I imagine you will agree with me that it takes a certain kind of bravery to remind Juliette Gordon Low about the Girl Scout Law. But one plucky young Girl Scout did…Margaret Gordon Lawrence, Juliette Low’s niece!

Daisy Doots Gordon

Margaret was called Daisy, or Doots, or Daisy Doots. She was born in Savannah in 1900, the daughter of Juliette’s brother William Washington Gordon III and his wife Ellen Buchanan Screven Gordon. Daisy Doots had three siblings (her brother Frank died at age three, when Daisy Doots was eight years old). Doots is considered to have been the first Girl Scout registered when her Aunt Daisy founded the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. in 1912.*

She must have had quite a bit of Juliette Low’s spirit in her even as a young girl.  Juliette knew that Doots, age fifteen, was owed some money and tried to pay her. Daisy Doots waived the debt, refused the funds, and insisted on being allowed to be generous.

She chose her rationale very carefully to appeal to her aunt. Here is her note to the Founder of the Girl Scouts:

“If you look at rule 5 in the Guide or Scout law, this is what you will find. (5) A guide is Courteous.  That is, she is polite to all, but especially to women and children and old people and invalids, cripples, etc. And she must not take any reward for being helpful or courteous. This is what I call courteous, don’t you.”

What else could Juliette Low do but admire her niece’s resolute and admirable dedication to Girl Scouting? She did not force Doots to accept the money.

Daisy Doots grew up to lead Girl Scouts in Georgia and Virginia, and until her death in 1982 took great pride in being known as the first Girl Scout.

*My research has turned up many interesting questions about the earliest Girl Scouts…but you’ll have to wait for the book to come out to learn more!
Margaret Gordon to Juliette Gordon Low, 1 August 1915, Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, Girl Scout National Center, Savannah, Georgia
The photograph also used used  through the kind permission of the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace.