Sunday, December 23, 2012

Juliette Gordon Low and the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts

Where: National Portrait Gallery

When: through January 6, 2013

This is an exhibit that didn't appear in the Smithsonian website list until just this week, so I had yet another reminder that it pays to check the list of closing exhibits frequently.  Happily, I was able to see this and spend the rest of my lunch hour walking through the Downtown Holiday Market, which had set up outside the Portrait Gallery/Museum of American Art building.

Yet another 100th anniversary - what a busy year was 1912!

The exhibit is small, only a few pieces in the south rotunda, but interesting nonetheless, especially if you, like me, were at one time a Girl Scout.  The Girl Scouts have 3.2 million U.S. members, making it the largest educational organization for girls in the world.  In addition to this lovely portrait of Low, there is also on display the patent for the original Girl Scout badge, appropriate, since the museum is in the Old Patent Office.

Something that struck me was a quote from the 1920 official handbook, Scouting for Girls.  The purpose of the handbook was "how to get the most out of this wild, free life and how to enjoy it with the least trouble and the most fun."  Now there's a motto to live by.

Verdict: Unless you're a Girl Scout, this probably wouldn't merit a special trip, but if you're in the museum to see something else, it's an interesting way to spend five minutes.

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