Sharing Girl Scout Ways

GSWay_AmbThe Nations Capital Archives & History Program Center has been open for six months now. We offer workshops to help girls earn their Girl Scout Way badges on the third Saturday and Sunday of each month. Registration is through the Council event calendar.

Girls watch “The Golden Eaglet,” learn the history of our council, and examine vintage uniforms and badges. They also do a scavenger hunt through the 1963 handbooks and try some activities from older badges.

One troop just sent me a delightful thank you note, and their leader included a few photos. Enjoy!

Watching_Eaglet

Watching “The Golden Eaglet” in October 2015 (photo by Sarah Barz).

 

Ann_Jenn

Ambassador Jenn, an archives aide, watches as I model my own vest (photo by Sarah Barz).

IMG_2730

Sandy Alexander teaches Council history.

IMG_2745

Don’t forget classic songs and games! Susan Ducey teaches Strut Miss Lizzie (above).

Ann_GS_Ways

Trying out an old badge requirement (photo by Sarah Barz).

IMG_2781

Group shot! Each workshop ends with a group photo. We immediately print it out, paste it into our guest book, and each girl signs before she leaves.

IMG_2414 2

See Our New History Program Center (Video)

See Our New History Program Center (Video)

Warning: Major cuteness alert.

Following the grand opening of the Nation’s Capital Archives and Program Center, the PR department made a video tour of the center.

(Yes, that’s the Center patch she’s holding, not a Girl Scout Way badge, but you get the idea.)

Our first workshops begin this Saturday, October 19.

Not registered for a workshop? Drop by Sunday, October 20, between 2 and 4 pm for a tour.

Archives and History Program Center Opens

IMG_2414 2

Every visitor receives a Center patch.

We did it!

On Saturday, September 19, 2015, the Nation’s Capital Archives & History Program Center in Honor of Diane Tipton opened in Frederick, Maryland.

We had guests from the Heart of Pennsylvania and Central Maryland Archives Committees, county and state political leaders, and over 100 members of Nation’s Capital.

For those of you who couldn’t make it, here is a virtual tour of the facility.

Entrance area.

Entrance area.

Main exhibit area includes a council map.

Main exhibit area includes a council map.

Main exhibit area from rear of Center.

Main exhibit area from rear of Center.

Old badges are displayed atop old shop posters.

Old badges are displayed atop old shop posters.

Publication storage and workroom. The Center previously was a field office.

Publication storage and workroom. The Center previously was a field office.

More publications and storage.

More publications and storage.

Cookie display in the old kitchen.

Cookie display in the old kitchen.

There's even a display in the restroom.

There’s even a display in the restroom.

The uniform room is compact, but includes storage, a desk, and an iron and ironing board behind the door.

The uniform room is compact, but includes storage, a desk, and an iron and ironing board behind the door.

A wall-track hanging system allows us to rotate pictures and displays.

A wall-track hanging system allows us to rotate pictures and displays.

The purse display is extremely popular.

The purse display is extremely popular.

Diane Tipton was president of the council from 2008 to 2014 and is a devoted friend of the archives. We thank her for making this Center a reality!

Former council president Diane Tipton with some of the day's uniform models.

Former council president Diane Tipton with some of the day’s uniform models.

Nation's Capital CEO Lidia Soto-Harmon and I after the dedication.

Nation’s Capital CEO Lidia Soto-Harmon and I after the dedication.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Girl Scouts to open archive and history center in Frederick County – The Frederick News-Post : Real Life

When Fran Randall joined the Girl Scouts in 1938, she wore a long green dress with long sleeves, a belt and an ace scarf.

Source: Girl Scouts to open archive and history center in Frederick County – The Frederick News-Post : Real Life

A Warehouse? On Winter Break?

I have the greatest troop of Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts.

They are unfailingly kind, generous, smart, funny, and always willing to be guinea pigs in whatever crazy scheme I come up with.

Over the years we’ve rung in the New Year with movie marathons at our local camp, gone to DC Roller Girls matches, walked the length of the National Mall on the hottest day of the year, debated proper attire for vampires, and collected nearly 200 bras for victims of domestic violence.  They have gamely tried out possible activities for my patch programs about princesses, Barbies, and the Hunger Games.

Since I became chair of the Nation’s Capital Archives and History Committee in 2012, they have become Girl Scout historians, too. They have visited local sites with Girl Scout history ties, such as Peirce Mill and Rockwood Manor. They spent one meeting arranging a suitcase full of old teen uniforms in chronological order and critiquing the style and fabric. Last year, over winter break, a group dismantled, relocated, and reassembled the Committee’s storage area when the council headquarters received new carpet.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Yesterday, I took a carload of girls to the warehouse in Northeast Washington, DC, where the majority of our collection is housed. Our two storage units are packed to the brim, so I limited the trip to four girls. Would you believe I had a waiting list? Let’s review: I had teenage girls on winter break clamoring to go to a warehouse. A warehouse!

I didn't know we had old GS bathing suits!

I didn’t know we had old GS bathing suits!

We spent about two hours at the warehouse, carrying out several missions. I had old Leader magazines to return and needed to borrow some Rockwood materials for research. We also had a request requiring some old camp uniforms and a roundup hat, so we located those and talked about what roundups were.

Everyone loves old hats!

Everyone loves old hats!

 

Our main goal was to locate items for an upcoming display about cookie patches and prizes over the years. The girls are working on the old Museum Discovery Interest Project, and the display will satisfy some of those requirements. But there’s more to the cookie display project than just earning a badge.

 

The Museum Discovery Interest Project

The Museum Discovery Interest Project

Next year Nation’s Capital will open a dedicated history program center at a former field office in Frederick, Maryland. I am beyond excited by the prospect of permanent displays and being able to better share our collection with our members and the community.

We’re still working out what types of programs will be offered in Frederick, but I hope there will be a mix of “for girls” and “by girls” on the menu.  I visited the First Headquarters in Savannah last summer and was so impressed that teens from the Historic Georgia Council work at the museum and lead most of the programs.  pa_pinI would love to implement a similar model for Nation’s Capital, perhaps even creating a History Program Aide specialty.

Working with my own troop has confirmed that, with proper instruction, girls can handle artifacts appropriately and responsibly. I try to reinforce with my girls that there is a huge, wonderful world of Girl Scouting out there beyond our troop. They enjoy seeing how they fit into our timeline, discovering what has changed and what has stayed the same.

Above all, they prove that Girl Scouts want to learn more about Girl Scout history.  I can’t wait to give them and other troops that opportunity.

An Afternoon with Fran Randall

This week I had the pleasure of meeting Frances A. Randall, a true pioneer of Girl Scouting in Frederick County, Maryland.

Fran (r) tells Betsy Thurston (c) and I how to kill a snake on a hiking trail.

Fran (r) tells Betsy Thurston (c) and I how to kill a snake on a hiking trail (GSCNC photo).

Frannie, who just turned 90 years young, joined Frederick’s Troop 5 in 1938 and has been involved non-stop since then.

The future Mrs. Randall worked at Braddock Heights day camp in 1944.

The future Mrs. Randall worked at Braddock Heights day camp in 1944 (GSCNC archives).

I enjoyed telling her about Nation’s Capital’s plans for a Girl Scout history program center in Frederick and brought several old scrapbooks for her to look through.

In one of the scrapbooks, Fran found a newspaper she and her brother had published in 1942. Today, the Randall family publishes the Frederick News-Post.

In one of the scrapbooks, Fran found a newspaper she and her brother had published in 1942. Today, the Randall family publishes the Frederick News-Post (GSCNC archives).

We spent the afternoon swapping stories about troops, camping, council mergers,  National Center West, writing books about local history, and trips to Russia. We also compared notes about attending Girl Scout National Conventions in Houston, TX, in 1981 (Frannie) and 2011 (me).

We agreed to get together again in a few weeks with the right equipment to capture her wonderful memories and stories about Girl Scouting in Frederick County.

©2014 Ann Robertson