Category Archives: History / Archives Committee
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.
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 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.
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.
- Make New Friends, But Keep The Old (South Cobb Patch)
- Girl Scouts Celebration 100 Years with Dedication (South Cobb Patch)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.”
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On Sunday, December 4, 2011, a few Cadette Girl Scouts from Duluth Troop 1941 visited the Archives of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. The troop is learning how to curate an exhibit as part of a service project in their community. They meet at the historic Strickland House in Duluth, Georgia, the home of the Duluth Historical Society. In exchange for meeting space, the girls of the troop perform regular service projects to help the house and the Society. In honor of the upcoming 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting, the girls wanted to create an exhibit to highlight the history of Girl Scouting in Duluth, Georgia, and Gwinnett County (where Duluth is located).
Sue Belden, Volunteer Archivist at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, met the girls to show them various artifacts that they might use in their exhibit. The girls were most interested in the vintage uniforms, and enjoyed listening to Sue explain the details of the insignia. They also viewed handbooks, scrapbooks, magazines, dolls, posters, pictures, and patches. The girls asked many questions about the collection, and settled on eleven items to borrow on loan for the Duluth Historical Society exhibit.
As part of the plans for the exhibit, the girls will be assembling at least 100 items to display, and include at least 100 facts about Girl Scouts. The other items in the exhibit will be collected from Duluth-area troops. The girls also want to collect more information from individual troops, so with the help of the History/Archives Committee, they have created a Troop History Questionnaire. You can help their work and the work of the Council Archives by downloading this form and documenting your troop’s history.
The exhibit will be on display from February through April 2012, at the Strickland House and at the Duluth City Hall. Troop 1941 invites you to come and see it!
One of the most prized possessions that many of our History and Archives Committee members have is the “Girl Scouts Make History” pin or charm. I am often asked, when wearing my charm on a necklace to Girl Scout events, where I got my charm. The second question is if they are still available. We are happy to say that they are.
The design of these charms and pins was created in 1989 by Shirley Barentine, one of our original History/Archives committee members. The sterling silver pin and charm measure 3/4 inch in diameter and is a great way to honor our Girl Scout heritage. Use this Pin/Charm Order Form to purchase wonderful gifts for the holidays or in time to wear for 2012. All the monies raised goes towards preserving and making accessible the history of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Council. You can make a difference!