment on the skill of the players may be as valid as that of the
oldest fan. Girls have had in the past no such common interests. Their
games have been either solitary or in very small groups in activities
largely of a personal character. If women are to be effective in
modern political society, they must have from very earliest youth
gregarious interests and occupations.

V. _Woman, the human being._ Political economy was for a long time
known as the "dead science" and was quite ineffective socially. This
was largely because it attempted to split man, the human being, into
theoretical units such as "the producer," or "the consumer." In the
same way many organizations for women have died because they have not
remembered that woman is first of all a human being. Thus nearly all
institutions for women, even those supposedly purely educational in
character, have existed to shelter her from the world, or to segregate
her, or have been designed to make her into a good servant or to
"finish" her for society. The activities of the Girl Scouts have been
selected on quite a different plan. They have not been designed for
women as women, but for women as human beings. Real work may be
followed with a great deal of enjoyment provided it is creative and
awakens the instinct of workmanship. But it is when at play that a
human being realizes his own nature the most fully. So dancing, sports
of all kinds, hiking, camping, boating, athletics and story-telling
are encouraged not only as a means of recreation and for physical
development, but are made a basic part of the Girl Scout program.


The activities of the Girl Scouts are, of course, not peculiar to this
organization. Every one of them is provided for elsewhere, in schools,
clubs, and societies. But the way in which they are combined and
co-ordinated about certain basic principles is peculiar to the Girl

In the first place all these activities have a common motive which is
preparation for a fuller life for the individual, not only in her
personal, but in her social relations. It is believed that the habits
formed and the concrete information acquired in these activities both
contribute to the girls being ready to meet intelligently most of the
situations that are likely to arise in their later life. This concept
is expressed in the Girl Scouts Motto--"Be Prepared."

The method of preparation followed is that found in nature whereby
young animals and birds _play_ at doing all the things they will need
to do well when they are grown and must feed and fend for themselves
and their babies.

To play any game one must know the rules, so the Girl Scouts have Laws
that they believe cover most of the needs of the Game of Life.

    The Girl Scouts Laws are ten:

       I A Girl Scout's Honor is to be trusted.

      II A Girl Scout is loyal.

     III A Girl Scout's Duty is to be useful and to help others.

      IV A Girl Scout is a friend to all, and a sister to every
           other Girl Scout.

       V A Girl Scout is Courteous.

      VI A Girl Scout is a friend to Animals.

     VII A Girl Scout obeys Orders.

    VIII A Girl Scout is Cheerful.

      IX A Girl Scout is Thrifty.

       X A Girl Scout is Clean in Thought, Word and Deed.

These Laws are known by all Girl Scouts, but the _Promise_ to obey
them is made only after they are understood and voluntarily accepted.
The Promise summarizes the Laws and is:

          On My Honor, I Will Try:
    To be true to God and my country
    To help others at all times
    To obey the Scout Laws

The heart of the Laws is helpfulness and so the Scouts have a
_Slogan_: Do a Good Turn Daily. By following this in letter and spirit
helpfulness becomes second nature.

Because the Girl Scouts are citizens they know and respect the meaning
of the flag, and one of the first things they learn is the Pledge:

I pledge allegiance to my flag, and to the republic for which it
stands; one nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

_Organization and Drill._ Some observers have criticized the Girl
Scout organization because of its apparent military character. It is
true that the girls wear a uniform of khaki, and are grouped in
Patrols, corresponding to the "fours" in the Army; that they salute,
and learn simple forms of drill and signalling. But the reason they do
this is because the military organization happens to be the oldest
form of organization in the world, and it works. It is the best way
men have found of getting a number of persons to work together.
Following directions given to a group is quite a different matter from
doing something alone, and most of us need special training in this. A
group of eight has been found to work the best because it is the
largest number that can be handled by a person just beginning to be a
leader, and moreover elementary qualities of leadership seem to exist
in just about the proportion of one in eight. It is probably on this
account that children take so kindly to the form--rather than because
of any glamor of the army, though this must be admitted as a factor.
In actual practice the drill and signalling take up a very small
portion of the program, and are nowhere followed as ends in
themselves, but only as a means to an end.

_The Uniform._ The uniform is simple, durable and allows freedom of
action. It is of khaki because this has been found to be the best
wearing fabric and color. It is not easily torn and does not readily
soil. Wearing it gives the girls a sense of belonging to a larger
group, such as it is hard to get in any other way. It keeps constantly
before them the fact that they represent a community to whose laws
they have voluntarily subscribed and whose honor they uphold. It is
well, too, to have an _impersonal_ costume if for no other reason than
to counteract the tendency of girls to concentrate upon their personal
appearance. To have a neat, simple, useful garb is a novel experience
to many an over-dressed doll who has been taught to measure all worth
by extravagance of appearance.


_Scouts of Different Ages._ The original Girl Scout program was
designed mainly with the needs of the young adolescent in mind and the
age was fixed from 10 to 18 years. But the little girls wanted to come
in and so a separate division was made for them called the Brownies or
Junior Scouts. Then the older girls and women wanted to join and as
time went on the original Girl Scouts grew up, but not out of, the
Scout movement, and programs are being made for Senior Scouts who are
eighteen and over. The three age groups seem to be natural ones and
each has its own methods and activities. The larger number of Girl
Scouts belong to the middle adolescent group.

All Scouts are organized in the same way and all are enrolled with the
National Girl Scout organization.

_Patrol._ Eight girls form a Patrol which is the working unit. The
eight select from their own group a Patrol Leader who has charge of
the activities for a month or any period of time the Patrol may
designate. The Patrol Leader has immediate responsibilities for the
activities of the eight. It is desirable to have each girl of a Patrol
serve as a leader at some time or other.

_Troop._ One or more Patrols constitute a Troop which is the
administrative unit recognized by the National organization.

_Captain._ The Troop is under the direction of a Captain who must be
at least twenty-one years of age and whose qualification as a leader
of young girls is passed upon by National Headquarters before she is

_Lieutenant._ A Captain may have one or more Lieutenants. The
Lieutenant must be at least eighteen years of age and her commission
is likewise subject to control by National Headquarters.

Captains and Lieutenants may be organized into associations in any
given locality.

_Scout Classes._ There are three classes of Girl Scouts, the youngest
being the "Tenderfoot," the name given by frontiersmen to the man from
the city who is not hardened to the rough life out of doors. Even the
Tenderfoot, however, has to know _some_ things including the Promise,
Laws, Slogan and Motto, how to salute, and the respect due to the
flag, and making some useful knots.

The "Second Class" Scout has been a Tenderfoot for at least one month,
and can pass a test of distinctly greater difficulty, including a good
deal about cooking and housekeeping, animals and birds, flowers and
trees, some important first aid things, and the laws of health.

The highest is the "First Class" Scout and is to be attained only by a
young person of considerable accomplishment. She must be able to find
her way about city or country without any of the usual aids, using
only the compass and her developed judgment of distance and direction.
She must also be able to communicate and receive messages in two
ways--by signalling in Semaphore and the General Service Codes which
is the code used for telegraphing and wireless, and which can be used
in several ways. She must have shown proficiency in Home Nursing,
Child Care, and Housekeeping and in addition in either Laundering,
Cooking, Needlework or Gardening. She must also be an all round out
doors person, familiar with camping, and able to lead in this, or be a
good skater or a naturalist, or be able to swim. Not only must she
know all these different things but she must also have trained a
Tenderfoot, and served her community.

_Proficiency Badges._ After a Girl Scout has attained to First Class
there are still other worlds to conquer as the badges she has earned
on the way are only a few of the many kinds still to be worked toward.
There are at present no less than forty-six kinds of subjects in which
a Scout may achieve, and more are being added daily. Just to mention a
few: a Girl Scout may be an Astronomer, a Bee keeper, a Dairy-maid, or
a Dancer, an Electrician, a Geologist, a Horsewoman, an Interpreter, a
Motorist or a Musician, a Scribe, a Swimmer or accomplished in Thrift.
Each subject has its own badge and when earned this is sewn into the

_Council._ There may also be, and this is desirable, a Council
composed of women and men representing all the best interests of the
community: parents, schools, religious denominations of all sorts,
business, producers, women's clubs, and other social and philanthropic
organizations. The Council acts as the link between the Girl Scouts
and the community. It has the same relation to the separate Troops
that the school board has to the schools, that is; it guides and
decides upon policies and standards, interprets the Scouts to the
community and the community to the Scouts. It does not do the
executive or teaching work--that belongs to the Captains, Lieutenants
and Patrol Leaders.

Another of the functions of the Council is to interest public spirited
women and men, particularly artists and scientists in Girl Scout work
and get them to act as referees in awarding Merit Badges for
proficiency in the many lines encouraged for Girl Scouts.

But the community's resources of wisdom are not only in the schools
and museums, and laboratories and studios--these are mostly to be
found only in large cities. It is a poor place that does not have one
or more wise old persons--a farmer learned in nature ways, a retired
sailor stocked with sea lore, or a mother of men who knows life as
perhaps no one else can. The wise council will know where to find
these natural teachers and see that the children go to their schools.

Another prime function of the Council is the raising of funds and to
make available such other material equipment as camp sites, meeting
places for the Troops, etc. The Captain should turn to the Council for
help in arranging and directing rallies, dances, fairs, pageants and
other devices for entertainment or securing money.

_National Organization._ The central governing body of the Girl Scouts
is the National Council made up of elected delegates from all local
groups. The National Council works through an Executive Board, which
conducts National Headquarters in New York. The National Director is
in charge of Headquarters and has direct administrative responsibility
for the work of the whole organization with the general divisions of
Field, Business, Publication and Education.

"_Be Prepared_"

[Illustration: Girl Scout Logo]

Officers, National Headquarters Girl Scouts, Inc.

  _Honorary President_


  _First Vice-President_

  _Second Vice-President_


  _Chairman, Executive Board_


  _Executive Board_

[Illustration: Girl Scout Logo]

  |                                                              |
  | Transcriber's Note:                                          |
  |                                                              |
  | Two variations of the Girl Scout Promise appear in the       |
  | original text. Both wordings have been retained in this      |
  | e-text. "Girl Scouts Motto" and "Girl Scouts Laws" have      |
  | been retained without apostrophes, as in the original.       |
  |                                                              |

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