A Girl Scout cookies box, Circa 1944 (Photo by Dave Kenyon, Michigan Department of Natural Resources).
I’m in the middle of installing the museum’s newest exhibit, “Follow the Girls: 100 Years of Girl Scouting.” The museum has partnered with Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan (GSHOM) on this project; it’s been great fun working with them.
What have I learned? Well, the first thing I learned was that if you were a Brownie, you WERE a Girl Scout. I was a Brownie drop-out in 1960 and mistakenly thought that that meant that I wasn’t a Girl Scout. My new friends at GSHOM promptly set me straight on that one! The biggest thing I’ve learned is that Girl Scouts are tremendous volunteers, and it really is all about “the girls.”
This past summer (2011), we held a workshop at the museum, and seven girls learned all the intricacies of exhibit research, design and installation. They were back at the museum on February 25, helping to reinstall the promotional cases they made in the summer and setting up a really cool camping scene (complete with a canoe, archery target, camping gear and saddle from the many Girl Scout camps across the state.). In the afternoon, they learned their specific roles as docents, wearing period Girl Scout costumes provided by the GSHOM history team.
Girl Scouts Cija Noakes (left) and Bailey McIntyre (right) help with the exhibit, Feb. 25, 2012.
What other neat things will you get to see?
The exhibit will display uniforms, dating from as early as 1918 to as recent as 1984. The uniforms range from a very early Brownie uniform (complete with peaked cap) to a blue Mariner’s uniform (These girls are interested in boating.) to a Wings cap, to international uniforms worn at the various international World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts locations.
Of course, there is a cookie display, but did you know the earliest cookies were homemade? We arranged a small cooking scene with a 1930s era stove, table, mixer and an enlargement of the original cookie recipe found in the July 1922 issue of the Girl Scout magazine, The Rally.