Scouting for Girls
A Century of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
by Tammy M. Proctor
September 2009, 189pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38114-0
$75, £58, 66€, A103
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eBook Available: 978-0-313-38115-7
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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.

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.

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.


"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, February 1, 2010

"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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