Blog Archives

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:

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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!

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Come Celebrate With Us!

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! CTR-Archives Anniversaries-page-001

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!

Download a pdf version of our volunteer flyer or register to attend the event here! And please, if you have any questions about the event, email us at GirlScoutArchivesAtlanta@gmail.com!

Spread the word, too! We are really excited about the celebration and hope to see everyone there!

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Happy Birthday, Daisy!

Juliette Gordon Low as a child

Juliette Gordon Low as a child

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!

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Camp Timber Ridge Turns 90!

2014 marks the 90th birthday of Camp Timber Ridge in Mableton, GA! Now, that’s a lot of camping!

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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!

circa 1920s Thornton Hall, named for Mrs. Albert Thornton

circa 1920s Thornton Hall, named for Mrs. Albert Thornton

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 Civitania 1936

Camp Civitania 1936

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!

Timber Ridge 1969

Camp Timber Ridge 1969

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!

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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!

Happy 100th Birthday!

There have been over 50 million women in the United States who have been a Girl Scout, and there are anniversary celebrations happening all over the country today, March 12, 2012. On this date in 1912, Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low started the very first Girl Scout troop  in Savannah, Georgia. Today, 3.2 million girls are Girl Scouts in the United States, and are part of the 10 million girls who are members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

Juliette Low faced many obstacles, but she had a vision that this organization would help girls not only in her lifetime, but far into the future. The 1933 Girl Scout Handbook included a message from her, written on October 31, 1924.

Dear Girl Scouts:

I hope that we shall all remember the rules of this Girl Scouting game of ours. They are: to play fair, to play in your place, and to play for your side and not for yourself.

And as for the score, the best thing in a game is the fun and not the results, for:

“When the Great Recorder comes to write against your name, he writes not that you won or lost, but how you played the game.”

Girl Scouts, I salute you.

Your friend, Juliette Low

We would love to hear how you are celebrating this day (and Girl Scout Week!)

Troop Birthdays

Do you remember celebrating your Girl Scout troop’s “birthday”? Did your Girl Scout handbook have a picture of a birthday cake with Girl Scout membership stars spread out around it? Then you may remember a time when the “Girl Scout year” was not October 1 – September 30! For many years, Girl Scout membership forms and national dues were collected and returned to Girl Scouts of the USA in a staggered pattern. Your troop might re-register in September while a friend’s troop in another part of the council registered in March; there was a six-month-long registration period, with different service units assigned different months. The month your troop registered in was your troop’s birthday month, and many troops celebrated with a cake, party, and the presentation of membership stars. This staggered registration pattern meant local councils didn’t have to collect and process all their troop memberships at the same time.

When Girl Scouts of the USA changed to one consistent Girl Scout year (after all, most troops are organized and register for the first time in the fall) councils felt like they were caught up in an avalanche of forms and fees. Even the advent of computers for data input didn’t help much – some troops were getting their Membership Cards just about the time school closed for summer vacation. In 1998-1999, GSUSA introduced Early Bird Registration – what we now know as Spring Registration. Troops collected their national dues and filled out the membership registration forms for the coming Girl Scout year; that way council had up to five months to process the forms. Today, no one – including troop volunteers – has to add re-registration to their fall Girl Scout chores unless they choose to!

Happy 99th Birthday!

Happy Birthday Cake from the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta

Today is the 99th Birthday of Girl Scouting! Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low assembled 18 girls from Savannah, Georgia, on March 12, 1912, for a local Girl Scout meeting. She believed that all girls should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually. With the goal of bringing girls out of isolated home environments and into community service and the open air, Girl Scouts hiked, played basketball, went on camping trips, learned how to tell time by the stars, and studied first aid.

Share with us how have you been celebrating!

Happy 150th Birthday, Juliette!!

From the Girl Scouts First Headquarters in Savannah, Georgia

As Georgia Archives Month comes to a close, it’s only fitting to also bid Happy Birthday to our founder, Juliette Gordon Low. This year marks her 150th birthday, as she was born October 31, 1860.

Juliette shows up on the recent edition of the Fall 2010 issue of the Georgia Historical Quarterly, gracing the cover in a kimono, ca. 1886, just in time for her birthday. The issue includes a photo essay, Girl Scouting in Savannah 1912-1927.

On Sunday, October 31, the Girl Scouts First Headquarters relit the “Eternal Flame of Friendship” in the courtyard of the former Low Carriage House.  It was originally lit at Girl Scout First Headquarters on November 14, 1963 by Daisy Gordon Lawrence, Juliette Gordon Low’s niece and the first registered Girl Scout. The re-lighting ceremony focused on the future. Girl Scouts who attended the Girl Guide Centennial bonfire in England re-lit the flame of friendship in Savannah, linking Girl Scouts to their international sisters as they begin their journey toward the 100th anniversary.

A recent biographer has a blog about Juliette, where her two recent articles detail Juliette’s 30th and 32nd birthday. It’s a fun read!

From the GSUSA’s website:

Juliette Low was very athletic. From her childhood on, Daisy was a strong swimmer. She was Captain of a rowing team as a girl and learned to canoe as an adult. She was also an avid tennis player. One of her special skills was standing on her head. She stood on her head every year on her birthday to prove she still could do it, and also celebrated nieces’ and nephews’ birthdays by standing on her head. Once, she even stood on her head in the board room at National Headquarters to show off the new Girl Scout shoes.”

And finally, on the Girl Scouts of the USA’s blog, there is a list of all the ways Girl Scouts all over the United States are honoring her birthday by volunteering in service projects in their article entitled “Halloween Fun and Good Deed Run-Down.”