Girl Scout Dolls Through The Years

Dolls are a hugely popular collectible item and Girl Scout dolls are certainly no exception. In 1920, the first known commercially made Girl Scout doll was offered for sale through The American Girl, the official magazine of Girl Scouts, published from 1917 until 1979. Many different sizes and styles of Girl Scout dolls have been produced over the years: Brownie uniformed, Intermediate and Senior uniformed, and even adult or leader dolls; and although their popularity has waxed and waned throughout the decades, Girl Scout dolls are still going strong.

Girl Scout Dolls

Girl Scout dolls, circa 1950s, from the GSGATL Archives collection; each approx. 6-8″ tall

The official Girl Scout doll of today is made by Adora and is an 18” doll similar in style to the popular doll, American Girl (not to be confused with the Girl Scout publication, The American Girl). Many Girl Scout themed dolls and uniforms can be bought across the world, but only the official Adora doll licensed by Girl Scouts of USA (pictured below) can be found at your local council Badge and Sash Store  or through any council’s online store.

Adora Girl Scouts

The newest doll to officially join Girl Scouts as of July 2014 is fashion icon herself, Barbie! She wears the contemporary uniform of today’s girls: her sash and a crisp white shirt, but pink, rather than khaki bottoms. Hey, it’s Barbie… what would she do without her signature pink?

The Girl Scout Barbie doll is manufactured as a blonde, brunette, or African-American, as are most versions of the Barbie Doll, demonstrating how Barbie’s broad diversity is a perfect fit with the Girl Scouts of USA.

barbie scout

If you have any questions regarding Girl Scout dolls that we have in our collection at the GSGATL Archives, please don’t hesitate to contact us! There is currently a large display of vintage Girl Scout Dolls in the Mableton Service Center, downstairs next to the Resource Center and Archives Room. Feel free to stop and have a look!

Posted in Collectibles, Dolls, Exhibits | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

GSGATL Volunteer Leadership Conference

#VLC2014

It starts with us!

This past weekend, on Saturday, August 9th, was the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Volunteer Leadership Conference. Where you there? We were! The GSGATL History and Archives Committee had a booth set up all day long sharing info and educating everyone about who we are and what we do! Everyone had a lot of fun spreading the word about what the Archives can do to help volunteers grow and strengthen their leadership experience.

The Volunteer Leadership Conference was held at the Cobb Galleria off of Cobb Parkway, near Marietta, Ga. It focused on learning experiences and how volunteers and leaders can make the most of their knowledge of Girl Scouting while facilitating the volunteers of tomorrow.

#VLC214

Volunteer Leadership Conference in the Cobb Galleria Ballroom

Archive committee members educated leaders about the many items we have in the collection that can help them and their troops complete programs and earn badges. For example, did you know that in the Archives we have resource boxes for each age level that will help you complete the history portion of the Girl Scout Way badge?

Resource boxes for every age level available in GSGATL Archives

Resource boxes for every age level available in GSGATL Archives

Linda Bishop, member of the GSGATL Archives Committee, at our booth at the Volunteer Leadership Conference

Linda Bishop, member of the GSGATL Archives Committee, at our booth at the Volunteer Leadership Conference

How has our Girl Scout Law changed over the years? Our uniform? Our ceremonies? Our songs? We can help you learn all about the traditions of our Girl Scout Sisters of the past and how they relate to Girl Scouts of today, then share your new found knowledge with your troop or other Girl Scout leaders and volunteers!

If you missed this year’s Conference, we welcome all of you to make some time to come by the Mableton Service Center and see what we have to offer for you and your Scouts!

Posted in Archives & Archivists, Badges | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Happy August, Everyone!

Did you know that August was National Picnic Month? And that August 4th was National Sisters Day? Sounds like the perfect recipe to have a fun, late summer picnic with some of your Girl Scout sisters! So let’s pull out that vintage Girl Scout mess kit and round up our troop for some good old fashioned, out-of-doors fun!

1941 Girl Scout camp postcard

1941 Girl Scout camp postcard

The 1953 Girl Scout Handbook had some pretty nifty ideas when it came to mealtime for girls. Here are a couple of fun examples:

“Avoid clashing colors, such as beets and carrots on a purple plate.”

“Do not repeat flavors or color in the same meal…”

”Combine soft foods, such as mashed potatoes or scrambled eggs, with something crisp and chewy, such as … fried foods.”

1953 handbook

And did you know that “butter and fortified margarine” was one of the seven basic food groups in 1953? That’s pretty amusing!

However, the handbook did suggest substituting the chocolate square in your s’more for a slice of pineapple… now that I have to try!

And don’t forget to include that good old get-to-know-you “Girl Scout Picnic Game.” You know the one- “My name is Mary.  I’m going on a Girl Scout picnic, and I’m taking marshmallows…” and so on. Instructions for this classic scouting introductions game can be found here.

Happy August, everyone!

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GS Archives History Conference 2013

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1960 GSUSA National Convention framed photograph. From the collection of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives.

By now, those of you on the Girl Scout History Listserv will have heard about the announcement from National:

The Girl Scout National Historic Preservation Center (NHPC) is pleased to announce that History Conference 2013 will take place at Edith Macy Conference Center (EMCC/Macy), Briar Cliff Manor, New York, from Monday, 9 September through Wednesday, 11 September 2013.

This conference is perfect for those starting or maintaining a GS Council Archives, and who have never been an archivist before. Be sure to mark your calendars and send someone from your Council to attend. It will be a great conference, and we will be posting more details as we have them.

Posted in Archives & Archivists, Council History, Volunteers | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Celebrating Girl Scout Week: Taking Stock of the Collection

ImageAt the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives, we spent the week discussing many issues, as our monthly meeting was taking place the day after Girl Scout Week was complete (March 10-16, 2013). Today, we had a work day sorting posters in our collection and seeing what sorts of duplicates we might have. As in many Archives collections, we found posters that were great but also damaged through age as well as regular wear and tear.

How, might you ask, do these volunteers deal with such a problem? In the past, tape was often used to bind the edges (or middles) together. Today, there are products on the market labeled as “archives tape” or “framers tape.” What you want to remember is:

“Don’t DO anything that you can’t UNDO.”

Tape is tape–there are adhesive and chemicals involved. The special tapes have a lower amount of these than commercially available tape, but none of these are perfectly safe for long-term use.

So what can we do, you may ask? If the item is small enough, you may wish to encapsulate the item between two sheets of mylar. A great description of this process is on the State Archives of Florida site. However, if the item is very large, such as the posters in question, you may wish to store them flat in a large, oversize alkaline folder and try to handle as little as possible. If it is a popular item, have it scanned and make a “use copy” for researchers, volunteers, or exhibits.

If you have further questions about this topic, archives products, or vendors, we’ll be happy to help. We’d love to hear about your favorite Council poster!

Posted in Archives & Archivists, Council History, Girl Scout Holidays, Girl Scout Week, History / Archives Committee | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Golden Eaglet

This gallery contains 5 photos.

This weekend the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta council will reveal the new “Gold Award” wall at the council headquarters. Did you know the Gold Award had a different name? The Golden Eaglet was the award’s name from 1916 through … Continue reading

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Remembering District V

Ms. Dews, Rhonda B, and TaMara P

1940’s Camping gear

District V with friends and vintage coke bottles.

What a nostalgic setting to remember District V and honor their field representative,
Ms. Phyllis Dews. The Archives/History committee prepared the Sunday afternoon Tea at the Auburn Avenue Research library in Downtown Atlanta. The Tea’s location was significant to the troop’s beginnings. Their second office was only four buildings down at 143 1/2 Auburn Avenue in 1945 on the second floor of the former Poinciana club. Music from the by-gone era played softly, Billie Holiday’s “God Bless the child,” Jackie Wilson’s “Lonely Teardrops,” and Martha & the Vandellas’ “Quicksand” to name a few. Round tables draped with white linen with whimsical retro Girl Scout centerpieces decorated the intimate affair. When the honored guest arrived, everyone stood and applauded. As she took her seat, she said, you all have really done it.

The celebration continued to the next phase onto the third floor for the Community panel discussion, which was open to the public. A second installment of “The District V” exhibit greeted visitors in the room: vintage Girl Scouts Handbooks, Camping Gear, Black and White snapshots including a Girl Scouts founder, Juliette “Daisy” Low portrait. Campfire songs and a short silent video featuring Bazoline Usher played as people filled the room. There was not an empty seat.

The introductions were given by the library programs director, Morris Gardner. Short presentations given by the Greater Atlanta Girl Scout council, Brenda S. and Archives/History committee, Linda B.
The three member panel included former scouts, Dr. Roslyn Pope, Mrs. Celestine Bray Bottoms, and Ms. Phyllis Dews. Senior Ambassador Scout of Troop 1368, Arianna served as moderator for the discussion. Each panel member answered questions on camping, cookie sales, and obstacles being the first black troops in Atlanta.
Ms. Dews explained the challenges of the times. She described how on first her camping experience with 50 scouts at Camp J.K. Orr in Lovejoy, they were confronted by a rogue group of white men with guns asking where was the integrated campgrounds. Their camp director was white. The men escorted her off the grounds. Ms. Dews said she pondered all through the night about the camp director’s well being and how she had promised the scouts’ parents their daughters would be safe.
Mrs. Bottoms candidly remembered hayrides and a traditional camping treat. She explained I was a city girl and had never been on a hayride. She added we made S’mores with Oh, Henry candy bars. “Our S’mores had nuts,” she exclaimed.
Dr. Pope described how she became Georgia’s Girl Scouts All State camper in 1953. I don’t think Alaska and Hawaii were states at the time she began. But she went to say everyone marveled how I represented Georgia, the only Negro at the All States event in Wyoming.
A young former scout asked did you all sell cookies like we do now. The three answered no. But their fellow scout sitting in the audience said,”Yes, we sold cookies.” She also named every member from their troop.
In closing we pinned each panel guest with a 100 year Girl Scout pin given by council and awarded them a certificate of appreciation from the “Friends of the Auburn Ave Library.” Girl Scout council member, Mary F. removed her very own Girl Scout scarf that she wore to give to Ms. Dews – Girl Scout sisterhood.

If you would like the view the first installment of “The Lives of District V : The untold story of Atlanta ‘s first African-American Girl Scout Troops,” please visit the Greater Atlanta Girl Scouts Headquarters at 1560 N. Allen Rd. in Mableton from 10 – 6 pm Monday – Friday.
We thank “The Atlanta Daily World” for covering District V. Without their reporting; District V’s story would truly be untold.

Link to the video stream of discussion.

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<br /><a href=”http://www.ustream.tv/” style=”padding: 2px 0px 4px; width: 400px; background: #ffffff; display: block; color: #000000; font-weight: normal; font-size: 10px; text-decoration: underline; text-align: center;” target=”_blank”>Video streaming by Ustream</a>

Posted in African Americans, Archives & Archivists, Camping, Cookies, Georgia, Girl Scout Memories Project, History / Archives Committee | Tagged , , | 7 Comments