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.
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.
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!