Story of GSME
In Girl Scouts Leadership comes when girls feel sure
enough of what they can do to show others the way.

Juliette Gordon Low
Juliette Gordon Low
Founder of Girl Scouts

When Juliette Gordon Low founded the first Girl Scout troop in Savannah, Georgia in 1912, women were less equal than men by law. 

Juliette Low knew that change would only come if girls’ attitudes and expectations changed and if they would move forward to influence others.

She realized that learning how to build a fire wasn’t the most important thing for girls but, once they had done it, it would stay with them forever. And when a girl taught someone else to do it, she would know it on a whole new level.

Then it wouldn’t be about the fire anymore. It would be about the certainty within each girl that she could pass her knowledge on, like a spark, and when it catches, she would know anything is possible.

Girl Scouts of the USA
was chartered March 16, 1950 and today the organization has over 3.4 million members throughout the United States, including U.S. territories, and in more than 90 countries through USA Girl Scouts Overseas.

In 2004, Girl Scouts of the USA began a process to assure the future success and growth of Girl Scouts in the 21st Century. The Core Business Strategy included a nationwide realignment of Girl Scout councils.

As part of the realignment process, on October 1, 2007, Maine’s two legacy councils - Abnaki Girl Scout Council, and Girl Scouts of Kennebec Council - merged to become Girl Scouts of Maine.  The result is a high capacity organization that serves girl and adult members statewide and offers an expanded list of programs and resources.

Girl Scouts of Maine partners with United Ways in Maine!
United Way of Androscoggin County, United Way of Aroostook,
United Way of Eastern Maine, United Way of Greater Portland,
United Way of Kennebec Valley, United Way of Mid Coast Maine, United Way of Mid-Maine, United Way of the Tri-Valley Area,
United Way of York County
, and United Way of Oxford County.
The Legacy Abnaki Girl Scout Council
(1962 – 2007)

The Abnaki Girl Scout Council was formed in May, 1962 from the merger of four existing councils (Bangor-Brewer, Central Penobscot, Presque Isle and Houlton) and many lone troops. The council encompassed the six northern and eastern counties of the state (Aroostook, Washington, Hancock, Waldo, Penobscot, Piscataquis) and the eastern portion of Somerset County.

Over the years, council headquarters were located in both Bangor and Brewer. There was a small office and shop in Presque Isle that served Aroostook County. In 2010, the council moved from it's long-time home in Brewer to a new location in Bangor.

The council owned several camp and program properties over its 45-year history. Camp Natarswi was established in 1936 on land that was originally leased from Great Northern Paper Co.

Abnaki Girl Scout Council served 4,500 members and employed eighteen full-time and 18-24 seasonal camp staff. Liz O'Donnell served as the final CEO of Abnaki Council and Karen Hadley Keim was the Chair of the Board of Directors.

The Legacy Girl Scouts of Kennebec Council                               
(1963 – 2007)

Girl Scouts of Kennebec Council was chartered in October 1963 – the result of a merger of eleven councils and sixty-eight lone troop communities in the ten counties of southwestern Maine. The first troops on record in this area were active in Augusta circa 1917.

Located in South Portland, the administrative office, the Ekdahl Center, was dedicated on October 27, 1991 in memory of Ingrid Ekdah. Ekdahl was instrumental in the design and location of the new center and served as Executive Director of Kennebec Council from 1981 to 1991.

Kennebec Council’s jurisdiction covered approximately one-third of the State of Maine including Androscoggin, Cumberland, Franklin, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Sagadahoc, Somerset and York counties.

Kennebec Council employed 40 staff who served approximately 15,000 girl and adult members. Seasonal staff supports the council's camp programs.

In addition to the administrative center, the council owned three camp properties: Camp Kirkwold, in Readfield; Camp Pondicherry in South Bridgton; and Camp Scelkit on Gerrish Island, Kittery Point.

Joan McDonald served as the final CEO of Kennebec Council and Natalie Burns was President of the Board of Directors.