Blog Archives

Thank a Girl Scout Leader Today…

…and EVERY day!

The month of April is National Volunteer Month, the week of April 12-18 was 2015’s National Volunteer Week, and today is Girl Scout Leader Day!

Leader-Day-2015-patch

All the women and men across the country and across the world who give their time to selflessly guide and mentor millions of young women, we here at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta want to say THANK YOU! All the work that goes into planning and executing weekly meetings, camping weekends, community service events, and ALL the unseen work that you do has not gone unnoticed. You are helping these girls realize their goals and become leaders themselves one day. Did you know that approximately 80 percent of female entrepreneurs were once Girl Scouts? So keep doing what you’re doing- making a HUGE difference in the world!

Check out these vintage photos of some Girl Scout leaders throughout the years:

2015-04-22 10.42.22

from the 1968 Official Dress Uniforms catalog

2015-04-22 10.42.40

from the 1968 Official Dress Uniforms catalog

from the 1974-75 Girl Scout Catalog

from the 1974-75 Girl Scout Catalog

from the 1986-87 Girl Scout Catalog

from the 1986-87 Girl Scout Catalog

Time Capsule Dedication

Some of the Archives Committee with Anna Maria Chavez, CEO of GSUSA

This past Tuesday was a busy one for not only the History and Archives Committee, but the whole Council. In a wonderful turn of events, the Council hosted the CEO of GSUSA, Anna Maria Chavez, at the 100th Anniversary Time Capsule Dedication and Girl Scout Day ceremonies. The committee decided to wear some of the original and replica uniforms to honor the occasion. Several attendees at the event enjoyed learning about the uniforms and the history behind them. The committee were asked several times to pose for cameras, and we happily obliged.

The first event, held at Camp Timber Ridge, began with a great talk from Anna Maria Chavez. It was great to hear her perspective and plans for the Girl Scouts. She was energetic, lively, and very committed to making Girl Scouts the best place to be for girls. Afterwards, in our chat with her, we were glad to hear that she is a history buff as well.

Linda Bishop presenting Anna Maria Chavez and Marilyn Midyette with our "Girl Scouts Make History" pin.

Afterwards, all of the event participants headed back to the Council offices for the 100th Anniversary Time Capsule dedication. The Archives committee had been working for several months with Council staff to make this the best time capsule we could possibly make. Not only were Council items and 100th GS Anniversary memorabilia included, the Council reached out to current Girl Scouts of all levels and asked them to contribute an item they thought significant.

Linda Bishop, chair of the Archives Committee presented to Anna Maria Chavez and Marilyn Midyette, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, our “Girl Scouts Make History” pin, as our thanks and appreciation for working together with the committee. As you can see from the picture, Linda presented the pins in her traditional manner.

Pamela Nye in the 1913 blue uniform. The hat was a bit hit!

Pamela Nye gave a short speech on the importance of time capsules, and of the Archives’ role in keeping safe not only the list of items enclosed in the capsule, but the location of the capsule as well. Too many time capsules have been lost or forgotten, and we do not intend for this one to suffer that same fate. The life span of electronic records is amazingly brief, so any audio, video, or electronic records will be held in the Council Archives for safekeeping, and to be able to migrate the records to whatever the next medium will be. We also want the current Girl Scouts, adult volunteers, and interested researchers to be able to access this information. All the items that were placed inside the time capsule are either eye readable records or cloth materials that won’t break down over time. A full list of contents will be posted soon.

TaMara Powell demonstrating how the white uniform was worn.

One of the more interesting uniforms was worn by TaMara Powell. In the United States, this white uniform was only worn in the South, due to the extreme heat. It was officially recommended for use in 1920. It consisted of a white middy blouse, skirt, shoes and stockings, a black or colored tie, a khaki hat, and armband. (The light blue tie was added in 1922.)  The uniform was made of lighter weight material and was only approved for use as requested. It was never available in a catalog, but was approved for use in the Southern U.S. states, Puerto Rico, Hawai’i, Panama, and the Phillipines. [For more information about uniforms, please see the Girl Scout Collector’s Guide by Mary Degenhardt and Judith Kirsch, 2005.]

The event was a great success, and we were glad to see so many people come out and celebrate this momentous occasion. Here are a few news stories about the event.

District V Exhibit: First African American Girl Scouts in Atlanta

First African American Girl Scouts in Atlanta 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.”

1940s Girl Scout uniform

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.

Girl Scouts Thanks Badge

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 Girl Scout Troop counting out cookie profits

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.

History Presentation at Oconee County Day Camp

Mary Ann Milton in a Mariner uniform

As part of our mission here at the Archives, we make Girl Scout history available and accessible. Many of our volunteers say that going out and speaking to groups is one of their favorite things to do. A long-time volunteer and Girl Scout, Mary Ann Milton, volunteered her time at the 2011 Oconee County Girl Scout Day Camp in Watkinsville, Georgia, on June 8.

The theme this year was “A Walk Down Memory Lane,” which combined women’s and Girl Scout history.  The camp met at the Watkinsville First Christian Church in downtown Watkinsville. The Oconee County Service Unit is located in the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia Council.

Ms. Milton reports:

“The camp only had three units: one Daisy, one Brownie and one Junior unit. They combined the Daisy and Brownie for my first presentation, then I gave a longer presentation for the Juniors. At the camp, I thought it was very interesting that each Program Aide had to pick a famous or important female in history (living or dead) and introduce herself to the group in appropriate costume for her choice. During the opening ceremony, two Program Aides presented themselves to the group and gave a short speech on why they were famous. On the wall in one of the rooms were pictures of each of their choices plus lots more.

Girls looking at the older sash, photographs, and badges

I wore the Mariner uniform, and had an old Brownie uniform and old Intermediate uniform on display. I also had my own badge sash and the badges that went with the older khaki uniform.  I described what I did as a girl and as a leader, as well as why Brownies came to be. The Juniors took the appropriate handbooks and researched what the badges were on the Junior Uniform and on the khaki badge sleeve. The Brownies and Daisies passed the books and badges around and looked at them while asking questions.

Mary Ann Milton speaking with the older girls

I showed the brown uniform shoes and the old camera, and both elicited much amazement. I also had a photo of me from 1950 in my Intermediate Uniform. The unit leaders were using the Paper Doll books for some of their activities. They also made corn husk dolls and homemade soap.”

With the new Girls’ Guide to Girl Scouting coming out in September 2011, there will be legacy badges and opportunities to learn about Girl Scout history and traditions. If your troop or group would like to see the archives, or make an appointment for one of our volunteers to come and discuss Girl Scouting with your troop/group, please contact Margaret Paschal, Archives Liaison at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. 

What We Do: Accession

In our Georgia Archives Month display, we discuss what archives are and what we do as archivists. One of our core missions is to collect and preserve the history of Girl Scouting. One of the ways we accomplish this mission is by encouraging donations of uniforms, artifacts (objects), patches, sashes, pictures, or other memorabilia of scouting in the north Georgia area. These are considered accessions.

This pin was given out at the August 2010 Service Unit Meetings.

The oldest items in the collection are uniforms from 1915, which predate the Council’s creation by six years. However, not everything in our collection is “old stuff.” A current pin and patch will become collectors’ items in no time. Gathering history as we go is much easier than trying to track rare items down. That sweatshirt you got from a past Leader’s Weekend can become a part of a treasured textile collection. Photographs from a troop camping trip can provide researchers with a rich visual history. Learning the provenance of a particular SWAP can be fascinating. Service Unit agendas document the governance and events at the local level.

This patch was given out to Girl Scouts who registered by April 2010 for the 2010-2011 Girl Scout membership year.

If you are a former Girl Scout, think about not only renewing your membership (only $12!) but also think about those uniforms, hats, sashes, badges, handbooks, and such that are packed away in that box in the attic. Perhaps you came across an older relative’s memorabilia and are unsure where it should go. Please contact the Archives and let us know what you have. If you grew up in another state (or anywhere in the world), we can put you in contact with your former Council.