The first Girl Scout troops were started in Middle Tennessee in 1917. In 1926, our organization received its charter as the Nashville Girl Scout Council. More than 30 years later, 20 counties in Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky joined forces and became Cumberland Valley Girl Scout Council. An additional 13 counties in the southern portion of the mid-state joined the organization in 1962.
Locally, the first troops were started in 1917, only five years after the foundation of Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia. The earliest troops were small and formed at the Peabody Demonstration School, St. Mary’s Orphanage, and Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). With the Nashville Girl Scout Council receiving its charter in 1926, the council bloomed.
For more than 100 years, Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee has offered girls endless opportunities to learn, grow, develop, and share their skills and talents with their communities – enabling them to make a difference in not only their own lives but also the lives of others. Our council prides itself on the commitment to make a difference in the lives of all girls, even those often unrecognized and underserved by others. Under the leadership of Josephine Groves Holloway, the first Black troop leader and first Black employee, this council stood up against racial injustices and defined our organization as one committed to serving EVERY girl. We strive to see that all girls have the opportunity to enjoy what Girl Scouts has to offer, and we have a long legacy of meeting the needs of girls in fun, exciting, innovative, and challenging ways.
100 Years of GSMIDTN
1917 – Girl Scouting comes to Nashville. Five years after the start of the national movement, the first troops in Middle Tennessee were organized.
1927 – The Nashville Girl Scout Council received its charter. Within a year, over 400 girls were registered and the first Brownie Pack was organized.
1935-1939 – Nashville Girl Scouts began selling doughnuts as a source of financing! For multiple years, they kept the Holsum Bakery working overtime (day and night, three shifts) to catch up with their sales!
1944 – Josephine Groves Holloway was hired by the Nashville Council as the first African American professional staff member. She served until 1963 and our Camp Holloway honors her legacy.
1958 – Twenty counties in Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky joined forces to become Cumberland Valley Girl Scout Council. More than 8,000 girls registered that first year.
1965 – A successful capital campaign provided the finances to build a council office at 830 Kirkwood Lane in Nashville. It would be our home for the next 25 years!
1973 – Horses arrived at Camp Sycamore Hills! Today, this camp is home to our herd of more than 40 horses and ponies and our outstanding equestrian program.
1985 – Dr. Rhea Seddon, a former Murfreesboro Girl Scout, became the second American woman to go into space. She took a Cumberland Valley patch with her and later presented it to the council.
1991 – After a $4.5 million capital campaign (the largest for any Girl Scout council at that time), we moved into our new home at 4522 Granny White Pike in Nashville.
2007 – Cumberland Valley Girl Scout Council became Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee in order to better represent our service area.
2017 – Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee celebrated 100 years of scouting!
2021 – Today, Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee thrives as we serve 39 counties that include more than 15,000 Girl Scouts and volunteers.