Category Archives: Volunteers
…and EVERY day!
The month of April is National Volunteer Month, the week of April 12-18 was 2015’s National Volunteer Week, and today is Girl Scout Leader Day!
All the women and men across the country and across the world who give their time to selflessly guide and mentor millions of young women, we here at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta want to say THANK YOU! All the work that goes into planning and executing weekly meetings, camping weekends, community service events, and ALL the unseen work that you do has not gone unnoticed. You are helping these girls realize their goals and become leaders themselves one day. Did you know that approximately 80 percent of female entrepreneurs were once Girl Scouts? So keep doing what you’re doing- making a HUGE difference in the world!
Check out these vintage photos of some Girl Scout leaders throughout the years:
With November comes the season of pausing to give thanks. What better way for a Girl Scout to show her appreciation and to acknowledge those who have given outstanding service to Girl Scouting than the Thanks Badge? The Thanks Badge has been in existence since the very first days of Girl Scouting in 1912. The first image of it appeared as an illustration in the 1916 edition of the Girl Scout handbook, How Girls Can Help Their Country. The design of the Thanks Badge has only been changed once in its entire history and even then it was a tiny little change: the triangle in the center of the cloverleaf design was added in 1917.
The Thanks Badge was originally designed to be given to those outside of the Girl Scout organization to show thanks and appreciation for their promotion of the Girl Scout way. Its original colors were enameled in white, red, and green. In 1926 a second Thanks Badge was produced, intended for adult Girl Scout members inside the organization. It looked exactly the same, but was enameled in white, red, and blue like the one pictured here. The green version of the badge was discontinued in 1956 when a special Certificate of Appreciation for non-members of the organization took its place.
To this day, to be presented with a Girl Scout Thanks Badge is a great honor. To even be considered for it, one has to be nominated, have 4 letters of endorsement written on their behalf, have their nomination submitted to and approved by numerous committees, and finally get approval by the Board of Directors. It is no easy task and is held in the highest esteem by those who receive it. Thanks Badges are so cherished by their recipients that it has even been hard to find one to add to the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives Collection! Thanks Badges have been and will continue to be handed down for generations within Girl Scouting families.
So, even though you can’t just hand your cherished troop leader or Girl Scout volunteer a Thanks Badge, won’t you take the time to give thanks and show your appreciation and gratitude for her this November? Pause and show her that all she has done for you and your fellow Scouts has not gone unnoticed. Give thanks! Show her you care.
October 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.
*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!
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.
In May 1952 in middle Tennessee, there lived a Girl Scout captain following the same dream as our founder Juliette Low–Girl Scouts of the USA for every American girl. Girl Scout Captain Josephine Holloway, a former Social Worker, purchased 50 acres of land with the help of her husband, Dr. Guerney Holloway, for a Girl Scout campgrounds dedicated for African American girls. The camp was a first for Girl Scouts in the South. Before the civil rights movement, local laws and customs prevented Mrs. Holloway’s Troop 200 from camping overnight with other troops during camping events.
To give her troop a true camping experience, Mrs. Holloway searched for land with running water, such as a stream, for her scouts to bathe and cook. She found a land lot in Millersville, Tennessee, which even had a farmhouse that the troop would later use as their lodge.
The field had been unattended and the farmhouse dilapidated, but Mrs. Holloway was a visionary. She encouraged her scouts and their parents to envision the cabins, trails, and the pool. Every weekend they visited the grounds, tackled the overgrowth, and followed the instructions of Mrs. Holloway’s designs for the camp.
Since its dedication 60 years ago, the Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee have purchased additional lots to increase the campground’s size to the current 76 acres. They later honored Mrs. Holloway with the camp’s name change to Camp Holloway.
Many people in Tennessee see Mrs. Holloway as a hidden heroine. Her efforts to help Ms. Low’s dream for every American girl to have the opportunity to become a Girl Scout are heroic due to social challenges before and during civil rights movement.
I had to visit the campgrounds myself. Camp Holloway has been completely renovated. Girls can experience archery, running through an obstacle course, rappelling off of a tower, rock climbing, swimming, team adventuring, and tree climbing.
I can only imagine Mrs. Holloway would be so proud with the updates. There is even a patch that visiting Girl Scout campers can earn, called the “Josephine Holloway/Guerney’s Cabin Patch.” To visit Camp Holloway, call 615-383-0490 or visit the website at http://gsmidtn.org/camp/category/camp-holloway/.
Blog post written by TaMara Powell, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives Volunteer and Girl Scout Troop Leader.
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.
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 email@example.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!
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.
This week has been a celebration of our volunteers, and today is celebrated as Leader’s Day! Girl Scout Leader’s Day, April 22, honors all the volunteers who work as leaders and mentors in partnership with girls. Girls, their families, and communities should find a special way to thank their adult Girl Scout volunteers.
The first Girl Scout Leaders Day was held in April 1982. It was originally created to celebrate the contributions of adult volunteers who put in many hours of hard work with the girls. However, it’s grown to also include all the other volunteers that help out with troops, such as parent volunteers, community members, and anyone who impacts the lives of girls in troops.
We would love to hear the ways that our leaders have been thanked. How did you thank your daughter’s leader, or what type of presents did you receive as a leader? Any memorable tokens that you remember? Please share!