Our History

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History: Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois

The Past

In 1912, Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low gathered 18 girls together in Savannah, Georgia, to begin a tradition that would eventually be replicated in communities around the world – Girl Scout troops. Juliette believed that girls should receive the same opportunities as boys to develop physically, mentally and spiritually.

Learn more about our founder, Juliette Gordon Low.

Girl Scouting in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois began in 1917 when the region’s first troops formed in Iowa City and Burlington, Iowa. The movement grew quickly with an additional troop in Iowa City and new troops in Aledo and Rock Island, Illinois, within three years. The women who launched the Girl Scout movement in eastern Iowa and western Illinois were pioneers. Mae Phipps, Nell Edgar, Mrs. P.C. Hildreth, Mrs. Frank Krack, and Annette Christiaansen are a few of the many who believed in Juliette Gordon Low’s vision.

Learn more about the history of Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowan and Western Illinois.

The Present

One hundred years later, Girl Scouts is the nation’s premier leadership organization for girls. We work on a broader scale and our girls navigate a more complex world than ever before, but some things remain the same. Each Girl Scout continues to benefit from connecting with her peers in an environment where she can build the confidence and skills she needs to become a leader. We are proud of the impact we have made so far, but the astounding potential present in our girls inspires us to aim higher.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois is a healthy, vibrant and forward-looking organization constantly striving to provide the best for girls. We’ve come a long way since the first troop formed in our region in 1917, and we invite you to join us as we move forward into the next century of Girl Scouting, transforming and empowering girls to become leaders in whatever they choose to be.

The Future

We envision a world where girls and women are represented equally as leaders of our communities, our businesses and our nation – and with your help, we will see that vision become a reality. In our next 100 years, Girl Scouts seeks to expand our reach while providing even more impactful opportunities to each girl who makes the Girl Scout Promise.

Read a letter from our CEO Diane Nelson.

Learn more about our advocacy effort.

Help us preserve the past, for the future.