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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.”
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!
There is a new exhibit at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Headquarters in Mableton, Georgia in honor of Black History Month. It is called “In The Lives of District V- The Untold Story of Atlanta’s First African-American Girl Scout Troops.”
The Greater Atlanta Chapter History/Archives committee features the stories from the first Atlanta African-American Girl Scout troops that began in 1943. The showcase displays 25 items including photographs of Girl Scout memorabilia. Pins and vintage uniforms pieces from the 1940 – 50’s reflect District V’s achievements in scouting. Part of the area covered by District V included the Auburn district of downtown Atlanta.
There are more than ten black and white photographs in the exhibit. Some are from The Atlanta Daily World newspaper and one is from a Jet Magazine photo shoot that featured 1953 Senior Girl Scout All State Camper, Roslyn Pope. Replicas of Miss Pope’s uniform with badges are also included.
Miss Bazoline Usher in 1943 headed 25 to 30 African-American women to start troops for girls of color, which became District V. Miss Usher worked many years with the Girl Scouts. She received Girl Scouts’ highest honor, the “Thank You” pin, in the mid 1940’s. The pin, also known as the Thanks Badge, is displayed along with Miss Usher’s photograph. There is a list of other honorees awarded this pin for their exceptional service that benefited the entire Girl Scout council. It is a gold filled and enamel medallion on a blue grosgrain ribbon.
District V in their first year as Girl Scouts placed second in cookie sales in Atlanta. A photograph from the The Atlanta Daily World depicts scouts and Troop Leader with cookie boxes and counting their profits.
Girl Scouts from District V were able to experience camp life at Camp J.K. Orr in Lovejoy, Georgia, which was rented from the Boy Scouts of America. A brochure called Camping for me (1963) promotes District V’s first official campsite in Carver Park. The George Washington Carver State Park is the first Georgia state park for African-Americans. Carver Park neighbors Girl Scout Camp Pine Acres on Lake Allatoona near Acworth. Some other artifacts include a sample size tent as well as a cookie case from the 1960s. A timeline which highlights the many historical events in Girl Scouts District V concludes the exhibit.
The exhibit is located in the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Service Center, available Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and on weekends during events. Be sure and go see it while you are there! If you were a Girl Scout in District V, we would love to hear from you! Contact Margaret Paschal at 770-702-9411 or at mpaschal [at] gsgatl.org. [link not included to reduce spam]
Special thanks to Rhonda Barrow, Sue Belden, Denise McGill, Margaret Paschal and TaMara Powell for creating this educational and interesting exhibit.
In 2012 the Girl Scouts of the USA, as you might have guessed by now, will turn 100 years old. There are celebrations being planned all over the United States, and here in Georgia, there will be many places to participate. Events will be happening in the Atlanta area, the Savannah area (birthplace of GSUSA), and in many towns throughout the state.
LaGrange, Georgia, situated in Troup County, has had a long history with Girl Scouting. In 1930, the LaGrange Girl Scout Council was chartered by the Girl Scouts of the USA. By 1958, this Council was merged into the Pine Valley Council, covering most of middle Georgia. In 2008, Pine Valley Council merged into the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. Right now, the Girl Scouts in Troup County are celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouting with a Membership Drive.
Early next year, the Legacy Museum on Main will have a great exhibit on Girl Scouting in Troup County. The Legacy Museum Curator, Laurie Sedicino, recently paid a visit to the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives to see if there are any records or artifacts from the Troup County area which could be loaned for this exhibit. She met with some of our volunteer staff, and not only viewed records and artifacts, but also had a tour of the Council facility. We enjoyed her visit, and look forward to working with her on this project.
To the right is the sash that Sue and Laurie were inspecting in the picture above. In slanted rows, the badges are: 1) Hostess, Cook, My Troop; 2) Housekeeper, Tree, Childcare; 3) Adventurer, Skating, Dabbler; 4) Interior Decoration, Cyclist, Back-yard Camper; 5) Cat & Dog.
The permanent exhibit gallery of the Legacy Museum on Main, in the renovated first floor of the 1917 landmark bank building, features the history and development of West Georgia from Indian settlement to present day. The exhibits spotlight major events in the region and the stories of the people who responded to the events, as well as bringing to life the people who explored, settled and transformed the region.
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!)
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.