The Goofiness Of Girl Scouting & Catalogue Shopping Over The Years

• Never would I have figured out that I’ve lived a lie all these years if I hadn’t stumbled upon the mother lode of Girl Scout-ness, a website filled with images of all Girl Scout catalogs ever printed.

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I’m torn about what to buy. I want the Middy and Bloomer outfit for when I jump rope, but am equally desirous of the Zip-On Suede Jacket which allows me to hold a squirrel on my arm. [Catalog 1931B]

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• Perusing these catalogs I remembered that in my jewelry box I had my official Girl Scout membership card showing me to be a member of Heritage Trails Troop 239.

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Although yellow has never been a flattering color on me, I’m taken with this apron, covered in proficiency badge designs, that would ensure I looked pretty as I worked around the house. [Catalog 1952S]

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• My pin, the official jewelry of all Girl Scouts, was stolen when thieves burglarized our house when I was in sixth grade.  However, the thieves left me my card.  Jolly good of them, wasn’t it?

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No problem deciding what I want in this catalog. I’ll take a reversible caper cap and a pair of flashes to keep my knee socks up. [Catalog 1973]

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• Looking at my Certificate of Membership Card, I see that I never signed the thing, which clearly states: “Not valid without signature.”  Obviously I’ve lived a falsehood when I say I was a Girl Scout.

~ • ~

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Well, look at that, will ‘ya? I never signed my Girl Scout Certificate of Membership Card. Such a free spirit I am, even back then.

~ • ~

• The shame of not doing my best is almost too much for me, and confirms I don’t have the right to shop for any of the above items.  Pity that.  I just know I’d look fetching in that apron, while wearing flashes on my socks and a squirrel on my arm.  

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Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

30 thoughts on “The Goofiness Of Girl Scouting & Catalogue Shopping Over The Years”

  1. LOL!! These are great ads! And look how cheap everything is! I’ll take one of each, and the squirrel, too. I can’t believe what good shape your card is in! Even without your signature. Maybe you could sign it now and say the girl scout pledge; then everything will be legit:)

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  2. My eyes were immediately drawn to the girl in the lower left corner… but thought at first she was holding a parrot on her arm. I got a big smile when I realized what it was. In fact, I’d say I was quite pretty and gay…

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  3. Oh my word, there is a squirrel. I’m feeling deceived. I don’t remember ever seeing these catalogs. We just bought the uniforms we were told to buy. Who knew there were pajamas? And ponchos. Plaid, shiny ponchos.

    I doubt any of my girl scout stuff still exists. Though considering how Mom and Dad never threw anything away, it’s possible I will find some.

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    1. Zazzy, I remember having a GS handbook with all the details about the badges, but not shopping catalogues. Like you we just bought our uniforms [at a local dept store] & that was it. Apparently our leaders were holding out on us! I found this entire website amazing. Who knew?

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  4. Those are great! When I was a child, I desperately wanted to be a Brownie. However, I lived in a extremely rural area and never had the chance. It’s extra sad knowing that I missed out on squirrel-attracting suede jackets. *sigh*

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    1. Isabella, I’m sorry that you never got to be a Brownie or Girl Scout. It was fun, in its own way. Although as an adult looking back on it there was a lot of girlie goofiness involved… as evidenced by the lovely suede jacket shown above.

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  5. Wow, stealing a Girl Scout pin is pretty low. As if they’d have any use for it.

    Good to see women’s waists are still depicted as ridiculously tiny as they were back then (referring to your second photo). Only now, they make the booty bigger. Yes, such an attainable look…

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    1. Carrie, I suppose the burglars thought it was real gold. Bet they were surprised when they found out it was gold-plated!

      You make a good point about the body shapes shown as the norm. I didn’t go through all the catalogues, but that’d be an interesting study to see how the ideals changed over the decades. Perhaps a subtext for your next book?

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            1. Carrie, can’t wait to see what it is. Perhaps one of your secondary characters could be in the process of earning a badge throughout the story, providing readers with hints about who done it.

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    1. Daisy Smiley Face, that is brilliant thinking. Well done. I imagine that you could earn the Pre-Law Weasel Word & Loopy Logic Badge with just that thought alone. Welcome to Heritage Trails Troop 239. You’re in.

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  6. Girl Scout and Boy Scout Oath are very similar. I found myself mumbling it out even after all of these years. I was a bad Boy Scout – more proof that you and I were meant to be.

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    1. Zen-Den, I didn’t know that. About the oaths being similar. Now about you being a bad Boy Scout, well– I have trouble believing that. But it’s your story to tell, so if you say that it is so, so be it.

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  7. I love those ads–imagine using the word gay for happy now. 😉 I don’t sign my credit cards and I’m supposed to. (or am I?) I was a Campfire Girl and not a Girl Scout. We did lots of fun things, but too many crafts, which I’m TERRIBLE at.

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    1. Margaret, all the catalogues were interesting, a rare [organized] glimpse into each decade. Campfire Girls weren’t a big thing where I grew up. The GS had the after school time slot locked up with crafts, outside adventures– and working on those darned badges. It was fun, but it was goofy. In a good way, of course.

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