Our mission is to promote Scouting through the preservation and display of Scouting Memorabilia and the teaching of the history of Scouting in the United States.

Girl Scout Handbooks


Items from the Past

Books and Other Printed Material

Original Girl Scout Handbook

In 1913, W.J. Hoxie, a noted naturalist from Savannah, and Juliette Low prepared an official Girl Scout handbook, How Girls Can Help Their Country, which was adapted from the original handbook for British Girl Guides. Along with information on first aid, housekeeping, and camping, this first U.S. handbook for British Girl Guides. Along with information on first aid, housekeeping, and camping, this first U.S. handbook contained instructions on how to stop a runaway horse and how to tie up a burglar “with eight inches of cord.”  In 1914 a second edition of this handbook was printed by Knickerbocker Press.

1929 Girl Scout Handbook

The Girl Scout handbook was published in 1929.  It was the first time this titles was used.  It was available in a green cloth cover or a cloth-board cover with heavier binding.  Eight printings of this handbook was printed, each containing 464 pages.

1933 Girl Scout Handbook

An entire new edition written by Fjeril Hess.  Available in two different bindings a green cloth-board binding had the Girl Scouts in insigne in black and a green limp leatherette binding had a gold impressed insigne.  This handbook was available in Braille and large-type print.  There were six printings each with 575 pages.



1947 Girl Scout Handbook

The new Girl Scout published in 1947, was prepared with input from Gil Scouts across the country.  It featured a new focus on agriculture with badges such as Poultry, Truck Gardener, and Beekeeper.  Written by Margaret Chapman and Marie Gaudette with new illustrations by Jessie Gillespie Willins.  There were 14 printings of this edition each with 527 pages.


Brownie Girl Scout Handbook

In 1951, the Brownie Scout Handbook was published.  It was the first book for Brownies, rather than for the leaders.  From its pages girls learned how to play the game “run, sheep, run,”  make handkerchief dolls, and make an aquarium.  Written by Ray Mitchell with illustrations by Ruth Wood.  All 24 editions of this 95-page book were hard bound.

1920 Scouting for Girls

Published in 1920, Scouting For Girls was the first handbook prepared by the national organization rather than by Juliette Low.  It include sections on map reading, sewing an American Flag, and marching according to the U.S. Infantry drill regulation.  It had a khaki cover and contained 557 pages.  There was at least 13 different editions of this handbook.


A new edition written by Catharine C Reiley from material complied by Margarite Hall.  The handbook was reprinted several times in quick succession because of rapid growth in the girl scouting program.  In 1959 rising cost of paper and printing made it necessary to change the cover of the 1959 and after printing to a water resistant latex fiber called Lexide so the price of the book could be maintained.  There were 29 printings, printing 1-5 had 510 pages, printing 6-17 with 511 pages and 18-29 contained 517 pages.