Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, Massachusetts
Nicole  Colley

Link to Nicole Colley's Senior Art Thesis

Overcoming Adversity: Juliette Gordon Low and the Girl Scouts

The Coming of Age of Gloria Whelanís Characters

Gloria  Whelan

Childrenís novelist Gloria Whelan portrays the lives of naÔve and timid children who are forced to go on a journey to find their true selves due to political disasters in their world. On their journeys the children face various obstacles that they must overcome. Doing so they are able to grow and mature into young adults who are able to form their own opinions about the world. Kayta, the protagonist in Angel on the Square, is a fearful and immature girl growing up in Russia during the Russian Revolution. As a result she must learn to survive in a world where the aristocrats are being killed. Along her journey she is able to see what the world is really like beyond her secluded and safe palace walls. She develops into a sophisticated and mature young adult. Whelanís portrayal of overcoming the unthinkable brings hope to all who read her novels. Not only do the characters face chaos and turmoil but they also learn to grow from their struggles into mature adults.

Just as the characters in Gloria Whelanís novels are faced with chaos and turmoil, Juliette Gordon Low also experienced turmoil in her personal life with her alcoholic husband and chaos in the nation with the Civil War and World War I. After Low recovered from the death of her husband, she traveled to England where she was inspired by Sir Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guide movements. With this inspiration, and her life experiences with turmoil and chaos, Low gained the strength and courage that enabled her to organize the Girl Scouts in the United States. By teaching girls necessary life skills and how to be strong independent women, Low was able to develop the Girl Scouts into a vibrant organization that helped girls build strength to overcome adversity in their own lives.

Major Works Consulted:

Brown G. Fern. Daisy and the Girl Scouts. Morton Grove: Albert Whitman, 1996.
Schultz Denny, Gladys and Daisy Gordon Lawrence. Lady From Savannah: The Life of Juliette Low. New York: J.B Lippincott, 1958.
Whelan, Gloria. Angel on the Square.New York: Harper Collins, 2001.
---. Burying the Sun. New York: Harper Collins, 2004.
Photo Credit: Whelan, Gloria. Summer of the War. New York: Harper Collins, 2006.


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