Next year is the official centennial celebration of Girl Scouting in the United States. Some of you might be asking, “What’s that to you?” until they recall that I am Brookfield’s Greatest Historian. I have investigated many facets of Brookfield history, and have chronicled the early past of our Girl Scouts.
It all began on Jan. 17, 2002 when I opened my mailbox to find a new copy of the winter Girl Scout Leader magazine among my traditional bills and ads.
At first I was perplexed, wondering why this had come to me, but then I realized it was not really so unusual. I was getting a lot of mail from organizations since I began writing for the Landmark. So I read the Leader through, making careful note that March, 2002 was the 90th anniversary of Girl Scouting in the United States.
It had always been one of my “someday” projects, to do a proper history of Brookfield’s Girl Scouts. Now here was the perfect time. I had less than two months to write up a history for the Landmark. And so I did it. But it wasn’t easy.
Looking at the cover of the Leader, I noticed something that I hadn’t before. The magazine was addressed to someone else in my apartment building. It had been misdelivered to me. So I redelivered it, and got to work on the history.
The Brookfield Public Library had very little on the scouts, and even the local council, Whispering Oaks, had one page full of information that turned out to be riddled with errors, as I discovered when I began scanning the old newspapers on microfilm at the library.
To make a long story short (too late for that, many of you are saying!), I attended my first Girl Scout meeting on Feb. 28, 2002, and my historical article, “Scouring for Scouts,” appeared on March 20 of that year.
It was kind of a sudden surprise to me, afterwards, when someone called me “Brookfield’s Girl Scout Historian.” I had to admit that it was true. It had just worked out that way.
I began writing about Girl Scout Days at the Brookfield Zoo, council name changes and cookie sales. It also occurred to me that the scouts’ centennial was coming up, in 2012, so I continued my research, intending to publish another historical article, with my new additions, in that year.
Last year I began in earnest to acquire various Girl Scout memorabilia for photographing and display. But what I really needed were memories. Memories from past and present scouts and photos and such. Maybe I could even put it all into some kind of Brookfield Girl Scout Centennial Celebration book. Which I still hope to do.
Girl Scouts of Brookfield, past and present, rally ’round, and fill my ears and eyes with scout history. I cannot promise everything will be used, but I will listen, and credit my sources. And that which you do not want revealed, will not be revealed. On My Honor.
So, please tell me what you are doing now. What you have done. What you will do for the centennial next year.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll see what goes on from there. Help me to celebrate your proud Girl Scout heritage.