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 1939. A silent film made in 1918 about girl scouts has the same name.
Archivist Sue B. and I met with an actual Golden Eaglet recipient Saturday.
Mrs. Jean DuFrain Bivins and her daughter Judy welcomed us into her apartment. The large picture window in her living room had a view of the garden, which included a bird feeder tree that stood in front of the window. Even though we were inside, I felt like I was outside watching the many birds flying in for a snack.
We began our interview with the 1938 Golden Eaglet award recipient by asking Mrs. Bivins about her Girl Scout beginning. At ten years old in 1931, Jean Dufrain became a girl scout in Pontiac, MI. She remembers her mother buying the official Girl Scout uniform pattern to sew her first uniform, the one of many Girl Scout uniforms she would wear throughout her life: Girl Scout, Mariner Scout and Troop Leader.
Earning at least 14 badges, she met the requirements for the Golden Eaglet award pin. The miniature gold filled pin is ½ by ½ in size. Jean along with three other girl scouts received the award that year. She described the time being solemn. It was right before World War II. There was no ceremony. They just gave them to us, she added.
Mrs. Bivins graduated from college, married and became mother and Troop leader in that order. Prior to relocating to Georgia, the Bivins family lived in New Jersey. She received her Advanced Girl Scout Training in the Cumberland County Council. In the early 60’s, she helped design Camp Pine Valley in Meansville, GA. She described, “I remember walking through the bush and raising three units.” Today Camp Pine Valley has three tent units with bathhouse, a Tree House Unit and enclosed shelter unit on 620 acres of land.
We thanked Mrs. Bivins for sharing her Girl Scout story and donations. However, her Golden Eaglet pin she kept. If I were her, I would too. Have you seen the Golden Eaglet movie? She earned it.
Check out “The Golden Eaglet” movie, it’s on YouTube.
TaMara P. – Girl Scout Volunteer, Archives/History Committee Videographer & Blogger