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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Wrapping up 2014 with Girl Scouts…

The year is quickly coming to a close! Have you gotten all your shopping done? No, we haven’t either… But more importantly, do you have enough tissue and wrapping paper? Recently, while going through the archives, trying to find some more cool stuff to take pictures of and share with everyone, I came across some Girl Scout wrapping paper and fabric!  I’m not sure what year the wrapping paper is from, but it’s at least pre-2010 when the logo was updated to give the first girl profile bangs, as well as some other subtle changes. The first wrapping paper I found is an all purpose design and can really be used any time of the year:2014-11-19 13.17.54The next paper I found is more of a holiday theme with the green and gold of the official GSUSA membership pins and the Daisy pins combined with the red background and added pop of blue of the World Association pins. This paper dates from somewhere between 1993 when the current version of the Daisy membership pin was introduced and 2010 when the current girls’ profile logo was introduced:

2014-11-19 13.17.10Another charming way to wrap presents is with fabric! That way, the wrapping itself is part of the gift! Especially if the gift is for someone who sews or is crafty. This classic Girl Scout fabric is from 1959, but if you can’t get your hands on any vintage cloth, there are many current styles out there as well:

2014-11-19 13.19.29

Click on the above image for a closer view and then get out there and get to wrapping!

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!

1950s Camping Supplies

1950s Girl Scout Bag

One of the perks of volunteering at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives is to see all the pieces of history that come in to stay. We recently received this acquisition from a former Girl Scout, and the staff were excited because we did not have this bag in our collection. We had a matching mess kit, as seen below, that was produced around the same time. You can find the plaid mess kit available online in many places, but a search for the larger matching bag is not quite as easy.

1950s Girl Scout Bag with matching mess kit

This plaid bag first appeared in the 1954 Girl Scout Equipment Catalog, and was marketed as a lunch bag. Girls would have used this at camp to carry their mess kit and canteen, or other items that might be useful. When not at camp, the Girl Scout could use it to carry her handbook and writing material. These types of bags are still popular with Girl Scouts today.


Why is Your Girl a Scout?

Thoughts on Scouting by Mrs. Frank Holland, 1921

To Parents of Girls:

When you are asked “Why is your girl a Scout?” what answer do you give? “Because there are Girl Scouts in 29 different Nations” or–“Because her friends are Scouts?”

You should answer: “Because Scouting is inspiring–It is is constructive. It is definite–It is democratic–It is elastic–It is practical–It is Fun.

Some say she should get this in her own home–but does she? You cannnot supply her with jolly chums as a working unit. You cannot give her merit badges to wear on her home nursing, cooking, and child nursing. In Atlanta 500 Scouts are laying the foundation of that knowledge which every father and mother would rather give their daughters than anything else in the world.

You want a fair and square “Play the Game Girl.” You cannot preach it. Girl Scouts teach it to one another. Team play, give and take in friendly competition (under trained leaders), gives a schooling for life that was never so much needed as now.

When you see a girl in a Scout uniform do not look on her as a faddist or something military.

“She is part of a mighty organization that can do more for civilization and peace than men can do with their swords.”

Mrs. Frank D. Holland, First President of the Atlanta Girl Scout Council (1921-1932)

This clipping is from her collection in the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives. After turning the reins over to Mrs. Albert Adams, Mrs. Holland continued at Camp Civitania (now Camp Timber Ridge) as “camp chief.”  Three years later, the council made her “honorary commissioner for life” at the suggestion of Mrs. Arthur Harris, a member of the national board of the Girl Scouts of the USA.

Documenting Pine Valley Council

In 2008, the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta was formed from the former councils of Girl Scouts of Northwest Georgia, Girl Scouts of Pine Valley, and Forsyth County (former Girl Scouts of Northeast Georgia Council). Girl Scouts of Pine Valley was originally comprised of Butts, Carroll, Coweta, Fayette, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Lamar, Meriwether, Pike, Spaulding, Troup, and Upson counties.

During April and May 2011, the Council Archives received council records, photographs, uniforms, handbooks, pins, patches, troop scrapbooks, songbooks, videos, and more from the former Pine Valley Council office in Griffin, Georgia. Council staff have been carefully preserving records and artifacts from Pine Valley and ensuring that they are deposited into the Council Archives in Mableton, Georgia.

1960 Girl Scout National Council, St. Louis, Missouri

One interesting item from this collection is a panoramic picture taken at the 1960 Girl Scout National Council Convention, November 14-18, 1960 in St. Louis, Missouri. Held every three years, the 52nd Girl Scout National Convention is set for this coming November10-13, 2011, in Houston, Texas. The very first National Convention was held in 1915 in Washington, D.C., where the constitution and bylaws were adopted, and Juliette Gordon Low was elected National President of the Girl Scouts from 1915-1920.

Homemade 1914 Girl Scout Uniform

Among the uniforms we received was one dating from 1914. It is a homemade tan Intermediate (or “Junior” equivalent) uniform consisting of two pieces: one long-sleeved middy blouse and a skirt which is 32” long. (A middy blouse is a loose blouse with a sailor’s collar, worn by children and women). Another interesting uniform  is a 1953-60 era Girl Mariner blue uniform. (The Mariners interest group was launched to give Senior Girl Scouts an opportunity to develop skills in boating, sailing, navigation, and water safety.) The hats in the collection included both girl and adult hats. The adult hats ranged in dates from 1948-1972, and a few of the girl hats included a dark brown Brownie beanie with an orange logo (used 1962-1993) and a Senior overseas hat with yellow cord and logo (used 1956-71).

Wing Scout Manual, 1949

A few of the treasured handbooks we received included a Wing Scout Manual (used from 1949-1955), a 1938 Badge Handbook, and a 1939 Leaders’ Guide (used from 1939-1947). The Wing Scout program was a Senior Girl Scout program for girls interested in flying and wanting to serve their country, started in 1941 and ending in the 1970s. In July 1942, 29 troop leaders from fifteen states met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to  take Wing Scout leadership training. These leaders returned to their councils and began setting up Wing Scout troops. In 1959, Girl Scout Council in North San Mateo County, California was  presented with an offer from United Airlines San Francisco Management Club President J. L. Burnside to start an aviation  program  for Senior Girl Scouts. One of the highlights of the Wing Scout program was the courtesy flight provided to Senior Girl Scouts using United Airlines’ jets. For many of the girls, this was the first time they had flown in a plane. Senior Girl Scouts who had been in the program for three years were given the opportunity to take over the controls during flight in a small aircraft. The program was discontinued after United Airlines experienced financial setbacks in the 1970s.

Pine Valley Council Flag

We also received the flag of the Girl Scouts of Pine Valley Council. It is 3 x 5 feet, made of nylon with the traditional Girl Scout logo in the middle. The Council flag would have flown in front of their office. Do you have pictures of this flag flying in Griffin or being used in a flag ceremony? We would love to see it “in action.”

Happy Centenary WAGGGS!

A small exhibit on the WAGGGS pin at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Council Headquarters.

The Girl Scouts of the USA is a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, and together we are 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts strong. From the WAGGGS website:

2011 is our second centenary year, and we are once again celebrating 100 years of changing lives on 10 April. Join 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world in commemorating this very special and historical occasion.

In 2010, our first centenary year, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts globally were united in celebrating with parties and activities on the theme of ‘Plant’. You can read all about the celebrations in our special centenary section.

This year, the theme is ‘Grow’, and we’re asking Member Organizations to grow their celebrations through community action.

There are lots of ways you can celebrate on 10 April:

  • Download the 2011 Centenary Activity Pack for lots of ideas on Grow-themed activities
  • Send an online centenary card (available soon on the WAGGGS website)
  • Apply for a mini-grant to support an environmental community project
  • Film or take photos of your centenary celebrations and send them to centenary@wagggsworld.org

A few of our international patches from the Archives collection on display.

Every day you get a chance to make history. One suggestion is to make a pledge  on how you will bring about positive change in your community – just like the young women did at the Young Women’s World Forums, the key centenary events. At the events, delegates wrote their pledges on t-shirts. Why not write your pledge on a t-shirt and send WAGGGS (and GSGATL) your photo? Or send a video message outlining your pledge? Send photos or videos to: centenary@wagggsworld.org and they’ll post them on the WAGGGS website. Please also send in the ways you are celebrating with your Greater Atlanta troops to bmesser@gsgatl.org so that we can document our area troops’ activities in this wonderful world-wide event!

New SWAPS Exhibit

Becca in front of her "Garden Swaps" Exhibit

Becca Andrews of Troop 14255 (Cumming, Georgia) created this new exhibit using “swaps” donated by Sandy Boatner of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives. Becca created this display to support her work on the National Art Honors Society at Lambert High School in Forsyth County.  She feels its important to showcase that girls of any age can make a contribution towards Scouting. Becca has been a Girl Scout for 12 years and is now an Ambassador Girl Scout in 11th grade. She is currently working on her Gold Award. Her project is to help girls obtain prom dresses and attend their high school prom who otherwise would not be able to afford a new dress or the price of the ticket to the prom. Providing the means for girls to experience an iconic part of the teenage years is a valuable service to the community and the girls who will remember that night for a very long time.

Swaps are an important part of the Girl Scout experience. One of the most used definitions is: Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere. When attending events such as Camporee, girls will exchange little handmade keepsakes to remind the giver and the receiver of the fun experience they both shared. The swaps are even more special when created from recycled or reused products, such as an old film canister. (Girl Scouts were reusing and recycling long before it became popular!)

An example of a Swap Hat

Often girls will create a “Swap Hat” from the various swaps they’ve received over the years at different events. It is a great ice breaker at camp or other get-togethers, as girls love to describe when and where they got each swap. The girls wear their hat with pride, and know that each hat is unique and special. Swaps can also be pinned on kerchiefs, yarn/cloth necklaces, bags, or just about anything that displays the handiwork and imagination of an individual Girl Scout.

Cookie Tins

Cookie Bank, undated

Girl Scout cookie tins are very popular, and are often sought by collectors. According to the Girl Scout Collector’s Guide (2005),

“Many vintage Girl Scout cookie tins and boxes exist. These early tins and boxes are often difficult to identify and date, however. The difficulty can be attributed to the fact that over the years a great number of bakers existed in many locations throughout the country.” (p. 457)

The Archives also has a tin from Byrd’s Cookie Company in Savannah, Georgia, depicting the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace. We would love to hear from you about which tins you have in your collection!

Girl Scout History at the Resource Center

Service Center of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta

The Girl Scout Resource Center and the Girl Scout Archives live side-by-side at the Mableton (Atlanta) Service Center. The Resource Center provides hands-on access to history for girls and adults who want to hold or touch as well as look at materials from the past. Leaders may check out older handbooks to share with the girls, or check out an entire activity kit that includes books, uniforms and other Girl Scout as well as popular materials from the past.

The history-based activity kits include:

  • Brownie Girl Scouts Through the Years: 1930s
  • Brownie Girl Scouts Through the Years: 1940
  • Ponytails and Poodle Skirts: Your Sock Hop In a Box (1950s)
  • Discovering Our History (Girl Scouting in the USA)
  • Daisy’s Days: The Life and Times of Juliette Low

There are also “historic” videos (VHS) available for checkout:

“AN INTERVIEW IN TIME”– GSUSA, 1981 – 5 minutes — an imaginary interview with Juliette Low recaps some history of Girl Scouting in the U.S. as well as the ideals behind the Movement; contains many archival photos; explains the organization of Girl Scouts at the national and council levels. Part 1 and Part 2 are on YouTube on the GirlScoutVideos (GSUSA) channel.

“FROM KHAKI TO KELLY: WATCH OUR GIRL SCOUT STYLE”– Greater Minneapolis GSC, 1995 – 20 minutes; this video style show features 24 different historical uniforms; a girl narrator tells the story of the historical period when each uniform was worn, from 1912 to 1995.

“GOLDEN EAGLET, The” — GSUSA, 1918/1982 VHS and DVD – 20 minutes – – this classic silent film (with subtitles) made in 1918 shows the early days of Girl Scouting. Shot on location with real Girl Scouts, it was intended to raise community interest in starting Girl Scout troops. Juliette Low appears briefly at the beginning and end of the movie. Part 1 and Part 2 are on YouTube on the GirlScoutVideos (GSUSA) channel.

“SOMETHING FOR THE GIRLS” — GSUSA, 1962 – 21 minutes – original film was produced for the 50th anniversary of Girl Scouts in the U.S.; shows photos from the early days of Girl Scouting; includes some biographical information about Juliette Low.

“UNCOMMON SENSE” – The History of Juliette Low and the Girl Scouts. Old photographs and interviews tell a short history of Juliette Low’s life up to the founding of the Girl Scouts in America.

“WORLD FRIENDSHIP” – GSUSA, 1948 – 19 minutes — an historical film featuring an international camp for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from Brazil, Canada and the U.S., held in conjunction with the 12th World Association Conference in Cooperstown, NY; story follows the experiences of three girls in camp, including meeting Lady Baden-Powell; emphasizes the international scope of Girl Guiding and Scouting, and the fun of learning about other countries and cultures.

To find out more about these materials, contact Margaret Paschal, Program Resource Center Coordinator of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta at 770-702-9610 or mpaschal@gsgatl.org.