LARSON: Girl Scouts get community together for centennial celebration

Susan Larson

Susan Larson


• What: Girl Scout Centennial Open House

• Where: Duluth Historical Society Museum, 2956 Buford Highway

• When: 3 to 5 p.m. Feb. 12

• Cost: Free

• Information: 770-232-7584 or www.duluthhistori...

It's a great year to be a Girl Scout. Actually, any year since 1912 would have been a great year, as would any year in the future. But this is the year of the Girl Scouts of America's Centennial Celebration and all over the world troops are working to make this milestone really special. Girl Scout Troop 1941 in Duluth, led by Pamela Nye, is among them.

Now this is not to imply that these young ladies haven't done anything special in the past. Troop No. 1941 meets in the Duluth Historical Society Museum, which was the home of Alice Strickland, former mayor of Duluth and the first woman mayor in the state of Georgia. What an inspiring setting for the girls and what a wonderful tribute to Alice Strickland.

"Her relatives say she would have loved it," Nye said.

Last year, they created a Certified Wildlife Habitat at the Strickland House through the National Wildlife Federation as their major project to earn their Bronze Award, the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can earn.

This year, to earn their Silver Award, the girls are constructing an exhibit called "Celebrating 100 Years of Girl Scouting in Georgia."

"I'm so excited about this," Melissa Coleman said. "I've never had my heart set on something so awesome."

Melissa, along with her troop, attended a program at the Girl Scout First Headquarters in Savannah, Georgia, where they learned about Girl Scouting in the early years.

"Back then, they made their own Girl Scout cookies at home and wrapped them in wax paper," Shannon Middleton said.

That was obviously before the government started requiring you to have a Viking oven, three sinks and a grease trap. But then, with other activities, the rules have loosened up a bit.

"They used to learn how to tie up a burglar with eight inches of rope," Allison Shoupe said. "And when they played dodgeball, they had to wear regular clothes over their shorts and they had to swim in their clothes because they couldn't show that much skin back then."

Their collection of artifacts includes Girl Scout uniforms from as far back as 1914 donated by Gwinnett families, a 56-year-old photograph of a Gwinnett Post columnist in her Brownie uniform and totems made of coffee cans depicting Girl Scouts' contributions to the community. Isabelle Ponder of Junior Troop 1214 donated items on behalf of three generations in her family. These include a key fob she made with her dad, Rob Ponder, and collectable tins with Girl Scout motifs from her paternal grandmother, who was a Girl Scout leader.

The exhibit runs today through April 28. Next Sunday, the Scouts will host an Open House and they will serve homemade Girl Scout cookies. Fresh-baked from the original recipe.

Susan Larson is a writer who lives in Lilburn. Email her at susanlarson4@yahoo.com.


sarahldavis 3 years, 8 months ago

Excellent column! You've made me sorry that my daughter and I missed out on Girl Scouting.


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