Thanksgiving is only two days away and we want to continue our celebration of Native American Heritage Month here at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives! Did you know that Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta has two Council’s Own badges about the Native Americans of Georgia? Called “Georgia’s Native People,” a badge can be earned by both Brownies and Juniors that teaches all about the American Indians that were once so prevalent here in the northern region of Georgia.
The Brownie badge features a traditional Cherokee Indian design, one that might have been woven onto a girl’s dress using quills or beads.
The Junior badge also features a traditional Cherokee design, a flower that a girl might bead into her moccasins.
Both badges focus on the history, traditions, and culture of the Native American Cherokee Indian tribe and help girls find out what it was like to be a girl who lived as one of Georgia’s First People.
Both of these badges are available in your local Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Badge and Sash Store now! If you and your troop is interested in earning this badge, you can download a pdf version of the requirements here for the Brownie badge, and here for the Juniors.
If you have any questions about either of these badges or would like to check out one of the several resource boxes pertaining to this badge that we have available in the Resource Center at the Mableton Service Center, please contact us or stop on by!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Did you know that November is Native American Heritage Month? It seems only fitting that during the month in which we celebrate the first Thanksgiving the English Settlers and the American Indians shared back in 1621, we should take some time to learn more about the people that called this land home long before the “Pilgrims” ever arrived.
Here are just a few places on the internet that you can check out to learn a little more about Native American culture and heritage: History.com, Wikipedia, National Museum of the American Indian website, and countless more.
Did you know that from 1963-1980 there was a Junior Proficiency Badge called Indian Lore? It featured an embroidered image of a Native American kachina doll of the Native American Hopi tribe. It is a figure carved of wood, or root, and it is used to teach young girls about the katsina, beings that control aspects of nature such as rain, and act as messengers between people and the spiritual world.
Here are the requirements for the Indian Lore badge:
1. Know the history of the Indians who once lived nearest your home. Describe their homes, costumes, and food and tell where their descendants live today.
2. Describe briefly the different kinds of Indians that lived in North America. Tell how their way of life was affected by the part of the country in which they lived.
3. Tell what states have names of Indian origin. Give the meaning of three names.
4. Read at least 3 Indian legends. Choose one and tell it to a group of Brownies or other friends.
5. Make a useful article such as a sheath for a knife or ax and decorate it with authentic Indian designs. OR make a model of a tepee or other type of Indian dwelling.
6. Learn to play an Indian game and teach it to your patrol or troop. OR show some Indian dance steps OR perform an Indian dance in camp or at a troop meeting.
7. Teach an Indian song to your patrol. Explain its meaning and how the song was used by the Indians. OR make a simple Indian musical instrument and use it in camp or at a troop meeting.
Although the Indian Lore badge was unfortunately retired in 1980 it can still be earned and if you are interested in acquiring some of these badges for your troop, please contact us! We have many resources at our fingertips to help you in your search. Keep an eye out for next week’s blog post as we here at the GSGATL History and Archives Committee continue our celebration of Native American Heritage Month!
Last month, we wrote about the 90th birthday of Camp Timber Ridge as well as the 25th birthday of the History and Archives Committee. Well, next month, on December 7th, we are having a birthday celebration! The GSGATL History and Archives Committee, along with Camp Timber Ridge, is in the process of planning a joint birthday celebration and you are invited!
There will be historical displays of Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta and Camp Timber Ridge, a walking tour of the camp, games, crafts, songs, s’mores, and lots of other goodies! Please click on the above picture for a larger view and to read more about it.
We are also looking for volunteers between now and the celebration! All school aged children are invited to attend the celebration and older girls, 6th grade and up, are invited to help out! There is a lot of planning and preparation that needs to take place between now and December 7th and this is a perfect way for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors to earn some community service hours. Junior troops are also invited to explore the possibility of starting their Bronze Award at Camp Timber Ridge! Troops are invited to make a presentation for the birthday celebration and create and carry out a sustainable project at camp too!
Spread the word, too! We are really excited about the celebration and hope to see everyone there!
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.
Happy Birthday to Juliette Gordon Low!
This Friday, October 31st, is not only Halloween, it’s Juliette Gordon Low’s birthday! Born in 1860, this year would have been her 154th birthday! In Girl Scouting, October 31st is also known and celebrated as Founder’s Day.
Every so often, throughout the years, the handbooks and/or badge books for Girl Scouts change and evolve with the times, but one thing remains the same: they include the story of Juliette Low. She was born in Savannah, Georgia and nicknamed Daisy as a child. Her life since childhood had been filled with a lot of trials and strife including the loss of most of her hearing as a young adult and the death of her husband at about the turn of the century. In her search for a sense of purpose, especially after her husband’s death, she began traveling the world and in 1911 in England she met Lord and Lady Baden-Powell and her life was changed. Lord Robert Baden-Powell is the founder of Boy Scouts and his sister Agnes was the leader of the early Girl Scouts, known overseas as Girl Guides. Inspired by Baden-Powell, Daisy began the first Girl Scout troop in America in 1912 and the rest is history.
Girl Scouting in America has grown from 18 girls during that first meeting in 1912 to a membership today of over 3 million girls and adults. Daisy has left a legacy that we hope will live on forever. If you want to learn more about her life and Girl Scouting, you can go to the Girl Scouts USA website to read more and check out the links to read her biography, watch videos, and more.
Happy Birthday, Daisy!
The 53rd Girl Scouts National Convention came to a close yesterday in Salt Lake City, Utah. It took place October 16 – 19 and this year’s theme was “Discover, Connect, Take Action: Girls Change the World!” At each and every Girl Scout National Convention speakers and entertainers from across the country and globe lead sessions and offer numerous opportunities for personal and professional development as well of lots of Girl Scout networking. Many people, from GSUSA CEO Anna Marie Chavez to the famous exhibition basketball team, Harlem Globetrotters, were there this year to help facilitate the learning for volunteers and staff from Girl Scout Councils across the country in fun and interesting ways!
One of our very own committee members, Pamela Nye, was at this year’s National Convention representing the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives Committee! She not only attended the 2014 Girl Scout History Conference that took place right before the convention on October 14 – 16, but she presented there too! Pam gave 2 presentations, one was an Archives 101 for Girl Scout volunteers all about how to easily create and organize your archives collection and the other was about metadata, how to easily create information and descriptions for any stored data and archives that Councils may already have. She also served on several panels answering questions about archival practices and how they apply to your own troop and council.
Did you know that 9 years ago, in 2005, the 50th Girl Scout National Convention was held here in Atlanta? At the time, before the nation-wide council mergers of 2008, there were 8 Girl Scout Councils in Georgia. The 3 Greater Atlanta area councils that hosted the 2005 convention were the Council of Northwest Georgia, Northeast Georgia, and Pine Valley. The 2005 convention was held October 7 – 10 and while the Girl Scout History Conference was not held before the convention that year, one of the presentations in the Hall of Exhibits that year was “Girl Scouts Make History,” where you could learn all about Daisy, the house in Savannah in which she grew up, and lots of other things like vintage uniforms, dolls, and other collectibles.
It has already been announced that the 54th National Girl Scout Convention in 2017 is going to be held in Columbus, Ohio, and the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives blog will have more info as it becomes available! We can’t wait and hope to see you there!
2014 marks the 90th birthday of Camp Timber Ridge in Mableton, GA! Now, that’s a lot of camping!
In October of 1924, the Civitan Club of Atlanta deeded 39.5 acres of land in Mableton, 12 miles west of today’s Metro Atlanta, to the Girl Scouts of Atlanta and then in November of that same year an elaborate opening ceremony was held. The establishment of the camp was largely due to the help of Mrs. Albert Thornton, who gifted $1,000 (big money back then!) for a central dining hall and recreation hall to be built on the property. The first camping season was in the summer of 1925 between June 22 and August 8 and the original buildings on the site included the office, infirmary, nature hut, art hut, rest hut, and of course, the tents!
Camp Civitania was renamed Timber Ridge in 1953 and then in 1971 the Timber Ridge Environmental Center was born. The Timber Ridge Environmental Center, known as TREC, was made up of 30 acres of wooded land, designed to teach about the history of the land as well as its use and to demonstrate natural forces at work.
Camp Timber Ridge has grown over the years and now consists of over 220 acres of wooded land (both hardwood and pine forests), natural streams and even a bamboo forest! During the summer, girls can choose between day camps or sleepaway camps, platform tents or cabins. Troops can also reserve a campsite at any time during the year for a troop bonding weekend!
Today, Camp Timber Ridge remains one of the largest girls’ camps in the South still in operation!
Tomorrow, October 7th, the GSGATL History and Archives Committee is 25 years young! During these 25 years, the collection of artifacts that were gathered together by Girl Scout volunteers has grown from just a couple of boxes to our now practically overflowing archives room at the Mableton Service Center.
Much of the same things that we discuss at our meetings today were on the agenda for that first meeting. Questions were asked, such as, “How can we share our history with the public? How can the public help us?” and “How can we reach council members and scouts?” Our priority has always been and continues to be sharing our heritage and getting our history out there for all to learn.
From the very beginning, the Archives Committee has been comprised solely of volunteers who are passionate about collecting and preserving documents, photos, and other items regarding our Girl Scout heritage in order to share with others. Out of the original six volunteers who met on that fall Saturday in 1989, one member, Mary Ann Milton, is still very active in the committee. A vital part of our committee, Mary Ann is shown here wearing a mid-century vintage Girl Scout uniform as she helps represent the committee at the Girl Scout Volunteer Leadership Conference held at the Cobb Galleria in Marietta, Ga. on August 9th, 2014.
The vast majority of our collection today has come from interested people just like you! One of our mottoes is “Your Trash is Our Treasure!” What you might think is unimportant could very well be that special item that we’ve been looking for! That Daisy uniform that you just no longer have room for in that crowded coat closet? That childhood Brownie handbook gathering dust on the shelf? Old cookie prizes that your daughter doesn’t play with anymore? Pins and badges that you came across at the local thrift store? Every little thing is appreciated and valued.
We also offer information for anyone that might be interested in preserving history for themselves or their troop and/or Service Unit. We can answer questions such as “What is cataloging? Accession? What is meant by acid-free paper, etc.? Where can I get training to learn archival techniques?” We’re also always looking for new members for our committee! Are you interested in the past? Are you interested in Girl Scouting’s past? Just want to give your time to Girl Scouts in an incredible way? Please contact us!
Here at the GSGATL Archives Committee, we hope we’re around for at least another 25 years! We can’t wait to celebrate many more birthdays with you. Girl Scouts always have and always will Make History!
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!