Blog Archives

National Maritime Day and Mariner Scouts

Every year on May 22, The United States observes National Maritime Day, a holiday created in 1933 to recognize the maritime industry. It was May 22, 1819 that the American steamship, Savannah, set sail from Savannah, Georgia on the first ever transoceanic voyage under steam power. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Division, “The United States has always been and will always be a great maritime nation. From our origins as 13 British colonies, through every period of peace and conflict since, the Merchant Marine has been a pillar in this country’s foundation of prosperity and security. They power the world’s largest economy and strengthen our ties with trading partners around the world, all while supporting our military forces by shipping troops and supplies wherever they need to go.”

So what exactly is the Merchant Marine? The Merchant Marine is the fleet of ships which carries imports and exports during peacetime and becomes a naval auxiliary during wartime to deliver troops and war material. People who are in the Merchant Marine are referred to as mariners, seamen, seafarers, or sailors, but never Marines. People who are in the Merchant Marine are not military! They are civilians, just like us, and they were crucial to victory in World War II.

Mariner Scout membership pin, 1946-1963, photo courtesy of vintagegirlscout.com

Mariner Scout membership pin, 1946-1963, photo courtesy of vintagegirlscout.com

The Mariner Girl Scout program was officially launched in 1934, just one year after National Maritime Day was created in the United States. It was created for Senior Girl Scouts who were interested in nautical activities and whose troops had access to a body of water large enough to permit a comprehensive program of Mariner activities. By 1938, only one year before the launch of WWII in Europe when Germany invaded Poland, the Mariner Scout program had swept quickly throughout the country reaching a total registration of 3,484.

1946 Catalina Island Girl Scout Mariner Camp, photo courtesy Girl Scout Collector's Guide, 2nd Edition, 2005

1946 Catalina Island Girl Scout Mariner Camp, photo courtesy of Girl Scout Collector’s Guide, 2nd Edition, 2005

Although the Mariner Scout program was officially discontinued in 1963, today it has been re-instituted in a much smaller form.

Fun fact: Juliette Gordon Low was born and raised in Savannah, Ga., the same place from which the steamship Savannah set sail for the first ever transoceanic voyage. As a child, Juliette Low was sometimes affectionately called “the little ship under full sail” by her family!

Fall Sales Are Here!

fall sales 2014It’s time for Treats and Keeps! The Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta’s fall fundraiser is in full swing! As of September 2, you can now buy chocolates, nuts, magazines, and photo keepsakes from your local Atlanta area Girl Scouts.

Like the cookies, different areas of the country are supplied by different companies. For example, if Hot Cajun Crunch isn’t on an order form in one area of the country, then instead, there’s likely to be items like Island Fruit Mix, Peanut Brittle, or Mint Trefoils. Also, some councils offer magazine subscriptions while others are featuring photo keepsakes this year too.

As well as their annual fall fundraising, Girl Scouts have always been most well known for their annual cookie sale in the early spring of each year. But did you know that for decades now there have always been various sales year-round? For instance, during World War II, Girl Scouts sold war bonds (at no profit for GSUSA) to support the war effort here on the homefront. Also during WWII, they sold calendars instead of cookies because of the nationwide rationing of flour and sugar. To this day, calendars continue to be sold annually, though no longer in place of the beloved cookies.
war bonds

1940s calendars in the GSGATL Archives collections

1940s calendars in the GSGATL Archives collections

 

Recently, I found an image online of this wonderful vintage poster of a Girl Scouts salted nut sale. It looks like it is from either the 1940s or 1950s era. I would love to find more information about this poster! If anyone out there has any info, please leave a comment or message us at GirlScoutArchivesAtlanta@gmail.com!

Do you know more info about this poster? Let us know!

Do you know more info about this poster? Let us know!

The Golden Eaglet