In 1917, Lou was personally recruited by Juliette Gordon Low and for the rest of her life; Mrs. Hoover served continuously as a Girl Scout National board member or officer. Through her involvement in the organization, she adopted more than a million girls in green and brown uniforms, eager to introduce them to the outdoor world she had encountered as a 10-year-old tomboy on the Cedar River.
In 1929, she raised over half a million dollars to help realize a five-year plan of organizational development. She is also credited with facilitating the first national sale of Girl Scout cookies during her second term as president.
Lou Henry Hoover was a highly effective spokesperson and role model for young women. Said one observer: “Mrs. Hoover is just the type of person one would expect young girls to adore. She has a charm of manner that immediately attracts one.” She certainly attracted many young women to Girl Scouting. In 1927, there were some 168,000 Girl Scouts in America. By the time of her death in 1944, their ranks had swelled to 1,035,000.