Two members of Washington’s Intermediate Troop 357 recently visited the History Program Center in Frederick, Maryland.

Peggy Harwood (as she was known then) had donated her own sash and that of Karen Tobias, another troop member, to the Nation’s Capital archives last year. This summer she flew from California to Washington and wanted to see our museum. She brought her leader’s daughter, Judy Everett, with her.

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Peggy Harwood (left) and Judy Everett with troop sashes.

Troop members attended Lafayette Elementary School and, later, Alice Deal Junior High School in Northwest Washington DC. Many of the girls came from military families rotating through the nation’s capital.

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TWO Curved Bars?

I asked Peggy why there were two Curved Bar pins on her sash. (Curved Bar was the highest award from 1940 to 1963.) She explained that she had completed the requirements listed in both the 1940 and the 1953 Intermediate Handbooks.

Both versions required girls to earn four additional badges in an area of concentration. Before 1953, there were nine possible “majors”: Arts and Crafts, Literature and Dramatics, Health and Safety, Homemaking, Music and Dancing, International Friendship, Nature, Out-of-Doors, and Sports and Games.

With new badges introduced in 1953, the awards were regrouped into four majors: Arts, Citizenship, Homemaking, and Out-of-Doors. Girls still had to earn four badges in a specific category.

This was a very active troop, especially during cookie season.

Members of the troop sold cookies door-to-door at the posh Kennedy-Warren Apartments, on Connecticut Avenue near the National Zoo, and girls also set up booths in downtown office buildings.

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Kennedy Warren Apartments–with 425 possible customers!

The troop used their accumulated cookie profits for a memorable trip to New York City in 1956.

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Troop 357 in New York City

The troop lasted for about five years. After their New York adventure, the girls scattered across the globe to their parents’ next posting. This meant the Philippines for Peggy and Japan for Judy.

Despite the distance, the girls of Troop 357 never forgot their Girl Scout sisters. Thirty years after their New York trip, Peggy tracked down 11 troop members and organized a reunion at their leader’s house in McLean, Virginia.

After another 30 years, the “girls” were still in touch, although a few had passed on. Peggy and Judy shared some wonderful tales about other troop members, and each uniform or artifact seemed to bring out another story about their troop.

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Girl Scout friendships really do last a lifetime.

© 2023 Ann Robertson, writer, editor, Girl Scout historian

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