Category Archives: Service Projects

Make it a Girl Scout Easter!

This Sunday, April 5th is Easter Sunday… My, the year is just flying by, isn’t it?? Do you have plans for the Easter weekend?

My daughter’s birthday falls on Easter this year. I have a handful of Girl Scout themed birthday gifts that I’ve planned to hide in some of her Easter eggs this Sunday and that got me thinking… it’s not too late to plan an Easter community service project with your troop! I think I’m gonna run to the dollar store this week and scoop up a bunch of baskets, plastic grass, candy, and trinkets, and my daughter and I can deliver some baskets to the local women’s and children’s shelter this weekend!

If you do a quick Google search of “Girl Scouts Easter basket” there are tons of examples of girls doing their part for the community at this time of year.One particular photo that caught my eye was of some Junior Girl Scouts loading up the back of a minivan/SUV with baskets:

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Girl Scout Troop 41764 of Middletown, Ohio

The girls above are from Middletown, Ohio and you can read all about their awesome community service project here in this article from the Journal-News.

Another great idea comes from this Glasgow, NY Junior troop who were working on their Bronze Award! As their Take Action project, these girls made Easter baskets for pups to help raise money for their local animal welfare association. Check out these amazing girls here at the Glasgow Daily Times.

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Girl Scout Troop 327 of Glasgow, New York

Girl Scouts making Easter baskets as a community service project is a wonderful idea, but it’s certainly not only a contemporary one. Here’s a 1939 image from “Old News” of the Ann Arbor, Michigan District Library of Brownies weaving baskets at their meeting that will later be filled and no doubt handed out to those less fortunate who need a little Easter pick-me-up during this time of year:

1939 Brownie Scouts making baskets

1939 Brownie Scouts making baskets

So make sure you enjoy your Easter weekend this year (and eat an extra Cadbury Egg for me while you’re at it)! Think about others at this time of year too and what you and/or your troop can do for them!

Happy Easter from the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives Committee!

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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.

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:

Cadettes Visit Archives

Troop 1941 with Sue Belden, Archivist

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!

2011 GSUSA National Convention

Joyce and Gigi in their souvenir Convention photograph

At GSUSA’s 2011 National Council Session and 52nd Convention in Houston, Texas, many adult Girl Scouts wore vintage uniforms to celebrate the Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary. Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta’s History/Archives committee members also participated in this fun activity. Gigi Baroco wore a Norfolk khaki uniform from the mid-1920s and Joyce Overcash-Dudley wore a Mariner uniform from the late 1950s.  Joyce made both replicas.  The convention’s theme was “Renewing the Promise: Girl Scouts in a New Century” and the Take Action Project continues to be “Forever Green.”  The opening ceremony was grand, with uniformed girls carrying the 145 colorful flags of the WAGGGS members, followed by girls wearing 1912 navy blue replica uniforms and carrying the green 100th anniversary flags.  More girls attended than ever before and the ten Women of Distinction inspired us all. The girls who attended the Girl Scout Leadership Institute had experiences that demonstrated that 2011 Girl Scouts do have courage, confidence and character.

During the convention, Kathy Cloninger was given a warm “goodbye” and Anna Maria Chavez was welcomed as the new CEO of GSUSA. There were fewer proposals to the Blue Book this time and many more break-out sessions and activities.  “Conversations of Consequence” covered topics such as, “Be a Leader, Not a Bully;” “Girl Scouts Explore the Female Factor” led by Susan Cartsonis, film Producer and President of Storefront Pictures; “Moving Beyond Diversity to Inclusion” led by CNN’s Soledad O’Brien; “Nobody’s Perfect” led by actress Marlee Matlin; and many others.

Guest speakers and Center Stage performances included ABC’s Katie Couric, Robin Roberts and Cheryl Burton; Ingrid Saunders Jones, SVP of The Coca-Cola Company; combat pilot Vernice “Fly Girl” Armour; actress Monique Coleman, the Harlem Globetrotters which now has a female player; a Justine Magazine fashion show; singing by Yolanda Adams, Katie Armiger, Sara Bareilles, Emily Hearn, Mindless Behavior and others.

Hall of Exhibits. Photo courtesy of Meg Rickert, History/Archives Committee Member.

The Hall of Exhibits featured a Global Lounge with representatives from WAGGGS, the Girl Scout Superstore, eighty commercial vendors, twenty not-for-profit organizations offering programs and resources, a Storytelling Lounge, and Swap and Meet booths. Joyce and Gigi were amazed that they ran into so many Girl Scouts that they knew among the over 12,700  attendees.  On Saturday the attendees topped out at over 15,000 Girl Scouts. If you haven’t attended a Girl Scout convention, you should try to get to the next one.  It will be in Salt Lake City in 2014!

Saluting our Veterans

Happy Veterans Day to one and all! Girl Scouts naturally include the military in many service projects. During World War I, girls learned about food production and conservation, sold war bonds, worked in hospitals, and collected peach pits for use in gas mask filters. You can learn more about other historical service projects on the Girl Scouts of the USA historical timeline:  http://www.girlscouts.org/who_we_are/history/timeline/

The most popular service project is when Girl Scout cookies are sent to troops serving overseas. However, that is not the only time when we try to make sure the troops know we care about them and are thankful for their service. At this time of year, Girl Scout troops are working hard to send cards and gift items overseas in time for the holidays. The girls either make their own cards and messages, or write letters to enclose in holiday cards. Families of the scouts have also included non-perishable treats or small presents to be sent overseas as well.

We would love to collect more photographs of Girl Scout troops making cards for soldiers or other service projects helping the soldiers. If you have one (or more!) of your troop, please contact Margaret Paschal at helpline@gsgatl.org with your pictures and story.