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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!

Girl Scouts Make History

One of the most prized possessions that many of our History and Archives Committee members have is the “Girl Scouts Make History” pin or charm. I am often asked, when wearing my charm on a necklace to Girl Scout events, where I got my charm. The second question is if they are still available. We are happy to say that they are.

The design of these charms and pins was created in 1989 by Shirley Barentine, one of our original History/Archives committee members. The sterling silver pin and charm measure 3/4 inch in diameter and is a great way to honor our Girl Scout heritage. Use this Pin/Charm Order Form to purchase wonderful gifts for the holidays or in time to wear for 2012. All the monies raised goes towards preserving and making accessible the history of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Council. You can make a difference!

2011 GSUSA National Convention

Joyce and Gigi in their souvenir Convention photograph

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.

Hall of Exhibits. Photo courtesy of Meg Rickert, History/Archives Committee Member.

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!

Saluting our Veterans

Happy Veterans Day to one and all! Girl Scouts naturally include the military in many service projects. During World War I, girls learned about food production and conservation, sold war bonds, worked in hospitals, and collected peach pits for use in gas mask filters. You can learn more about other historical service projects on the Girl Scouts of the USA historical timeline:  http://www.girlscouts.org/who_we_are/history/timeline/

The most popular service project is when Girl Scout cookies are sent to troops serving overseas. However, that is not the only time when we try to make sure the troops know we care about them and are thankful for their service. At this time of year, Girl Scout troops are working hard to send cards and gift items overseas in time for the holidays. The girls either make their own cards and messages, or write letters to enclose in holiday cards. Families of the scouts have also included non-perishable treats or small presents to be sent overseas as well.

We would love to collect more photographs of Girl Scout troops making cards for soldiers or other service projects helping the soldiers. If you have one (or more!) of your troop, please contact Margaret Paschal at helpline@gsgatl.org with your pictures and story.

Help the Birthplace

Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah, Georgia

Any Girl Scout will tell you that at least once in her life, she would like to visit the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace or that the visit to the Birthplace was one of the highlights of her Girl Scout career. Located in Savannah, Georgia, the house on East Oglethorpe Avenue is where Juliette “Daisy” Gordon was born on October 31, 1860.

Girl Scouts of the USA purchased the Gordon home, also known as the Wayne-Gordon House, in 1953 from Mrs. George Arthur Gordon. Restoration of the house has been almost continual since then. In 2007 a study was conducted by an engineering firm to help plan for the structural restoration and updating the facade of the house. Work began in January 2009 and will be complete by the end of 2011 with the restorations of the garden.

The Birthplace has teamed up with the National Trust for Historic Preservation with the “This Place Matters” campaign to honor your favorite places and make a call to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to all of us. Every troop who visits the Birthplace takes a picture of the troop together, holding a sign that says “This Place Matters,” because all Girl Scouts do care about the Birthplace.

You can also help the house by joining the Circle of Friends, by making a donation to the Preservation and Travelship Endowments, or through a planned gift.  The annual membership contributions to the Circle of Friends continue to grow the critical preservation endowment that will fund future maintenance and preservation projects for our irreplaceable National Historic Landmark site.

Post A Week 2011 Challenge

In the spirit of more timely posts, the volunteer Archives staff of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta is joining the Post-A-Week 2011 Challenge from WordPress.  This is especially important during Georgia Archives Month and counting down to 2012, the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.

We would love to have your input on the types of topics you would like to see posted here. Please be sure to send us an email at GirlScoutArchivesAtlanta@gmail.com with your suggestions or questions.