Our History

31a11fed67958a7fe01fa464f981d590 “Having been an Adult Volunteer for 50 years and on the Board for 48 of those years, after starting as a Brownie, I have had a kaleidoscopic view of what Girl Scouting has been and is today: always reaching out into the world, learning in vibrant ways, and enabling support systems all around us. The best in Girl Scouting never leaves us–and it's our families, friends, and neighborhoods that benefit.”  Mary S. Phipps

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For nearly a century, we have provided programming that has helped girls become leaders. In addition, we have participated in major events and activities across our five boroughs.
Following are just a few:

  • In 1913, one year after Girl Scouts of the USA was founded, the first New York troop started in Manhattan. One year later, Girl Scouting began in Staten Island. Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx followed suit within the next few years. 
  • In 1917, the first troop for girls with disabilities began in Brooklyn.
  • When women won the right to vote in 1920, Girl Scouts helped at the polls. 
  • At the same time, the Manhattan Council drafted the first comprehensive study on racial diversity.
  • Girl Scouts in New York held the first citywide cookie sale during the era of the Great Depression.
  • Girl Scouts exhibited at the 1939 World’s Fair in Flushing, Queens.
  • During World War II, Girl Scouts joined the war effort as “volunteers for victory.”
  • In the 1950s, Girl Scouts launched the East Harlem project, which became a model for membership outreach nationally.
  • Girl Scouts were prominent participants in the Brooklyn Bridge Centennial (1983); the re-dedication of the Statue of Liberty (1986); and the opening of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum (1990).