This month’s history exhibit comes straight from the pages of vintage Girl Scout Christmas catalogs.


, Girl Scout History Project
1930 catalog


Starting in 1928, Girl Scouts published holiday-themed catalogs in addition to annual uniform and equipment catalogs. Leader magazine, when it existed, also had full-page ads with gift suggestions.

The National Equipment Service, which publishes the catalogs, sells the basics: uniforms, handbooks, badges, and camping equipment. But it also sells a range of other products: jewelry, casual clothing, books, and accessories.

Unfortunately, these trinkets often wind up in the trash when a girl decides she’s “outgrown” Girl Scouts. Sometimes the cheapest items become the rarest collectibles.

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The Archives and History Committee has many of these gems in our collection, but we rarely have the opportunity to show them off.  We decided to take a few pages from these catalogs and match up the items included.


, Girl Scout History Project
Brownie play clothes, pennant, dictionary, stationery, and records.



, Girl Scout History Project
Penguin sweater, headbands, trash can, wool cape, and gloves.



, Girl Scout History Project
Yes, that’s Girl Scout wrapping paper at the bottom!



What’s on my wishlist this year? This stylish housecoat from the early 1940s.


, Girl Scout History Project
Vintage Girl Scout Online Museum

Don’t forget the matching slippers, too!


, Girl Scout History Project
Vintage Girl Scout Online Museum

The display will be at the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital main office, 4301 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC, through January. Items are also on display year round at our Archives and History Program Centers.

©2017 Ann Robertson


2 responses to “Gifts for Girl Scouts”

  1. Thank you so much for putting this all together to share!

  2. Wonderful! Great examples of displaying, and resources! Thank you so much!

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