The Girl Scouts of America began as an all-white organization in Savannah, Ga., in 1912. Five years later, in 1917, the troop introduced its first African American girl scouts, possibly in the New York area. This positive change led to the integration of more scout troops in 1950, 14 years before the Civil Rights Movement. It forged the creation of a Native American troop in 1921, followed by a Mexican American girl troop. In the late 1930’s, the first southern region African American Dixie troop was formed. In the archives of the Girls Scouts of America, there is a photo of both black and white girl scouts at Camp Indian Run in Philadelphia, 1941.
With an eye for diversity, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. described the Girl Scouts as “a force for desegregation” in 1956.