Happy 100th Birthday!

There have been over 50 million women in the United States who have been a Girl Scout, and there are anniversary celebrations happening all over the country today, March 12, 2012. On this date in 1912, Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low started the very first Girl Scout troop  in Savannah, Georgia. Today, 3.2 million girls are Girl Scouts in the United States, and are part of the 10 million girls who are members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

Juliette Low faced many obstacles, but she had a vision that this organization would help girls not only in her lifetime, but far into the future. The 1933 Girl Scout Handbook included a message from her, written on October 31, 1924.

Dear Girl Scouts:

I hope that we shall all remember the rules of this Girl Scouting game of ours. They are: to play fair, to play in your place, and to play for your side and not for yourself.

And as for the score, the best thing in a game is the fun and not the results, for:

“When the Great Recorder comes to write against your name, he writes not that you won or lost, but how you played the game.”

Girl Scouts, I salute you.

Your friend, Juliette Low

We would love to hear how you are celebrating this day (and Girl Scout Week!)

Posted in 100th Anniversary, Girl Scout Day (March 12), Girl Scout Holidays, Juliette Low, WAGGGS | Tagged | 2 Comments

Southern Alabama Girl Scout History Exhibit

We love to keep up with what our committee members are accomplishing. Gigi Baroco, a founding member of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives, is creating a new exhibit on 100 years of Girl Scouts, which will be available on March 12, 2012, at the History Museum of Mobile (Alabama). Since 2007, she has been the historian for the Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama, and has been a Girl Scout for 45 years. From Gigi:

“Girl Scouts all over the world are connected by traditions, friendships and vision, but each Girl Scout council has its own history because of its culture and geography.  The Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama is comprised of 30 counties: eight from Deep South, fifteen from South Central Alabama, and seven from Pine Valley, Concharty and  Cottaquilla councils.  We have a history of Mariner troops in our coastal areas, troops involved in state government in the Montgomery area and animal husbandry and agricultural activities in our rural areas.  Unique to Mobile is the Junior Miss pageant and for many years troops have adopted Junior Misses.

Alabama also has many rich archaeological sites around which encampments were held for 25 years.  We are digging up our past through scrapbooks, photos and personal stories and are developing visuals that showcase our history.  In addition to our council history, we are collecting items that have appeared over the years in the GSUSA equipment catalogs.  Our museum collection began with a major donation from the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta for which we are very grateful.  We are using these items in exhibits, fashion shows of vintage uniforms, and shadowboxes that can be easily transported to various venues.  Each shadowbox has a theme and includes vintage newspaper articles featuring Girl Scouts as well as Girl Scout awards and memorabilia related to the articles.  These shadowboxes along with enlarged photos, mannequins in vintage uniforms, and Girl Scout memorabilia from our collection will be in an exhibit room at the Museum of Mobile opening on March 12th.

We are looking forward to having programs for girls such as Victorian tea parties, signaling demonstrations, and other vintage badge activities as our fledgling museum develops.

This anniversary year, a “Discovering Our 100-Year History” patch program was designed to help Girl Scouts celebrate the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A and to develop an appreciation of how their council became what it is today. The requirements fall under three categories: Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. history, Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama history, and a Girl Scout history-related service project.  Additionally, a “Vintage” patch program was designed for girls to learn skills taken from Girl Scout badges from the past and to see how much life has changed over the last 100 years.  Activities have been lifted from the Signaller badge, the Health Guardian Badge, the Homemaker badge and many others.

If you have questions, comments or donations, please contact Gigi Baroco at gigibaroco@gulftel.com.”

We are grateful to have such a knowledgeable and dedicated volunteer on our History/Archives Committee. If you are in the Mobile, Alabama, area, please take the time to go see this wonderful exhibit!

Posted in 100th Anniversary, Archives & Archivists, Exhibits, Girl Scout Day (March 12), Girl Scout Holidays, History / Archives Committee, Volunteers | Leave a comment

World Thinking Day 2012

Happy World Thinking Day! Today is the day when we celebrate girl scouting all over the world. From the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts website:

Today, WAGGGS wishes ‘happy World Thinking Day’ to all Girl Guides and Girl Scouts! Up to 10 million girls in 145 countries around the world are spending today reflecting on their international friendships, thinking about the environment, and raising money for the World Thinking Day Fund.

Two international patches from our collection

In 1992, the Northwest Georgia Girl Scout Council (one of our historic councils) reached out to the Republic of Georgia to bring Girl Scouting to that country. Many of our current Archives volunteers such as Sue Belden and Gigi Baroco were involved with this initiative.  We are proud to have been part of this effort to introduce more girls to scouting. You can read more about the Georgian Girl Scouts on the WAGGGS website.

Posted in Council History, Georgia, Girl Scout Holidays, History / Archives Committee, Volunteers, WAGGGS, World Thinking Day | Tagged | Leave a comment

Duluth Girl Scout Exhibit

May and Shannon show the 1914-1918 vintage uniform to visitor Elaine Meyers

Another exhibit featuring material from the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives is “100 Years of Girl Scouting” in Duluth, Georgia. While there is a contemporary exhibit at Duluth City Hall, featuring local Girl Scouts’ community projects, the historical artifacts are located at the Strickland House in Duluth, Georgia. Currently the home of the Duluth Historical Society, the Strickland House is also the home to several Girl Scout troops who meet there on a regular basis.

Cadette Troop 1941: Signe Madson, Pinak Raodeo, Melissa Coleman, Jessekah Stewart, Pamela Nye (leader), May Hu, Allison Shoupe, Teyana Vance, Shannon Middleton, and Maria Branch

One of the troops, sixth grade Cadette Troop 1941, has met there for three years, and wanted to help out the DHS for being so welcoming. Since this is the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts in the USA, the girls wanted to create an exhibit celebrating local Girl Scout history. They borrowed a few items from the Council Archives, but also borrowed a great number of items from local community members. One woman loaned her grandmother’s 1937 Intermediate uniform, her mother’s 1960s-era Junior uniform, and her 1990s-era Junior uniform. These were placed next to a current Junior uniform, showing the change in our Council’s name.

Maria welcomes the visitors

The Cadettes held an Open House on Sunday, February 12, from 3:00-5:00 pm, and gave free tours of the collection. Many of the donors came, as well as many community members who had never been in the Strickland House. The Cadettes enjoyed their roles as docents and had fun explaining the history of Girl Scouting and the significance of the items in the cases and on stands to the guests. The refreshments included lemonade and the early Girl Scout cookies in the side tea room.

The exhibit at Duluth City Hall and the exhibit at the Strickland House is available until April 28, 2012. Hours at the Duluth City Hall are Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Hours at the Strickland House are Friday and Saturday from 12:00 to 3:00 pm. Tours can be arranged at other times. Visit http://www.duluthistorical.org/ for more information.

More stories about the exhibit:

Posted in Cadettes (Grades 6-8), Council History, Exhibits, Girl Scout Holidays, History / Archives Committee, Service Projects | Tagged | 1 Comment

District V Exhibit: First African American Girl Scouts in Atlanta

First African American Girl Scouts in Atlanta Exhibit

There is a new exhibit at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Headquarters in Mableton, Georgia in honor of Black History Month. It is called “In The Lives of District V- The Untold Story of Atlanta’s  First African-American Girl Scout Troops.”

1940s Girl Scout uniform

The Greater Atlanta Chapter History/Archives committee features the stories from the first Atlanta African-American Girl Scout troops that began in 1943.  The showcase displays 25 items including photographs of Girl Scout memorabilia.  Pins and vintage uniforms pieces from the 1940 – 50’s reflect District V’s achievements in scouting. Part of the area covered by District V included the Auburn district of downtown Atlanta.

There are more than ten black and white photographs in the exhibit. Some are from The Atlanta Daily World newspaper and one is from a Jet Magazine photo shoot that featured 1953 Senior Girl Scout All State Camper, Roslyn Pope. Replicas of Miss Pope’s uniform with badges are also included.

Girl Scouts Thanks Badge

Miss Bazoline Usher in 1943 headed 25 to 30 African-American women to start troops for girls of color, which became District V.  Miss Usher worked many years with the Girl Scouts.  She received Girl Scouts’ highest honor, the “Thank You” pin, in the mid 1940’s.  The pin, also known as the Thanks Badge, is displayed along with Miss Usher’s photograph. There is a list of other honorees awarded this pin for their exceptional service that benefited the entire Girl Scout council.  It is a gold filled and enamel medallion on a blue grosgrain ribbon.

District V Girl Scout Troop counting out cookie profits

District V in their first year as Girl Scouts placed second in cookie sales in Atlanta.  A photograph from the The Atlanta Daily World depicts scouts and Troop Leader with cookie boxes and counting their profits.

Girl Scouts from District V were able to experience camp life at Camp J.K. Orr in Lovejoy, Georgia, which was rented from the Boy Scouts of America.  A brochure called Camping for me (1963) promotes District V’s first official campsite in Carver Park. The George Washington Carver State Park is the first Georgia state park for African-Americans.  Carver Park neighbors Girl Scout Camp Pine Acres on Lake Allatoona near Acworth. Some other artifacts include a sample size tent as well as a cookie case from the 1960s. A timeline which highlights the many historical events in Girl Scouts District V concludes the exhibit.

The exhibit is located in the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Service Center, available Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and on weekends during events. Be sure and go see it while you are there! If you were a Girl Scout in District V, we would love to hear from you! Contact Margaret Paschal at 770-702-9411 or at mpaschal [at] gsgatl.org. [link not included to reduce spam]

Special thanks to Rhonda Barrow, Sue Belden, Denise McGill, Margaret Paschal and TaMara Powell for creating this educational and interesting exhibit.

Posted in African Americans, Council History | 7 Comments

Archives @ the Council Alumnae Event

Joyce and Sue, indispensable members of the Archives

The History/Archives Committee were well-represented today at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta’s 100th Anniversary Kickoff for Alumnae event. The event was co-hosted by the UPS Women’s Leadership Development and Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta (GSGATL) Alumnae Association. GSUSA defines Girl Scout alumnae as women who were Girl Scouts (including Brownies) as girl, and/or adult members ages 18 and up, including current and former volunteers and staff. The GSGATL Alumnae association held this event to invite all former Girl Scouts to “Be Counted! Get Connected!” during 2012.

Chloe and TaMara Powell

We listened to a great event introduction by Marilyn Midyette, Council CEO. The next part of the program featured current Girl Scouts who were invited to share their thoughts about their experiences. TaMara Powell is one of our History/Archives volunteers, and her daughter Chloe was the first young lady who came to the stage to talk about her experiences in the current scouting program. She did an amazing job and it was a pleasure to hear her speak.

Attendees also learned ways to volunteer in short-term projects, such as helping with upcoming 100th Anniversary events, or volunteer in long-term projects, such as joining related alumnae groups, like the Gold Award Alliance, the Trefoil Guild, and the History/Archives Committee. We have many members on the History/Archives Committee who are also members of these other committees, and it is great to have such a wealth of knowledge just a phone call (or email) away. Mary Ann Milton, for example, came to the stage to speak about the Trefoil Guild, but she is also an active History/Archives committee member.

Sue answering questions about the 1965 Roundup Scrapbook

The Archives Committee had a table outside the lecture hall to display a small sampling of what is available at the Mableton location. We had a great time showing everyone what we had and were available for a wide range of questions. Most of the attendees came to the table saying, “I remember that!’ or “I had that!” It was fun to speak with them about their own personal collections and to find out their stories. Two of our committee members also wore historic uniforms, and were asked every few minutes if someone could take their picture.  Joyce Overcash-Dudley wore a Mariners uniform representing all the girls who used to be in a naval Girl Scout program (including herself as a younger Girl Scout). Sue Belden wore one of our original uniforms, dated 1914-1928, from the Archives collection.

Sue Belden and Pamela Nye at the Archives Committee table

We were most excited about being able to speak directly to more leaders about the opportunities to work with the girls. With the new badge, “Girl Scout Way,” in all the handbooks–Daisies through Ambassadors–we have a great connection with the girls (and leaders) in learning more about Girl Scout history. We are also developing programs for the girls to come in and earn some service hours while helping to preserve and make accessible our history.

Lots of memories were shared, and we encouraged everyone to sign up to get more information about the Archives and all of our activities. We told attendees about the blog, Facebook, and Twitter feeds, and even met a few who already subscribe to the various lists. It was a great experience to speak with all who came to the table, and look forward to working with many more volunteers in the future!

Many thanks to the committee members who attended today: Sue Belden, Mary Ann Milton, Joyce Overcash-Dudley, Patty McIver, TaMara Powell, and Pamela Nye.

Posted in Archives & Archivists, Council History, Exhibits, History / Archives Committee, Volunteers | Tagged | Leave a comment

Crackers and Cookies

Did you know that in the early 1980s, the Girl Scouts began selling crackers as well as cookies? Searching for “Girl Scout crackers” on the Internet will generally lead you to a few references of “Golden Yangles.” The cracker was triangle shaped and had a cheesy flavor. It was only sold for a couple of years, and as far as we have researched, was never sold through the Northwest Georgia Girl Scout Council (one of the historic councils of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta). According to the memories posted in various comment sections, consumers either loved them or hated them.

However, the Northwest Georgia Girl Scout Council did sell a cracker labeled as “Sesame Wheat Crackers.” It was only sold in the 1979 and 1980 Cookie Season. The Archives has one of the cartons that the cracker boxes were shipped in, but we do not have an individual cracker box in our collection. During the 1980 season, the cost of the all the cookies (and crackers) were $1.50 per box.

Notice the FFV above the Girl Scout name, which stands for “Famous Foods of Virginia.”  The company became one of the licensed bakers for the Girl Scouts of the USA in 1937. The company is still in business under the name Interbake Foods, but is better known to the Girl Scout community as the ABC Bakers. From the company website:

Founded in 1899 in Richmond, Virginia, Interbake Foods was originally known as Southern Biscuit Works, a regional baking company that packaged its baked goods in decorative tins under the trademark of “FFV”, which stood for “Famous Foods of Virginia”. Interbake Foods was created in 1967 when George Weston merged its other US-based bakery purchases to create the Interbake name.  Under George Weston Limited, Interbake Foods grew and expanded its portfolio to include Girl Scout cookies; cookies, crackers, and specialty items for retail and contract customers.

We would love to hear from our readers and the community if you remember selling these and/or remember eating these.

Posted in Cookies, Council History, Girl Scout Memories Project | Tagged | 4 Comments