Historic Deerfield’s Calendar arrived in my mailbox and I eagerly began to look at the course offerings. Of course, I wanted to participate in ‘The Lost Art of Letter Writing,” to learn how to write with a quill, but my attention was quickly drawn to two course offerings for “Girl Scout Badge Days”.
Indeed, I was both a ‘brownie’ and a ‘girl scout’ and was awarded a few badges—some of which are still pinned onto my treasured sash. Perhaps one can guess the name of each badge from the symbol – camping, arts & crafts, hospitality, letter writing, grilling. Would I have completed more badges, and in fact sewn them to my sash, if I had been at Historic Deerfield? Indeed, I would have proudly sported both the Textile Artist Badge and the Playing with Past Badge.
My curiosity got the better of me, and I searched a few of my personal favorite historic sites to see if they offered badges, and alas, scouts can receive badges at Mount Vernon, National Museum of American History (Smithsonian Institution), Orchard House (home of Louisa May Alcott), Strawberry Banke Museum, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder house.
What badges are on my list to complete this summer? Looking through the 1930 Girl Scout Handbook, I am going to work on the Wildflower Finder, to become “acquainted with a least fifty wild flowers”; the Canner, thinking ahead to apple and pickle season; the Dressmaker (‘…must have both the Needlewoman Badge and the Laundress Badge in order to complete’); and finally, the Handy-Woman Badge with the first requirement, “Know how to mend, temporarily with soap, a small leak in a water or gas pipe.” By far my favorite Badge is the Pioneer, and I nod to the women that lived in this house and others that ventured to further western frontiers and award them well earned Badges.
Girl Scout Handbook, (The Girl Scouts, 1920), pgs. 418, 425, 429, 442, 449.
I still have my girl scout sash too with many of the same badges you have pictured! I obsessively pored over my handbook to try and decide which badge I should pursue next. On Brownie and later, Girl Scout, meeting days (my Mom was a troop leader for a time), I would proudly wear my uniform and beanie to school. I’m even pictured wearing such in a school photo.