Blog Archives

Cookies, Badges, and Pins, OH MY!

This year’s cookie season in Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta is quickly drawing to a close… Have you bought yours yet? Even if you can’t find a Girl Scout who’s still selling door to door, there’s still time to track down a booth! Visit HERE and enter your zip code in the “find cookies” box near the top of the page and a list of locations near you will pop up, easy as pie… er, I mean, cookies!

Yesterday, while browsing through the archives, I came across a super interesting find! A bunch of Junior/Intermediate badges in a baggie and a little typed note that said “Cookie Participatory Badge,” no other description, no date, no requirements, no information at all… 20150315_163911The image on the badge is a plate of various cookies and if you look closely, you can make out a tiny little “GS” in the center on what looks like a trefoil shaped cookie. I asked around if anyone knew anything about it, but so far I haven’t found anything. How exciting! This must be rare! Because of the fabric used in the production of the badge, it appears to date from anywhere between 1963-1974. Because the back is cloth, and not plasticized, I hesitate to date it any more recent than that, but I certainly welcome any more thoughts or ideas!

My original thought upon investigating this badge was that it was a Troop’s Own- a badge that was made specifically for a troop or Service Unit in our region- to be earned by girls as they learned the skills it takes to become a business woman and learn the ins and outs of cookie selling, much like the contemporary Cookie Activity Pin, first introduced by GSUSA in 1999 and available to earn every year. But, is it possible that this is a previously unknown Council’s Own badge from our days as the Girl Scout Council of Northwest Georgia, or even before that, when we were know as the Girl Scout Council of Greater Atlanta? Maybe, maybe not, but a fantastic find, none the less!

There are a very limited amount of these “Cookie Participatory Badges” available in the archives, but if you are interested in your troop earning a cookie badge, there are two awesome badges that are retired, but still available in some places: The Cookie Connection (with a Trefoil cookie on it) and Cookie Biz (with a Tagalong on it). Both are shown below:

Cookie Biz

Cookie Biz

The Cookie Connection

The Cookie Connection

If you’re interested in finding out the requirements for either of these retired badges, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives. Or you can make your own “cookie participatory badge” at https://www.gsmakeyourown.com. If you do, we’d love to see them! Send us a picture in an email or leave it here in a comment! Good luck and happy Girl Scouting!

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Timber Ridge and Archives Birthday Party…

…is only a few days away! Have you signed up to go yet? It’s so easy! Follow this link, and say you’ll be there! That’s all you have to do! Let us know if it’s just you, you and your family, or you and your whole troop, BUT you better hurry, there’s not much space left! Here’s a basic run-down of all the fun goodies that will be there:

CTR-ArchivesAnniversariesProgram2014-V2-page-001

Here at the GSGATL History and Archives committee, we are so excited! Everything is almost ready- crafts, games, songs, s’mores, presentations, and more! We will have lots of fun vintage items on display at our booth in the Camp Timber Ridge Dining Hall, and some of us will even be wearing some vintage uniforms!

Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes even have a chance to earn the Girl Scout Way Legacy Badge while at the celebration (badge itself is not included) so make sure to stop by the coloring station to pick up your worksheets!

See you all there!

Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives Committee Turns 25!

girl scouts make history logo 2Tomorrow, 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.

Mary Ann Milton, GSGATL Archives Committee Member

Mary Ann Milton, GSGATL Archives Committee Member

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!

Cake-Candles-Happy-Birthday

Georgia Archives Month 2014

ga-archives-supportOctober 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.

"Celebrating Georgia Archives Month with Girl Scouts!" on display in Marietta's Switzer Library

“Celebrating Georgia Archives Month with Girl Scouts!” on display in Marietta’s Switzer Library

*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!

GS Archives History Conference 2013

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1960 GSUSA National Convention framed photograph. From the collection of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives.

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.

Celebrating Girl Scout Week: Taking Stock of the Collection

ImageAt the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives, we spent the week discussing many issues, as our monthly meeting was taking place the day after Girl Scout Week was complete (March 10-16, 2013). Today, we had a work day sorting posters in our collection and seeing what sorts of duplicates we might have. As in many Archives collections, we found posters that were great but also damaged through age as well as regular wear and tear.

How, might you ask, do these volunteers deal with such a problem? In the past, tape was often used to bind the edges (or middles) together. Today, there are products on the market labeled as “archives tape” or “framers tape.” What you want to remember is:

“Don’t DO anything that you can’t UNDO.”

Tape is tape–there are adhesive and chemicals involved. The special tapes have a lower amount of these than commercially available tape, but none of these are perfectly safe for long-term use.

So what can we do, you may ask? If the item is small enough, you may wish to encapsulate the item between two sheets of mylar. A great description of this process is on the State Archives of Florida site. However, if the item is very large, such as the posters in question, you may wish to store them flat in a large, oversize alkaline folder and try to handle as little as possible. If it is a popular item, have it scanned and make a “use copy” for researchers, volunteers, or exhibits.

If you have further questions about this topic, archives products, or vendors, we’ll be happy to help. We’d love to hear about your favorite Council poster!

Southern Alabama Girl Scout History Exhibit

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 gigibaroco@gulftel.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!

Archives @ the Council Alumnae Event

Joyce and Sue, indispensable members of the Archives

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.

Chloe and TaMara Powell

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.

Sue answering questions about the 1965 Roundup Scrapbook

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.

Sue Belden and Pamela Nye at the Archives Committee table

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.

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!

Georgia Archives Month 2011

Georgia History--Worth Saving!

It’s that time again! If you missed it last year, it’s not too late! October is Georgia Archives Month, where we celebrate archives and history throughout Georgia. Last month and this month have been busy at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives, as requests have been coming in for information on Council history and loans of material for programs and exhibits. Everyone is gearing up for the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting! We are so excited!

What sort of questions are you asking at troop meetings or service unit meetings? We would love to start compiling a FAQ of Council and Girl Scout history that you could share with your scouts and parents. Please send in your questions to helpline@gsgatl.org. We will create a new page on our blog devoted to helping you discover more about our Council and Girl Scout history in general that you will be able to access 24/7 (or at least when your Internet connection is working).

Come in to the HQ in Mableton, Georgia, and view our exhibits on the way to the Badge & Sash store, in the main training room, or while you visit the Resource Room. We have handbooks, uniforms, dolls, quilts, and camping exhibits that illustrate our rich history.