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Scouts celebrate centennial

BLOUNTS CREEK — The past met the present Saturday at Camp Hardee when area Girl Scouts and their leaders gathered to unearth a time capsule buried there in 1987.

The event was part of a celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Girl Scouts by Juliette Gordon Low. The time capsule was initially placed on the grounds of the camp during festivities marking the Girl Scouts’ 75th anniversary.

Prior to the ceremonial opening of the capsule, former Scouts and leaders gathered to reminisce about the festivities held 25 years ago. Among them were Lenora Perry, Elaine Holloman, Shannon Bowen, Jean Bowen, Lori Gardner, Shannon Blackstone and Sylvia Gilbert.

While most of them said they didn’t recall what had been placed in the time capsule, Gilbert rattled off a list of items she remembered were part of the mementos of 1987.

“There were badges, screen print bandannas, pictures and a copy of the Washington Daily News with a story about the Camp Hardee sewage system,” Gilbert said. “The sewage system they wanted to put in would have drained into the river, and we all protested.”

Gilbert was active in Girl Scouts for almost three decades, serving as a troop leader for 19 years before beginning a nearly 10-year stint as site manager/ranger at Camp Hardee.

A crowd gathered in a circle around the burial site, designated by a small granite marker engraved with the dates the capsule was buried and when it should be opened. Onlookers, sheltered by umbrellas from intermittent rain showers, appeared eager to view the unearthed treasures.

Gardner, who recalled that she was in her early teens and a Cadette Scout in 1987, pitched in to examine the items as they were lifted from the capsule. In addition to the memorabilia Gilbert mentioned, there was a copy of a Scout handbook, commemorative pins, Camp Hardee stationary, postcards, a camp shirt and a copy of the 75th celebration agenda.

Later in the day, troops from across Beaufort County gathered to bury yet another time capsule, this one to be opened in 2037 on the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Girl Scouts. Each troop was asked to contribute one item, according to Renae McRoy, one of the organizers of Saturday’s event. McRoy said those items included a centennial celebration T-shirt as well as a recent copy of the Daily News, this one announcing plans for the weekend’s festivities.

For more on the festivities at Camp Hardee, see the Pamlico Horizons feature in Sunday’s edition of the Daily News.

Girl Scout cookie trivia

  • The earliest record of a Girl Scout cookie sale was in December 1917, when the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Okla., baked cookies in a high school cafeteria and sold them as a service project.
  • In 1936, the organization began the process of licensing the first commercial baker to produce cookies. The Girl Scout cookie craze soon spread nationwide.
  • During World War II, shortages of butter, sugar and flour led Scouts to begin selling calendars to raise money for their activities.
  • By 1951, the cookies were available in three varieties: Sandwich, Shortbread and Chocolate Mints (now known as Thin Mints).
  • In the 1990s, low-fat and sugar-free varieties were added to the cookie selections.
  • Today, in addition to serving as a fundraising tool, the Girl Scout cookie sale program teaches leadership and life skills, including goal-setting, money management and teamwork. Last year, an estimated 2.9 million boxes of cookies were sold by Scouts across the United States.

Source: “At the Speed of a Girl: Celebrating 100 Years of Girl Scouting.”