gt;gt; Chapter One gt; gt;know yourself and be yourselfgt; gt; "Scouting rises within you and inspires you to put forth your best." gt; — Daisy in The Rally magazine, January 1919 gt; gt; * * * gt; gt; Daisy Gordon was four years old when General William Tecumseh Sherman, the Yankee man she had heard was the devil, came to her house in Savannah, put her on his lap, and gave her and her sister rock candy, the first sugar she had ever tasted. Her father was away fighting against Sherman's army, so it was quite a shock to her to have this man walk through the front door of her house, bearing gifts for the kids, no less. gt; The Civil War, a persistent backdrop to Daisy's early childhood, had begun about six months after she was born on October 31, in 1860. The Union Army, clad in blue uniforms, marched through the streets singing, "When This Cruel War is Over." It was a war that divided the nation and split Daisy's own family. Daisy's mother, Nellie Kinzie Gordon, was from one of the founding families of Chicago, and Nellie's brothers were Union soldiers. But Daisy's father was a Confederate officer, slave owner, and cotton factor who bought and sold cotton. Sherman was a friend of Nellie's family, and after the surrender of Savannah he came to personally deliver letters from her family. gt; Daisy was not thrilled to see him—she supported her father. She was a southern girl in the way she dressed, spoke, and felt. Savannah—in its warm, wilting beauty—truly defined her. Just as her mother's family was prominent in the North, Daisy's father's family was well known in the South. Daisy's paternal grandfather, William Washington Gordon I, was a former mayor of Savannah and had also been the founder of the Central of Georgia Railroad, as well as the first graduate of West Point to come from Georgia. gt; After Savannah surrendered, Sherman presented the city, originally settled and planned by James Edward Oglethorpe, with its cobblestone streets, carefully designed squares, enormous fountains, and persistent ghost stories, as a Christmas present to President Abraham Lincoln. gt; Sherman ordered the evacuation of all families of Confederate officers, so Nellie and her children traveled to Chicago to stay with her family until the war ended. But even there, Daisy remained a southern girl. When word came in 1865 that her side had officially lost, the neighbors all came out for a parade by torchlight; Daisy climbed a fence, sat atop a gatepost and forcefully sang "Dixie," as a surprised crowd looked on, listened, and then continued their celebration. gt; gt; Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton,gt; Old times there are not forgotten,gt; Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land.gt; gt; In Dixie Land, where I was born in,gt; early on one frosty mornin',gt; Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land.gt; gt; I wish I was in Dixie, Hooray! Hooray!gt; In Dixie Land I'll take my standgt; to live and die in Dixie.gt; Away, away, away down south in Dixie.gt; Away, away, away down south in Dixiegt; gt; By Daniel Decatur Emmett, 1859 gt; gt; In Illinois, the children saw snow for the first time and ate foods that were not familiar to them back home. Although Daisy would later have a privileged, wealthy upbringing, during these early years in the South, she and her siblings were malnourished and the family stressed by wartime. Safe in Chicago, Daisy grew to understand that her northern relatives were her family too. Daisy's grandmother Juliette Magill Kinzie was a writer who published several books, including gt;Wau-Bungt;, the story of pioneer life in Fort Winnebago, Wisconsin. She and her husband, John Kinzie, formed the first settlements in Chicago. At their home, as Daisy recovered from brain fever, a life-threatening illness, they told her many stories. One of her favorites was about her great-grandmother, Eleanor Lytle Kinzie. As a small girl of nine, Eleanor had been kidnapped by the Seneca Indians. The story goes that the tribe considered Eleanor as one of their own children and that the head of the tribe, Chief Cornplanter, named her "Little-Ship-Under-Full-Sail," because she moved so quickly and fearlessly. She lived with them as an adopted daughter for four years until Eleanor's parents finally convinced Chief Cornplanter to let them see their child. When Eleanor ran into her mother's arms, Chief Cornplanter saw how much her family missed her and let the girl return to her home. Daisy's family, where she was the second of six children, decided that she, too, fit that description, and , in addition to the nickname Daisy, she proudly took on the title of "Little-Ship-Under-Full-Sail." gt; That name encapsulates how Daisy led her life. It was in these early experiences that she first learned that even members of her own family had different ways of doing things. Later, when she was older, Daisy visited her friend Abby Lippitt Hunter and her family in Providence, Rhode Island. According to a remembrance called "Juliette Gordon Low Grown-Up" by her niece Daisy Gordon Lawrence, she wrote back home: "I learn new things every day. I am in a family here who are different from anything I have seen before; in some respects their ideas and methods seem better than ours. It is rather narrow to condemn people because they differ from you ... I am going to stop moralizing because I do it in bad spelling and I know that aggravates you." gt; Throughout Daisy's life as she was recognized for leadership, humor, and empathy, she was also known for being a terrible speller. Her mother tried to point it out in letters that included a little chart of Daisy's spelling compared to the correct way, in words such as "sleaves," "disgrase," "suspence," and "idear." In an 1871 letter, Daisy's mother wrote to her: "Please remember also that a persons bust means both their bosoms, and according to your description of Alice's 'busts' the unfortunate child has four—two in front I suppose and two behind I conclude which is certainly more than her share and I don't wonder her dress had to be let out." gt; Another particular quirk of Daisy's was her driving. Although she had money to buy a car and learned to drive before many people of her generation, she was known for having accidents and numerous near-misses. Once she crashed through a house, driving right into a dining room where a family was eating dinner. She didn't say a word to them, but went nearby to a telephone to call for help. "I didn't think it would be polite to interrupt them while they were eating," Daisy's brother Arthur Gordon recounts her saying then. She also had a habit of driving on the wrong side of the road as she moved back and forth from the U.S. to England and Scotland, which certainly contributed to her car troubles. gt; Daisy's brother Arthur described her in a remembrance entitled "Juliette Gordon Low as Her Family Knew Her" by G. Arthur Gordon: "Her mind did not work like that of the average person ... Two and two by no means made four to her. They made anything she chose to imagine they made ... There was nothing conventional or tepid or neutral about her." gt; Daisy was always a rule-breaker, though not in a spiteful way or in a manner that would hurt someone, other than possibly herself. She called her high school "Edge of Hell" instead of Edge Hill because she got into so much trouble. In January 1877, Daisy wrote to her mother from that boarding school: gt; But, Mama, I can't keep all the rules, I'm too much like you. Imagine yourself when at school, on being asked to do something against the rules to have some fun, turning up the whites of your eyes with righteous indignation, clasping you hands across your bosom, and saying "How Wrong!" I'll keep the rule about studying after the light bell rings, about getting up in the morning too soon, and I'll keep clear of big scrapes, but little ones I can't avoid. For instance, last week I got up after the light bell and I and another girl went on the one-eyed French teacher's floor and told ghost stories until about twelve when we quietly and stealthily returned. But, oh, how I suffered for it. The teachers, of course, found it out and the next evening when I went to get my medicine, I caught it! Miss Middleton (the governess on our floor), the drawing teacher, and Mrs. Morrison got after me. Everyone talked. They quoted the Bible and read passages out of the Prayer Book. I received it like an angel and I smiled a little sickly smile. gt; gt; Sarah Louise Arnold, the former Dean of Simmons College and National President of the Girl Scouts in the 1920s, wrote a book first published in 1934 that is a beautiful little gold volume of poems and inspirational advice to Girl Scouts and leaders, titled gt;The Way of Understandinggt;. "Surely we were meant to be different, to sing different strains, and to give back different messages. Only let our message be the message of our very best self," she wrote. gt; All of these girls, in every one of these generations, have peer pressure as something in common. And it is remarkably liberating and comforting to know that the other girls feel this too. gt; In our troop, one of the mothers called me to say her daughter was feeling different, left out, not just in the troop but also in other parts of her life. She liked to wear different colors than some of the girls, had shorter hair, and liked a movie that was not a favorite of others in the troop. Sherry, Melissa, and I decided to try to help the girl feel more welcome among her sister Girl Scouts by bringing up the issue directly, without naming names. I'll admit I was nervous—on our to-do list was to have a snack, do an art project, and have a profound discussion about differences in personalities and how great it is that we are not all alike. gt; It happened to be April Fools' Day, so we started the meeting with the three of us walking in with crazy, long hair extensions, announcing that Girl Scouts had made a change to the uniform, and we would all start wearing our hair exactly the same way. We looked ridiculous but no one was laughing. We were met with horrified stares. A few started saying they didn't like it, did they have to ... and then one girl piped up, "Is this an April Fools' joke?" They were so relieved that it was. It was a fun lead-in to how happy we are all that we aren't the same and how we learn from each other in our differences. We talked about how Juliette Gordon Low was different in so many ways—stubborn, found her calling later in life, couldn't hear well, encouraged girls to have careers and play sports—and how great that was for all of us. Daisy started the Girl Scouts as a place where you came as you were, and you felt comfortable being there, at any moment of your life. gt; Then we played "snowball." Each girl wrote on a piece of paper three things about herself (I wrote that I'm curious, have a terrible sense of direction, and love olives). The girls crumpled their papers into balls, threw them into the center of the room, and then picked up another girl's paper. We took turns reading each out loud and had to guess who wrote them. They chose to reveal things such as liking Barbies and horses, not liking pink, being afraid of snakes, and being fast runners. We talked about how to respect each others' likes and dislikes, by not saying, "Yuck," if there is a difference of opinion but being able to say they just have another favorite movie or color. gt; Starting this lesson, Sherry, Melissa, and I thought we might have to do most of the talking, but instead the girls did, one by one, as the others were fascinated by their comments. The kids continued the conversation over cheese and crackers, raising their hands to reveal how they'd felt bad once when someone made fun of them for speaking a certain language in another country, or for liking a certain book. They could not get enough of discussing how they felt about differences. While the one girl who we originally were trying to help seemed happy and more comfortable than ever, it turned out each girl in the troop had an individual voice and opinion that day, which was welcomed and heard. It was a real-life example of something rising up within them that they might not have known was there—a common bond. gt; gt; gt; Chapter Two gt; gt;give to othersgt; gt; "Do a good turn daily." gt; — Scouting for Girls, the Official Hand book of the Girl Scouts (1920) gt; gt; * * * gt; gt; When Daisy was a teenager, she and some of her friends and cousins, who lived next door in Savannah, formed a club called "Helpful Hands." Daisy had moved back to Savannah from Chicago in 1865. They rigged up a communication system using tin cans and string. As they were a family with both ideas and means, they also had their household servants send over messages, just to make sure they got through. Even at this early age, Daisy wanted the group to not just be a social club but to strive to make a difference. The club members had noticed that the children of the Italian family who ran a local fruit stall were dressed in shabby clothes, and it was decided that they would be the first beneficiaries of the Helpful Hands. gt; Taking the lead, Daisy gathered the club members and taught them how to sew, making clothes for the little children. Unfortunately, something went amiss in the sewing lessons. The children put on their new clothes, but almost immediately, the pink calico sleeves of one little boy's new outfit fell off him as he ran through the street. Then, as Daisy remembers, the whole outfit came off: "The boy discarded the garment altogether and raced home sans culottes, pursued by the policeman." From then on, the group was known as the "Helpless Hands," according to Daisy's own recounting of the story in "When I was a Girl" by Juliette Low in the October 1926 issue of gt;The American Girlgt; magazine. gt; Later that year, a terrible yellow fever epidemic hit the city. Daisy, along with her mother and siblings, as well as many other people, fled Savannah. But sadly, one of the Italian children and then one of the club members, a ten-year-old girl, died. Throughout her life, Daisy sought to help others. During the Spanish-American War in 1898, Daisy and her mother set up a hospital in Miami for American soldiers returning from Cuba. Daisy and her mother helped treat seventy to eighty patients at one time. Their efforts were lauded across the country, and people called Nellie the "Angel of the Boys in Blue." gt; Throughout her life, Daisy championed the less fortunate and comforted the afflicted, which would include the poor, sick, and animals of any kind. On the other hand, she did not have much patience or good will toward those who were boring or annoying, or prevented her from doing something she wanted to do. She also "despised and loathed any form of meanness or trickery, and when she thought she detected it, her scorn was blazing and furious," remembers Daisy's brother, Arthur Gordon, in a 1935 address to a Girl Scout conference in Richmond, Virginia. gt; In the spirit of Daisy's desire to give to others, it has been a tradition for Girl Scouts to do service projects, which range from small but significant one-time efforts to longer-term endeavors. During World War I, girls sewed clothes and canned food for the military. A troop in Washington, DC, came up with a way to battle influenza, making ten gallons of broth daily to give to poor, anemic children on the playgrounds during the winter. They sold Liberty Bonds and planted "victory gardens," full of vegetables and herbs. While Girl Scouts have found they are especially needed during wartime, they also work hard to help individual people or families or groups in many kinds of trouble. In later years Girl Scouts have collected litter, knit for the Red Cross, and given toys to needy children. They've volunteered with elderly people, taught kids with disabilities, and have accomplished so many other projects that embody the generous spirit. Sarah Louise Arnold writes about true generosity in her parable about "a handful more," putting in just a bit more sugar in your rhubarb pie or your effort to help someone, than you might think you can. In her book gt;The Way of Understandinggt;, she writes: "'Your rhubarb pie is powerful good, Neighbor. It isn't the least bit sharp or sour as so many pies are. I wonder how you make it.' The neighbor smiled and said, 'When I make rhubarb pie I put in all the sugar I think I can afford, and then I shut my eyes and put in a handful more.'" gt; gt;(Continues...)gt; gt; gt; gt;gt; gt;gt;gt; Excerpted from gt;On My Honorgt; by gt;SHANNON HENRY KLEIBERgt; Copyright © 2012 by Shannon Henry Kleiber. Excerpted by permission of sourcebooks. 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