History of USAGSO
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History of USAGSO

Since 1925, USA Girl Scouts Overseas, a branch of Girl Scouts of the USA, has supported Girl Scout troops organized outside the continental United States. Here's a look at some important milestones in USAGSO's history.

The Beginning Years

  • In 1925, Lone Troops on Foreign Soil (later called USA Girl Scouts Overseas) registered its first Girl Scout troop in Shanghai, China, with 18 girls.
  • By 1927, three troops had registered in Pagoda, China, with 18 girls; Tampico, Mexico, 24 girls; and Beirut, in what is now Lebanon, 9 girls.
  • In 1935, Girl Scout troops organized in Guam.

1940-1959

  • 1951: USAGSO –North Atlantic was organized.
  • 1953: USAGSO –West Pacific was organized.
  • Girl Scout troops organized in Saudi Arabia for the Arabian American Oil Company.
  • Negotiations between military authorities and Girl Scouts of the USA for staff services resulted in the formation of Girl Scout troops at many military bases in Europe and North Africa.
  • Arrangements made between military authorities and Girl Scouts of the USA for staff services at a military base in the Far East.
  • In 1959, the Lady Baden Powell Award was first introduced in Panama.

1960-1979

  • Girl Scouting started in the islands of Micronesia.
  • Girl Scout troops first organized in America Samoa.
  • Girl Scout handbooks translated into Japanese for Ryukyu Islands Girl Scouts in Okinawa.
  • In 1968, the International Friendship Recognition was introduced.

1980-2000

  • Girl Scout troops organized at U.S. military bases in such places as the Azores; the Panama Canal Zone; Guantánamo Bay, Cuba; and Keflavík, Iceland.
  • Troops on Foreign Soil became USA Girl Scouts Overseas so it could be more inclusive for non-military American families moving overseas. (Today, approximately 56% of Girl Scouts involved in USA Girl Scouts Overseas are not affiliated with the military.)
  • USA Girl Scouts Overseas celebrated its 75th anniversary with a commemorative patch designed by a Girl Scout Cadette in New Delhi, India.

2001-2010

  • In 2005, Patricia Kelly Schmutz was the first USAGSO Girl Scout to be honored as a National Young Woman of Distinction. 
  • First annual USA Girl Scouts Overseas conference held at Edith Macy.
  • The first Global Facilitators retreat was in 2007, and the team was appointed in 2008 with 12-15 people.
  • The Global Awareness Badge was created with Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State.
  • Guidelines for Lady Baden Powell Award were revised to align with the new Girl Scout Leadership Experience: Discover + Connect + Take Action.
  • In December 2008, the USAGSO-North Atlantic office in Mannheim, Germany, closed its original site location since WWII and relocated to Camp Darby in Italy.

2011-Today

  • In 2011, the USA Girl Scouts Overseas Pin was redesigned.
  • March 12, 2012, USA Girl Scouts Overseas Sunrise Ceremonies began in Guam and continued around the world to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts USA.
  • In 2016, Hanna Chuang from Singapore was honored as a National Young Woman of Distinction. 
  • In June 2016, the Council of Advisors was formed and started their work to provide a unified structure to advise and support the growth of Girl Scouts overseas.
  • The Italy office relocated from Camp Darby to Caserma Ederle near Vicenza, Italy in October 2016.
  • On August 28, 2017, we joined 109 Girl Scout councils in implementing a new operating model and technology platform to improve the overall experience for volunteers and members. 
  • For the first time ever, we connected virtually with an overseas troop in Paris to share in the excitement and activity of the 2017 Girl Scout Convention in Columbus, Ohio.