As you probably know, this past Monday (March 12, 2012) marked the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts of America.  In modest commemoration of the date, here are a few things from our collections related to local troops.

This handkerchief belonged to Kathleen Sisk of Takoma Park, Md., who was a member of a D.C. troop in the late 1940s.  The colorfully printed fabric measures 11.5″ square.  The symbols around the edges correspond to badges, and appear to include everything from art to boatcraft to skiing.  (Unfortunately, we don’t have any GSA handbooks earlier than the 1970s in our collections; anyone have insight into the official badge names?)  We also have Kathleen’s green beret, which was later handed down to her younger sister Ann (who was not a Girl Scout) and the insignia was removed.  Both items were donated by Kathleen’s daughter, along with a few artifacts from the daughter’s own 1970s troop in Silver Spring.  (I love continuity!)

This snapshot, donated by Jean Case, shows members of Girl Scout Troop 59 (Rockville) participating in the 1953 Rockville Memorial Day Parade (and looking very pleased to do so).

And finally, here’s a Girl Scout pocketknife, donated by an MCHS member who led Troop 47 (Flower Valley) in the 1970s.  The knife was used by both of her daughters on camping trips.  I particularly like the fact that the can opener blade is marked “CAN OPENER” – apparently the uses of the other blades were self-evident. 

Looking for more on the history of the Girl Scouts?  Here’s the official GSA overview.  Want to get involved in local scouting?  Here’s the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital.  Want to really get involved in hyper-local scouting?  Volunteer at the Historical Society!  We have history programs for Brownies and Girl Scouts, and as much fun as it is for us to lead those tours, we can always use volunteers.