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Women Making History

Tea with Ms. Daisy

The History Center brings the past to life for Girl Scouts and other visitors

March is Women’s History Month, a time to reflect on the many achievements of women over the decades such as Juliette Gordon Low – an amazing woman who made history by starting what’s now a nationally celebrated organization empowering girls through education and participation.

Celebrating Miss Daisy

Low, called “Daisy” by family and friends, founded the Girl Scouts in 1912, at a time many would consider the height of the Women’s Suffrage Movement. The organization came about as a response to girls aspiring to become members of the Boy Scouts, founded two years earlier in 1910.

After Boy Scouts’ founder Robert Baden-Powell told Low that thousands of girls had attempted to join, the 51-year-old widow headed to her hometown of Savannah, Georgia, and gathered what would become the first-ever Girl Scout troop.

Fast forward about a century, and there are more than 2 million Girl Scouts, including approximately 20,000 living in other countries. Low’s Girl Scouts have expanded to more than 90 countries with the Girl Scouts Overseas Program and have become one of the largest women’s volunteer associations in the United States.   

Low died in January 1927, 15 years after founding the Girl Scouts. This March marked the program’s 104th anniversary. On March 13, the History Center traveled back in time to bring “Miss Daisy” to life for 40 Girl Scouts from varying troops.

The event, “Tea with Miss Daisy,” celebrated tea etiquette in the Edwardian era and was reminiscent of the tea parties Daisy would have attended herself in the years leading up to the founding of the Girl Scouts. The girls also learned about the art of conversation and other social skills that were taught to the young women of the Edwardian era.

Bringing History Alive

One of the most dynamic ways to bring the past to life is through living history – for example, using tools or clothing to give visitors an insight into what the past was like as if they were there themselves. On occasion, the History Center also uses actors to portray figures from the past, ranging from the Seminole leader Osceola to aviation pioneer Bessie Coleman.

At our March 13 event, Education Curator Sandi Linn brought Miss Daisy to life in a splendid performance for the Girl Scouts. She donned her hat and white gloves to teach the girls about her time in the early 1900s. The value of bringing women from history to life is immeasurable, and the History Center is proud to encourage young people to know about the past so they can prepare for the future.

For more information, call Cynthia Tomerlin at 407-836-8556 or email Cynthia.Tomerlin@ocfl.net.