Preserving Our Past For Our Future to Remember

By: Carleen Lattin, Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways Volunteer

EdithI have the wonderful opportunity of going to the Girl Scout History Conference at the Edith Macy Conference Center, about 45 minutes outside of New York City. As you enter, smiling faces and wonderful hospitality await you. The center is surrounded by natural beauty, it is so breathtaking. Fellow Girl Scouts greet you with smiles, enthusiasm and if you don’t know the other person, you chat with them for a few minutes. It is the warmest feeling you will ever feel.

Many people aren’t interested in historical information or understand the point of having these items. For example, a picture to someone is just another picture. However, that picture may have someone that another person knows in it, or a familiar location.

Saturday’s camp closing of Camp Yaiewano ties directly into what we, as historians, must decide what to keep and what not to keep. Things that would want to be kept from the camp are things unique to the camp, such as the signs for the village units. Other things that aren’t tangible, we would want to document such as words to the camp song or memories from former campers or staff.

People may thing that it is actually a lengthy process that I learned about today. Often, people will have categories such as “keep” “throw away” and “??” for their home belongings. At a Girl Scout council level, we have to look at every possibility and reasoning for why we keep or throw away. Is there multiple copies of something? Then we figure out how many you want to keep and the ones in the best condition.

In addition to learning about our collections and how to manage them and put them to use, we have had some great sing-a-longs at the end of the session. Even though we may grow tired throughout the day, we still stay around a bit longer for some singing. We have also had the discussion of “fun songs” around the campfire such as “The Penguin Song” or the familiar “repeat after me” songs. We, as historians, are also trying to capture familiar songs which are considered still traditional, but have importance and still need to be preserved and carried from generation to generation.

I have another 1 1/2 days to learn even more about Girl Scout history and archives and participate in a pinning ceremony. Stay tuned for more from Macy.

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