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!
Have you bought your Girl Scouts Of Greater Atlanta History and Archives Committee pin or charm yet? They’ve been recently redesigned and are now officially licensed and produced by the GSGATL Council!
There are so many fun charms and pins available nowadays at your local Badge and Sash store or through GSUSA’s online store and these make a great addition! Available now is a wonderful necklace, made especially for holding all these charms, or add them to a Girl Scout charm bracelet.
These little charms and pins make wonderful birthday and Christmas gifts! And don’t forget Leader Appreciation Day coming up in April! These are absolutely perfect for that certain volunteer in your life that is especially interested in Girl Scout history and traditions.
The committee pins and charms feature the “running girl” image which was introduced on the first camp postcards produced for Girl Scouts, used between the years of 1920 and 1925.
The pins cost $25 each and the charms are $20. They come in silver only and can be ordered by downloading, printing, and filling out this Pin/Charm Order Form. Or you can contact us and we’ll send you a PayPal invoice and you can pay online! Easy as that! All proceeds from the sales of our pins and charms go directly to the Archives Committee to help us continue to fund the preservation of Atlanta area Girl Scout memorabilia.
September 15th through October 15th is celebrated each year as Hispanic Heritage month, and there’s no better time than to talk a little bit about Our Cabaña in Cuernavaca, Mexico! WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) has four World Centres across the globe: Pax Lodge in London, Our Chalet in Switzerland, Sangam in India, and Our Cabaña. There are over 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in 146 countries around the world and these centers offer the chance to experience the unique culture of different countries and their traditions, history and people.
Girl Guiding began in Mexico in 1930 and in 1948 a National Association, Guías de México, was formed with a program adapted to the customs of Mexico and the specific needs of Mexican girls. Our Cabaña was officially opened in July of 1957 and is now the largest of the four World Centres.
Cabaña means “hide-away cabin in the woods, surrounded by nature.” While the city of Cuernavaca has grown to become a sprawling city of one million people, Our Cabaña is safely located in its leafy suburbs.
The Guías de México are divided into levels according to age, just like the Girl Scouts of the USA. The levels are Girasol (Sunflower) 4-6, Hadita (Fairy) 6-9, Guía (Guide) 9-13, Guía Intermedia (Intermediate) 13-15, and Guía Mayor (Ranger) 15-18.Promise:I promise on my honor to do the best to comply with my duty to God and Mexico, my country, to be useful to others in all circumstances and live the guide law Law:
- A Guide is a friend of all and sister to all Guides.
- A Guide is courteous.
- A Guide is a friend of animals and plants in nature and sees God’s work. A Guide obeys orders.
- A Guide faces difficulties with fortitude and optimism.
- A Guide is economical.
- A Guide is kept pure in thought, word and deed
It’s time for Treats and Keeps! The Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta’s fall fundraiser is in full swing! As of September 2, you can now buy chocolates, nuts, magazines, and photo keepsakes from your local Atlanta area Girl Scouts.
Like the cookies, different areas of the country are supplied by different companies. For example, if Hot Cajun Crunch isn’t on an order form in one area of the country, then instead, there’s likely to be items like Island Fruit Mix, Peanut Brittle, or Mint Trefoils. Also, some councils offer magazine subscriptions while others are featuring photo keepsakes this year too.
As well as their annual fall fundraising, Girl Scouts have always been most well known for their annual cookie sale in the early spring of each year. But did you know that for decades now there have always been various sales year-round? For instance, during World War II, Girl Scouts sold war bonds (at no profit for GSUSA) to support the war effort here on the homefront. Also during WWII, they sold calendars instead of cookies because of the nationwide rationing of flour and sugar. To this day, calendars continue to be sold annually, though no longer in place of the beloved cookies.
Recently, I found an image online of this wonderful vintage poster of a Girl Scouts salted nut sale. It looks like it is from either the 1940s or 1950s era. I would love to find more information about this poster! If anyone out there has any info, please leave a comment or message us at GirlScoutArchivesAtlanta@gmail.com!
Labor Day was celebrated for the first time in New York City in 1882. It began as a state holiday, getting voted in by individual states, but gained popularity and was voted a national holiday by Congress in 1894.
Labor Day celebrates the achievements of the American work force with a national day off on the first Monday in September.
A time for relaxation with family and friends, Labor Day is a popular time for special events and festivals throughout the country such as cooking out, camping, and parades!
Labor Day is also a chance to bid farewell to summer with a long weekend, sometimes spent camping or swimming. Pictured below are Girl Scouts all decked out in their 1920s era bathing costumes, a far cry from the bathing suits of today!
What are your plans this Labor Day weekend? Here in the Greater Atlanta Area there are tons of events and festivals happening all weekend long. Click here to browse some of the activities that are going on, and keep your eye our for Girl Scouts while you’re out and about!