Category Archives: Council History

GSGATL and the ADA

Twenty five years ago today, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. It protects against discrimination similar to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origination, and other characteristics illegal. In addition, the ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities such as providing ramps for employees who are confined to wheelchairs. Any public and/or commercial facility, such as restaurants, hotels, stores, and public transportation, must also provide access.

1947, Atlanta's first troop for the physically handicapped

1947, Atlanta’s first troop for the physically handicapped

Did you also know that, long before any such act as the ADA, the first Girl Scout troop for the physically handicapped organized here in Atlanta was in 1947? Mrs. Charles B. Brown organized the troop of six wheelchair bound girls at Aidmore Hospital for Crippled Children. Under the name Crippled Children’s League of Georgia, the first clinic for crippled children was held in Marietta, Georgia, and from 1941 to 1954 the successful institution was in operation at 918 Peachtree Street. Today it is known as Elks Aidmore, Inc. and is not limited to helping young people with just physical handicaps, but those with mental disabilities as well. It is now located on 141 acres in Conyers, Georgia.

Do you want to learn more about what it would be like to live as someone with a physical disability? Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta has two awesome Council’s Own badges that will allow you to do just that: “What If I Couldn’t” and “Georgia Rocks and Rolls.”

CO what if I couldn't Brownie

CO What if I couldn't

(Click on the names of the above badges to get the requirements for them.)

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Georgia Archives Month 2014

ga-archives-supportOctober is Georgia Archives Month! During this month we celebrate the value of Georgia’s historical records, share how they enrich our lives, and acknowledge the people who preserve and maintain them, such as those of us here on the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta History and Archives Committee! 

Our committee is comprised completely of volunteers- adults and older Girl Scouts- who understand how important it is to keep a detailed record and collection of Atlanta’s Girl Scouting past.* We want Girl Scouts of today to feel connected to the Girl Scouts of yesterday and realize just where it is that they come from. “Honor the Past, Celebrate the Future” and “Girl Scouts Make History” are our mottoes here at the GSGATL Archives. Juliette Gordon Low herself understood how important our past is to our future when she said, “The work of today is the history of tomorrow and we are its makers.”

Juliette’s birthday, October 31st, is known as Founder’s Day. There is a display currently up at the Switzer Library’s (formerly Central Library) Georgia Room in Marietta, Georgia that celebrates Georgia Archives Month and Girl Scouts together! If you’re in the Marietta area, swing by and take a look! Learn a little about the history of Cobb County and Greater Atlanta Girl Scouting and see some of the items that the Georgia Room has in its collection. The display will be up until November 1st.

"Celebrating Georgia Archives Month with Girl Scouts!" on display in Marietta's Switzer Library

“Celebrating Georgia Archives Month with Girl Scouts!” on display in Marietta’s Switzer Library

*If you are interested in volunteering in the GSGATL Archives or donating any materials to us, please contact us at GirlScoutArchivesAtlanta@gmail.com! We always appreciate any help and can’t wait to hear from you!

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.

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!

The Golden Eaglet

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!

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.

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.

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:

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.