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Girl Scouting in the Philippines

       Three women, in so far as the Girl Scouts of the Philippines is concerned, had shaped and contributed greatly to the Girl Scouting/Girl Guiding world.

        They were LADY OLAVE BADEN POWELL, the wife of B-P and named later as World Chief Guide;JULIETTE GORDON-LOW, founder of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America in 1912; and JOSEFA LLANES-ESCODA, a wartime heroine of World War II and founder of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines.

       LADY OLAVE BADEN POWELL, formerly Olave St. Claire Soames, came quietly into the movement when she married B-P eight months after a whirlwind shipboard romance while on cruise to the West Indies with her father. There she met Baden Powell and had since been actively involved in the movement in 1916 when she was appointed Country Commissioner for Sussex and later as Chief Commissioner.

        In 1930, the World Bureau conferred on her the title of World Chief Guide, apposition she held up to the time of her death in 1977.

        Lady Olave visited the Philippines twice. The first time was in March 25-27, 1958 as part of her travel itinerary in Asia and the second was on October 11, 1966 during the Closing Ceremonies of the GSP's 25th anniversary held at the Luneta Grandstand. She conveyed her warm affection and pleasant thoughts to the Filipino Girl Scouts during these visits.

       JULIETTE GORDON-LOW, "Daisy", a woman of means from Savannah, Georgia and widow of an Englishman named William Low, met Lord B-P who interested her in the Scouting program.

        From childhood she had been fondly called "Daisy" like a beautiful attractive Sunshiny Flower.

        Baden-Powell's visit to Daisy in Scotland in 1911 inspired her to organize a Scottish Girl Guide troop. They had fun learning knots, flag history, Girl Guide Laws, knitting, cooking, first-aid, map reading and signaling. Daisy helped them learn skills for earning a living such as raising chicken and spinning. She started other Girl Guide troops in London before sailing to America to begin the first American Girl guide troop on March 21, 1912.

        Her first 18 girls made their own dark blue uniforms with light blue ties like the British Girl Guides. They also made their own badges. They learned the Girl Guide Law, played games, went on nature hikes, did bird-watching and kept bird books. They had inter-troop basketball and a summer camp.

        Daisy had many talents to share. She could write, draw and sculpt. She loved tennis, horseback riding and the out-of-doors. Although she lost her hearing in midlife, she was friendly and kind and was the life of the party wherever she went.

        Daisy changed the name of American Girl Guides to Girl Scouts in 1913, and their uniform from blue to khaki ("which didn't show the dirt as much").

JOSEFA LLANES-ESCODA [Biography], was the third woman in the triad. She was a well-known and respected social worker and civic leader from Dingras, Ilocos Norte. She had worked very hard to uplift the condition of needy and disadvantaged people.

        Because of the historical and political links of the Philippines with the United States, Scouting found its way to our shores.

        As early as 1918, lone troops were found to be in existence in the islands. Some of the early troops were organized in Davao (1918), Capiz (1926), the Mountain Province, Manila (1939) and other places. Generally, American missionaries and servicemen and other concerned members of the American communities were said to have started these troops. All these early troops, however, were registered directly with the GSUSA.

        Two women, Pilar Hidalgo-Lim, then President of the National Federation of Women's Clubs (NFWC) and its Executive Secretary, Josefa Lla�es Escoda, spearheaded the organization of the GSP. They asked the help of the BSP, believing that " the youth of the Philippines was not being completely served if there was only a Boy Scout organization; that there should also be a Girl Scout Movement."

        Through the GSP, Mrs. Escoda was sent for Girl Scout training in 1939 to the USA and Great Britain.

        Upon her return to the Philippines, Mrs. Escoda set up the GSP with the help of civic-minded citizens and supporters.

        On May 26, 1940, the GSP was chartered as a national organization under Commonwealth Act. No. 542.

        In 1946, at the 11th World Conference held at Evian, France, GSP was accepted by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) as a tenderfoot member.

        On August 13-23, 1948, GSP became a full member at the 12th World Conference held in Cooperstown, New York.

        From a membership of 3,000, the GSP increased tremendously to more than one and a half million. The organization had observed its Golden Jubilee in 1990 and is moving on fast to greater heights.


History of Girl Scout Movement | Girl Scouting in the Philippines | Girl Scouting in San Pablo City



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