girls in & out-of-doors

There’s this really great old and rare book store in downtown Detroit called John K. King. It’s monster-sized HUGE, so they have a pretty decent children’s selection and even a variety of scouting books, which I always love to look at. A while back, while I was working on the cover for Lindsey Markel’s You Are Among Friends, I got a vintage 1963 copy of the Cadette Girl Scout Handbook for inspiration. It has the best illustrations, for those who might otherwise spend thirty minutes standing around debating between it and the junior or brownie scout handbooks, as I did. It’s been sitting on my coffee table for months now, so I thought I’d share some (because there are a lot) of my favorite images from it, as they are pretty goddamn fantastic.


I don’t know how y’all did things, but in Troop 747 of Macomb County Michigan, it was pretty much an additional law that, while reciting the final line of the Girl Scout Law, one shook their hips and head back and forth in the sassiest manner possible. And to live. By the. Girl *HIP* Scout *HIP* Law. Boom. Boom.


I love the hand of blondie here. It’s perfectly dainty and her eagerness is totally redonc! Also love how precise all of the fashion details are, including the trefoil on Scouty McGee’s white sock.



This is hands down my favorite illustration in the book. I want to LIVE in this picture, dancin’ around to uke strummin’ in a big puffy skirt…


This image is from an illustrated two page spread on how to lead a democratic discussion. The “Where shall we go…” image is repeated twice as the girls obviously have trouble keeping focused.


I JUST NOTICED THE RACCOON AHAH. AH. Look out, girl scouts!


So what’s even funnier than the fact that this old dude requires FOUR young maidens to care for his tender ankle is the look on dopey’s face through the window. Girl is having so much fun carrying wood, she doesn’t care that she’s about to walk directly into a wall. Tra la la…


This illustration comes from a chapter entitled “A More Attractive You” wherein one of life’s greatest mysteries is made clear: “The real secret of loveliness is being lovely.” WELL THERE YOU HAVE IT, FOLKS. Now you can toss our all yr beauty magazines! Really though, the advice is pretty sweet and hard for even me to make fun of (but I will try, of course):
Too many girls concentrate on looking a certain way, rather than being a certain way. Often, they pick something specific, an imperfect nose, perhaps, or hair that won’t hold a curl, and bemoan the fate that made them unattractive. But this is not what attractiveness is all about. It is a combination of a great many things, some of them are visible, most of them are not. It is the total of all your qualities, your inner self, as well as those that show. It is the kind of person you are.
Aww, that’s nice. Of course, it helps that all the girls in this book are size two hotties… Well, anyway! Enjoy!

All images © Girls Scouts of the United States of America


4 thoughts on “girls in & out-of-doors

  1. I never knew someone else had the same feelings I did. My hair willn’t hold a curl, and I’ve been really bemoaning it. But now that I know that being lovely is the real secret to loveliness, life doesn’t seem so bad!

  2. Hi there! Can I purchase a digital file of these images from you? I am a current Girl Scout leader and a lifelong Girl Scout and absolutely LOVE these images. Old school washing the hair over the coal bbq and dancing around while a fellow girl scout plays guitar is absolutely yummy! Just let me know!

  3. Kris, the book is pretty awesome and has lots more illustration inside than what I’ve scanned. You can find quite a few copies of this edition for sale online:,+1963&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#q=cadette+girl+scout+handbook,+1963&hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&prmd=imvns&source=univ&tbm=shop&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=MxyrTtWCKsesiQKP9NTlCg&ved=0CEoQrQQ&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=f9dc7d9405fe1803&biw=1729&bih=886

    I just did a google search for “cadette girl scout handbook, 1963”

    Hope this helps!

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