Becoming Part of Girl Scout History

This past weekend, I made a pilgrimage to Manhattan on a Peter Pan Bus. Although the roads were icy and the bus ride took nearly seven hours, it was time well spent. While going to New York during the holidays is nothing new for me, this year was truly special. That’s because during this visit I had the honor of donating a copy of Thin Mint Memories: Scouting for Empowerment through the Girl Scout Cookie Program to the Girl Scout Archives, located in the group’s national headquarters offices on 37th Street and Fifth Avenue.

Girl Scout historyIn December, New York City always sparkles with holiday spirit, and this year was no exception. The stunning light displays that graced nearly every business front, especially hotels and department stores in midtown, brought a shimmering beauty to a frigid gray day.  As I rushed to my ten o’clock appointment at the Girl Scout office, accompanied by my niece, Monica, we had to slow down for a moment to appreciate the nebula of lights below the awnings in front of Lord and Taylor and then hurry on our way.

Once at 420 Fifth Avenue, we were sent to the 11th floor reception area where we were soon joined by a small group of Girl Scouts from Oregon who were there to tour the Girl Scout’s National Historic Preservation Center, which is adjacent to the archives. Senior Archivist Yevgeniya Gribov met us on the 17th floor and led us on an enlightening tour of the museum. Several years ago when I was researching the book, I spent many days at the archives where I researched cookie history by pouring over carefully preserved publications, magazines, and rare papers. At that time the Girl Scout museum was a dark labyrinth of exhibits. The 2016 museum still features numerous uniforms and artifacts from the past 100 years of Girl Scouting, but it is now housed in a bright room that overlooks the city. The museum, which is open to the public (but by appointment only), juxtaposes the old with the new in one welcoming space.

Once our tour was completed, Yevgeniya prompted me to begin what turned into a mini-ceremony as I gave her a shiny new copy of Thin Mint Memories. I also thanked her for her invaluable assistance in my research, both while I was writing my thesis and in more recent times, right before publication. As I signed the book, she warmly assured me that the book would be of great assistance to future researchers. What more could I ask for than to have my book as a part of Girl Scout history?  It’s so fulfilling to know that my words will live on in that collection long after I’m gone. I couldn’t ask for a greater holiday blessing!

For anyone who would like to learn a bit more about the history of the Girl Scout cookie, join us at our Thin Mint Memories book launch event on January 8. Click here for details and free tickets. Hope to see  you there!

Shelley Carey

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