By: Carleen Lattin, Troop Leader and National Council Delegate in Elmira
For the last two days, I have been attending a history conference in Salt Lake City, Utah that was sponsored by the Girl Scouts of the USA National Historic Preservation Center. It’s more than just “collecting stuff.” Over 100 participants convened to discuss what to do with our collections, how to categorize it, even to find out what we all had. Most Girl Scout councils, including our own, went through major realignments and merger a few years ago leaving volunteers and staff to figure out what legacy councils had and where it was.
The question is often asked, “What do you do with the items and information you have?” Great question! Some councils are fortunate to have museums, but often most have small display areas in council offices or partnerships with area museums for displays. For Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways, we do have a small display room in the Cicero office. We also have the History Trunk and Fashion Show trunk for loan as well.
As a historian and Girl Scout, we are making it clear that we need to share our collections with not only girls, adults, volunteers, staff, fund development, etc. but for the general public and for researchers. Let’s share this wealth of information with everyone, in the correct way of course.
The main part with sharing it with others is that things in our collections are taken care of properly. As an archival advocate, it is wonderful to share what we have but also make sure that it is taken care of properly, respected. If anything such as trademarks or copyrights come into play, that they are followed as well.
Did you also know that many K-12 schools use our archive information for the history portion of their curriculum? With the Common Core standards in 43 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the schools are looking for additional sources to teach their classes. With World War I coming upon an anniversary, Girl Scouts can make awareness of what troops in the past did to support war efforts, such as sell war bonds. Also council archive committees are looking to connect with other archives groups, universities, historical societies, etc. and eventually digitize their collection so that others can utilize our resources.
Stay tuned for more blogs about my role as your National Council Delegate!