Four Years in Savannah

Last week my daughter graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design. (Summa Cum Laude in scriptwriting, I know you want to ask.)

When she opted for SCAD, I knew we wouldn’t get to see her very often, as the SCAD campus is some 600 miles away.

But I’m glad we made the effort to visit this beautiful city. My husband and I became regulars at a Hampton Inn near SCAD, and only partly because of their free waffles.

Husband (left) and daughter at commencement

Over time we walked around the historic district enough times that we no longer need a map.

As we drove over the Savannah River and into South Carolina and back to Maryland, it was easy to review what I’d learned these past years. Most are connected to Girl Scouts, which began in Savannah in 1912.

1. I was already familiar with the bridge when the Girl Scouts of Georgia lobbied (unsuccessfully) in 2017 to have it named for founder Juliette Gordon Low.

2. My daughter had the coolest college job ever, as a docent at the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace. I learned a lot from her about how to bring former residents “alive” in a house museum. After all, tours are just another form of script.

3. I was lucky to have a peek behind the curtain to see Birthplace operations, including the renovated library.

4. I learned more about museum strategies to humanize artifacts. Instead of just showing a uniform, add details about who wore it and what she did while wearing it.

5. I had a fancy dinner in the Birthplace dining room with two of JGL’s great-nieces. They were just as warm and friendly as you’d expect.

6. I learned that shrimp and grits are nature’s most perfect food.

7. And yes, Leopold’s ice cream really is that good.

8. I participated in a GSUSA Task Force on the future of the Birthplace.

9. I didn’t spend nearly enough time at the Girl Scout First Headquarters museum. I don’t remember how many rounds of phone tag the director and I had, but we seldom connected.

10. I learned that if you stand on a street corner and yell “It’s Girl Scouts of the USA” every time a tour guide says that JGL founded the “Girl Scouts of America,” tourists think you’re just a weird Girl Scout vigilante and ignore you.

I deliberately decided not to visit the Andrew Low House or Laurel Grove cemetery. I’m saving them as the reason to return in the future.

Farewell to the Birthplace!!
(and, yes, passing tourists stared)

These four years in Savannah were unforgettable. And yes, I got the patch. All of them!

A sample of my many Savannah patches

©2019 Ann Robertson

10 thoughts on “Four Years in Savannah

  1. What a wonderful story, Ann. I fell in love with Savannah 23 years ago when I took my Junior troop there. How fortunate and appropriate for your daughter to attend school there. Upon return, I recommend a peak inside St. John’s Cathedral. Several of my group members attended Mass there in 1996. It is stunning. The pastor welcomed us and gave us front row (pew) seats. Andrew Low house was beautiful and girls loved seeing the family gravesite at Laurel Grove.

  2. My weird thing at the birthplace was giving the Girl Scout sign to a passing trolley when the guide was talking about the birthplace.  One lady reluctantly lifted her hand and did it back.   

  3. I think the only thing I did not like about any of my visits to Savannah was the humidity, even at Easter. I must say I laughed out loud (good belly laugh) when you said Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.

  4. What joy! Congratulations to all! Script Writing? Hmm I hear there’s this great story of a nice southern lady who founded a movement; created a family that includes millions of women and girls; and, was daring enough to sell her pearls, stand on her head and otherwise redefine a woman’s role. Can’t wait for the Broadway play or blockbuster movie.

  5. Thank you for sharing your personal experience for a beautiful place

    On Fri, Jun 7, 2019, 11:36 AM Girl Scout History Project wrote:

    > Ann Robertson posted: ” Last week my daughter graduated from the Savannah > College of Art and Design. (Summa Cum Laude in scriptwriting, I know you > want to ask.) When she opted for SCAD, I knew we wouldn’t get to see her > very often, as the SCAD campus is some 600 miles away. ” >

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