Girl Scout EXPO 2019

The 2019 GSCNC Expo is History!

Green bordered patch reading Expo 2019, Girl Scouts Nation's Capital

The Saturday, November 16, 2019 event was truly one for the record books.

9,000 girls explored the Dulles Expo Center in three-hour blocks. There was singing, archery, tent-pitching relays, robotics, book signings, and, of course, history.

The Archives and History Committee ran a booth with history-themed games. Linda Paulson taught girls how to play “Name that Cookie,” answer council history questions, and match new badges with their vintage counterparts. Girls received a “vintage” patch prize from our surplus. Most were excited to realize that the patch was older than the girl!

History-themed games

The booth also had a collection of Girl Scout dolls and displays about founder Juliette Gordon Low. Our own Susan “Daisy” Ducey posed for photos with girls all day.

Girl Scouts met their “founder,” Juliette Gordon Low (photo by Lisa Jackson)

But the Council History team didn’t settle for just one little old booth. No, not us! We also provided international uniforms on mannequins for another booth.

We proudly watched Archives Program Aide Vivian moderate a presentation.

Archives Program Aide Vivian (left) hosted one discussion session (GSCNC)

We welcomed our own special guest, Margaret Seiler, who told stories about her Great Aunt Daisy. Her presentation helped younger Girl Scouts understand that Juliette Gordon Low was a real person, not just a character in a book.

Last, but hardly least, we organized three vintage uniform fashion shows, one show per session. Ginger Holinka fitted girl (and a few adult) models on the spot, while Julie Lineberry emceed the show. Members of the audience gave special applause for “their” childhood uniforms and came away understanding how uniforms changed in response to fashion trends, war-time shortages, new fabrics, and the need for girls to move, move, move.  

The Committee owes a deep debt to Lisa Jackson and Dena McGuiggan Baez, leaders who found replacement uniform models when others dropped out at the last minute. They saved the show!!

The last Council Expo was held in 2006. Many people have asked why it took so long to organize another. After Saturday’s experience, I know I will need at least 13 years to recover. But maybe I’ll pencil another one in on my calendar, just to save the date.

©2020 Ann Robertson, writer, editor, and Girl Scout historian

7 thoughts on “Girl Scout EXPO 2019

  1. I love this post and am planning an event for women of courage . Confidence . Character for may 14 2020 in Chippewa falls WI. We would love to do something like this for the evening event.

    What can you share about the organization and planning of these old uniform s.

    Marianna Gilbertson Board development committee for GSNWGL

    On Tue, Nov 19, 2019, 7:38 AM Girl Scout History Project wrote:

    > Ann Robertson posted: ” The 2019 GSCNC Expo is History! The Saturday, > November 16, 2019 event was truly one for the record books. Nine 9,000 > girls explored the Dulles Expo Center in three-hour blocks. There was > singing, archery, tent-pitching relays, robotics, boo” >

  2. Marianna, The uniforms were selected from the hundreds curated by the Nation’s Capital Archives and History Committee. We have done fashion shows for over a decade, so the uniform dimension is easy to do, aside from considerable ironing ahead of the show. The main challenge is finding girls to model and uniforms to fit them. Girls were smaller and slimmer back in the day. Current girls usually need a vintage uniform one age level up.

    • Ann- do you have a copy of some of the games and activities that you offered at this event? I am using an old GSUSA inventory book to ID uniforms which I have yet to put in a digital collection. I still just compare and refer to old uniform catalogs and inventory history. I did attend the OHIO 2017 convention about the culture foundation and history of scouting. I did enjoy hearing such professional ways of Curating old uniforms. Do you have a web site with any of this information that you could share?

  3. Truly a spectacle to behold! Fantastic program! Think I would have 13 years between them too! Congrats on the huge success! Chalk up a win for GS history!! 🤩
    I too would like whatever logistics info/program info that u could share?!? We all need to be doing similar programs to keep our rich history in the forefront.

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