A Visit to the National Girl Scout Museum

Last Friday my Girl Scout troop took a day trip to New York City. One stop was GSUSA and the National Historic Preservation Center. None of the nine girls and two co-advisors had ever been to headquarters, so I was looking forward to showing them around.  I’m also very happy that co-advisor Sylvie Warren brought her camera and took these wonderful photos!

After a very early morning bus ride from Bethesda, Maryland, we explored Times Square and Rockefeller Plaza, then headed south on Fifth Avenue to 37th Street, the main entrance to GSUSA at 420 Fifth Avenue.

Entrance to 420 Fifth Avenue

Entrance to 420 Fifth Avenue

I had reservations for a 2 pm tour, and lunch at 1 pm in the GSUSA cafeteria on the 11th floor. There I ran into two NHPC staff members, consultant Martha Foley and Senior Archivist Yevgeniya Gribov, who would be giving our tour.

Yevgeniya Gribov and I.

Yevgeniya Gribov and I.

After lunch, we headed up to the 17th floor for the National Historic Preservation Center. Yevgeniya greeted us in the lobby (where the girls quickly spotted the large jars of GS cookies). She told us the history of NHPC and led us into the document storage room. Although we could only look, not rummage through the boxes at will, it was still a treat. I made sure the girls realized that as many times as I’d done research at NHPC, I’d never been into the secure room before!

Next, we went into the museum portion of NHPC, where I introduced the girls to Chief Strategist Pamela Cruz and Archivist Diane Russo.

Then we had time to explore the historical displays. My troop has been to the Nation’s Capital archives on several occasions, but there were plenty of items they had never seen before.

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But their favorite part was watching The Golden Eaglet, a silent promotional film made in 1918. The girls decided they should start saluting their leader, like the girls in the film.  I have no problem with that.

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Troop 2890 was here!

Troop 2890 was here!

Most of my troop is in the 11th or 12th grade and will be heading off to college soon. If nothing else, I know they understand that there is far more to Girl Scouting than just our troop. They’ve worked with other troops, been to day and resident camp, Rocked the Mall, visited Rockwood, and one even worked with pandas in China on a Destination trip. They also know about the women and girls who came before them, and how the Girl Scouting has responded to social change.

They are the newest generation in a long line of courageous, strong women, and our movement is lucky to have them.

12 thoughts on “A Visit to the National Girl Scout Museum

  1. I have a complete uniform & several accessories from the mid to late fifties and includes the G.S. Handbook. I would like to donate all of it. Interested?

    • Absolutely, Martha! You can mail them to GSCNC Archives and History Committee, 4301 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite M-2, Washington DC 20006. Thank you!

  2. I have Girl Scout photos that were my mom’s from the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. She grew up in Philadelphia and I was wondering if you accept pictures from that time.

  3. I have my mother’s uniform (tunic and bloomers) from the 1920’s, plus a handbook from late 1950’s. Would you accept these? Is the address still Connecticut Ave. in Washington, D.C.

  4. Sorry, I forgot to finish my comment. Is this brochure of any interest to you? If so, I would be happy to mail it!

    • Harriet, I would be delighted to accept the brochure. I’ll “send it home” to the proper North Carolina council. For now, mail to GSCNC Archives, 4301 Connecticut Ave NW M-2, Washington, DC 20006.

  5. I have my moms Girl Scout uniform from the 1930/1940’s with hat. It is in great condition and didn’t know if we could donate it to the museum. She was in a troup from Malden, Ma. She is now 94. If so, please let me know where to send it.

    Thank you,
    Lauren Brown

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