ABC-CLIO

Scouting for Girls

A Century of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

by Tammy M. Proctor

 

What do Queen Elizabeth II, Kate Moss, Lucille Ball, Hillary Clinton, and Sandra Day O'Connor have in common? All were Girl Guides or Girl Scouts in their youth. Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting constitute the largest female youth movement in world history, helping to shape the modern world, but also reflecting changing notions of femininity, family, and nation.

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Cover image for Scouting for Girls

September 2009

Praeger

Pages 189
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Popular Culture/General

This volume examines scouting—the largest voluntary movement for girls—in its first century of existence, seeking to understand how the organization has lasted and how it has changed.

Scouting for Girls: A Century of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts is the first global history of Girl Scouting and Guiding that addresses the successes and pitfalls of the 100-year-old organization from its beginning in Great Britain through its international expansion. Since 1910, millions of girls worldwide have been exposed to Scouting. While much has changed since 1910, the core values of Scouting/Guiding are still recognizable in today's programs, namely the empowerment of girls through adventure, character-building, home skills, outdoor pursuits, and active learning. But has Scouting's very willingness to change with the times undermined its original ideologies and fundamentally changed the movement?

As Girl Scouts and Guides move into their second century, their challenge will be to remain true to their founding values while remaking themselves on a regular basis. Given the changing nature of today's societies and the serious problems girls face on a daily basis, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts will need to be true to their motto, "Be Prepared," in order to march forward successfully into the future.

Highlights

  • Presents a unique global history and scholarly examination of one of the most popular and understudied voluntary youth movements in world history
  • Looks at Scouting's struggle to define women's roles in society through war, social upheaval, and political change
  • Explores how Scouting has changed and how it has remained the same, with girls still learning a promise and law, pursuing badge work, and aiming to be good local, national, and international citizens
  • Examines Scouting's internationalist focus, which has allowed the movement to expand beyond narrow national boundaries and connect to many important events in world history, including both world wars, and to global institutions such as the United Nations, UNICEF, and CARE
Author Info

Tammy M. Proctor is professor of history at Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH. Her published works include On My Honour: Guides and Scouts in Interwar Britain, Female Intelligence: Women and Espionage in the First World War, and the co-edited volume, Scouting Frontiers: Youth and the Scout Movement's First Century.

Reviews/Endorsements

Reviews

"Proctor (history, Wittenberg U., Springfield, Ohio) traces the history of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting from the official founding of the UK's Girl Guiding organization in 1910 to the present day, examining why the organization developed and how it has remained relevant to girls in the UK and throughout the world over the past century. Coverage includes the origins of Girl Guiding/Scouting, the role of WWI in launching and revising worldwide Guiding, controversies regarding the subsequent global expansion of the organizations, the impact of WWII on the global Guide association, transformations that have taken place since the 1940s, the triumphs and tragedies of Guiding's international ambitions in the 20th century, and the challenges posed to Girl Guiding/Scouting by today's ompeting activities for girls and changing political realities for women. Academic but accessible to the general reader."Reference & Research Book News

Endorsements

"With groundbreaking research and lively writing, Scouting for Girls not only provides the first objective history of an important hundred-year-old international organization but also considers challenging questions about its continued relevance amid the changing needs of girls and young women in global society."—Sally Mitchell, Emerita Professor of English and Women's Studies at Temple University, author of .

"Unlike official histories that chronicle organizational details within one country, this lively unofficial history captures the wide international spread of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting. Proctor seeks not merely to celebrate a century of success but to explain it, tracing major changes by which the movement kept itself relevant to new generations of girls."—David I. Macleod
Professor of History, Central Michigan University
Author of Building Character in the American Boy: The Boy Scouts, YMCA and Their Forerunners, 1870-1920

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