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 | 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 | 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

Atlanta’s First Black Girl Scouts Event

Atlanta’s First Black Girl Scouts: The Untold Story of the District V Girl Scout Troops
Community Discussion
Sunday, June 10, 2012. 3:00 p.m.

The Auburn Avenue Research Library will host Atlanta’s First Black Girl Scouts: The Untold Story of the District V Girl Scout Troops. This community discussion will highlight the experiences of Atlanta’s first African American Girl Scout troops, and honor the achievements of Bazoline Usher, Phyllis Dews, and Roslyn Pope.

Usher led the group of African American women who founded Atlanta’s first troops for girls of color in 1943.  Dews was the second Field Director of District V. Pope was the 1953 Senior Girl Scout All State Camper and had numerous accomplishments in her Girl Scout career.

This event will also include displays of photographs, Girl Scout memorabilia, pins and vintage uniforms pieces from the 1940 – 50’s that reflect  District V’s achievements in scouting.

Girl Scout Troop 1368 in period uniforms. Picture courtesy of Rhonda Barrow.

A Senior from Troop 1368 at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta will be in a uniform from that era and serve as moderator for the discussion. This picture was taken at their cookie booth sale on Girl Scout Sunday, March 11, 2012.

The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History is located at 101 Auburn Avenue, NE, Atlanta, GA 30303; Tel: 404-730-4001. All events are free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

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A Visit to Camp Holloway in Tennessee

Josephine Holloway with her granddaughter, 1960s. Courtesy of Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee.

In May 1952 in middle Tennessee, there lived a Girl Scout captain following the same dream as  our founder Juliette Low–Girl Scouts of the USA for every American girl. Girl Scout Captain Josephine Holloway, a former Social Worker, purchased 50 acres of land with the help of her husband, Dr. Guerney Holloway, for a Girl Scout campgrounds dedicated for African American girls. The camp was a first for Girl Scouts in the South. Before the civil rights movement, local laws and customs prevented Mrs. Holloway’s Troop 200 from camping overnight with other troops during camping events.

To give her troop a true camping experience, Mrs. Holloway searched for land with running water, such as a stream, for her scouts to bathe and cook. She found a land lot in Millersville, Tennessee, which even had a farmhouse that the troop would later use as their lodge.

The field had been unattended and the farmhouse dilapidated, but Mrs. Holloway was a visionary. She encouraged her scouts and their parents to envision the cabins, trails, and the pool. Every weekend they visited the grounds, tackled the overgrowth, and followed the instructions of Mrs. Holloway’s designs for the camp.

Since its dedication 60 years ago, the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee have purchased additional lots to increase the campground’s size to the current 76 acres. They later honored Mrs. Holloway with the camp’s name change to Camp Holloway.

Many people in Tennessee see Mrs. Holloway as a hidden heroine. Her efforts to help Ms. Low’s dream for every American girl to have the opportunity to become a Girl Scout are heroic due to social challenges before and during civil rights movement.

TaMara Powell at Camp Holloway. September 2011

I had to visit the campgrounds myself. Camp Holloway has been completely renovated. Girls can experience archery, running through an obstacle course, rappelling off of a tower, rock climbing, swimming, team adventuring, and tree climbing.

I can only imagine Mrs. Holloway would be so proud with the updates. There is even a patch that visiting Girl Scout campers can earn, called the “Josephine Holloway/Guerney’s Cabin Patch.” To visit Camp Holloway, call 615-383-0490 or visit the website at http://gsmidtn.org/camp/category/camp-holloway/.

Blog post written by TaMara Powell, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives Volunteer and Girl Scout Troop Leader.

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Time Capsule Dedication

Some of the Archives Committee with Anna Maria Chavez, CEO of GSUSA

This past Tuesday was a busy one for not only the History and Archives Committee, but the whole Council. In a wonderful turn of events, the Council hosted the CEO of GSUSA, Anna Maria Chavez, at the 100th Anniversary Time Capsule Dedication and Girl Scout Day ceremonies. The committee decided to wear some of the original and replica uniforms to honor the occasion. Several attendees at the event enjoyed learning about the uniforms and the history behind them. The committee were asked several times to pose for cameras, and we happily obliged.

The first event, held at Camp Timber Ridge, began with a great talk from Anna Maria Chavez. It was great to hear her perspective and plans for the Girl Scouts. She was energetic, lively, and very committed to making Girl Scouts the best place to be for girls. Afterwards, in our chat with her, we were glad to hear that she is a history buff as well.

Linda Bishop presenting Anna Maria Chavez and Marilyn Midyette with our "Girl Scouts Make History" pin.

Afterwards, all of the event participants headed back to the Council offices for the 100th Anniversary Time Capsule dedication. The Archives committee had been working for several months with Council staff to make this the best time capsule we could possibly make. Not only were Council items and 100th GS Anniversary memorabilia included, the Council reached out to current Girl Scouts of all levels and asked them to contribute an item they thought significant.

Linda Bishop, chair of the Archives Committee presented to Anna Maria Chavez and Marilyn Midyette, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, our “Girl Scouts Make History” pin, as our thanks and appreciation for working together with the committee. As you can see from the picture, Linda presented the pins in her traditional manner.

Pamela Nye in the 1913 blue uniform. The hat was a bit hit!

Pamela Nye gave a short speech on the importance of time capsules, and of the Archives’ role in keeping safe not only the list of items enclosed in the capsule, but the location of the capsule as well. Too many time capsules have been lost or forgotten, and we do not intend for this one to suffer that same fate. The life span of electronic records is amazingly brief, so any audio, video, or electronic records will be held in the Council Archives for safekeeping, and to be able to migrate the records to whatever the next medium will be. We also want the current Girl Scouts, adult volunteers, and interested researchers to be able to access this information. All the items that were placed inside the time capsule are either eye readable records or cloth materials that won’t break down over time. A full list of contents will be posted soon.

TaMara Powell demonstrating how the white uniform was worn.

One of the more interesting uniforms was worn by TaMara Powell. In the United States, this white uniform was only worn in the South, due to the extreme heat. It was officially recommended for use in 1920. It consisted of a white middy blouse, skirt, shoes and stockings, a black or colored tie, a khaki hat, and armband. (The light blue tie was added in 1922.)  The uniform was made of lighter weight material and was only approved for use as requested. It was never available in a catalog, but was approved for use in the Southern U.S. states, Puerto Rico, Hawai’i, Panama, and the Phillipines. [For more information about uniforms, please see the Girl Scout Collector's Guide by Mary Degenhardt and Judith Kirsch, 2005.]

The event was a great success, and we were glad to see so many people come out and celebrate this momentous occasion. Here are a few news stories about the event.

Posted in 100th Anniversary, Archives & Archivists, Camp Timber Ridge (GSGATL), Council History, Donations, Girl Scout Day (March 12), Girl Scout Holidays, Girl Scout Memories Project, History / Archives Committee, Service Projects, Volunteers | Tagged | Leave a comment