Girls Scouts Find Common Ground at JMM

Posted on January 19th, 2015 by

On Sunday, January 18, the JMM was privileged to host a very special group. Girls Scout Junior Troop #10038 attended an afternoon program dedicated to their pursuit of two badges: Public Speaking and Finding Common Ground.

Finding Common Ground Badge

Finding Common Ground Badge

The afternoon started with a tour of our exhibits for the girls and their families. The girls easily made connections between the day’s theme and the life and time of Mendes Cohen as they explored The A-mazing Mendes Cohen. They especially enjoyed the Make Your Voice Heard station where they recorded themselves speaking on behalf of important personal issues.

Making their voices heard!

Making their voices heard!

Enjoying the A-mazing Mendes Cohen.

Enjoying the A-mazing Mendes Cohen.

After the tour, we made our way to the library where the girls had the chance to explore a variety of books from the JMM library assembled for their enjoyment by JMM collections manager, Joanna Church. They donned white gloves and carefully turned the pages as they examined the books’ bindings and pages, an extension activity of a previous badge they had worked on, Booking Making.

Looking at books selected by Joanna.

Looking at books selected by Joanna.

Group assembled in orientation space awaiting the start of the program.

They then assembled in our orientation space to begin work on the two badges.

They were delighted to meet three special guests who joined them for the program: Girls Scouts of Central Maryland, CEO, Violet Apple, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (whose daughter is a troop member) and Senator Ben Cardin (whose granddaughter is also in the troop, who coincidentally happens to be my daughter as well!) Who better to provide counsel on the topics of public speaking and finding common ground then these two distinguished public servants who have spent their entire careers in the public arena. They also raised the example of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as someone who was able to affect change through the power of his voice and who was able to skillfully know how to find common ground while not compromising his goals for the Civil Rights Movement.

Senator Cardin sharing tips for public speaking as well as strategies for building consensus which he acknowledged is not always in easy in the US Senate!

Senator Cardin sharing tips for public speaking as well as strategies for building consensus which he acknowledged is not always in easy in the US Senate!

Mayor Rawlings-Blake talks about the importance of making connection to your audience and not being afraid to stand up and speak out for what you believe.

Mayor Rawlings-Blake talks about the importance of making connection to your audience and not being afraid to stand up and speak out for what you believe.

Each troop member had the opportunity to practice delivering excerpts from a famous speech using the tips and pointers provided by Mayor Rawlings-Blake and Senator Cardin.

A troop member delivering an excerpt from a famous speech by Susan B. Anthony.

A troop member delivering an excerpt from a famous speech by Susan B. Anthony.

At the end of their practice, they received feedback and praise from the two guests who were impressed by the poise and eloquence of the scouts and their ability to find speeches that meant something to them personally.

At the end of their practice, they received feedback and praise from the two guests who were impressed by the poise and eloquence of the scouts and their ability to find speeches that meant something to them personally.

The troop celebrated their success with a reception in the Rosen-Salganik Board Room complete with cake and beverages.

The troop celebrated their success with a reception in the Rosen-Salganik Board Room complete with cake and beverages.

Visit http://gscm.org/about/ to learn more about Girls Scouts of Central Maryland.

deborahA blog post by Assistant Director Deborah Cardin. To read more posts from Deborah click HERE.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Girl Scout cookies!

Posted on October 28th, 2011 by

A blog post by Assistant Director Deborah Cardin.

With the recent opening of Chosen Food: Cuisine, Culture, and American Jewish Identity, everyone here at the JMM has food on the brain. (Admittedly, it does not take much for our conversations to turn to food, but at least now we have an excuse!) The exhibition opening coincided with a major food-related event in my household, the arrival of Girl Scout cookies! This inspired me to think about whether or not there was a connection between the two events.

When my daughter decided to join a Brownie troop this year, we quickly learned about the importance of the cookie sales as an invaluable source of support for the organization. Already at our first troop meeting, the girls had opportunity to sample cookies and to discuss strategies for selling. And then the order forms arrived, and the selling began in earnest. Finally, we got the email that the cookies had arrived and were housed in a church nearby. A friend of mine had graciously volunteered to help pick up the cookies so my kids and I rushed to help her not realizing exactly how challenging it would be to fit 108 cases of cookies in our van, not to mention out of the van and up a flight of stairs into her living room.

How many boxes of Girl Scout cookies does it take to fill a mini-van?

Thanks to our intrepid helpers, the boxes were all loaded and unloaded, and organized into neat piles and ready for pick up!

Madeline, Maura, and Julia help load cookies

The history of Girl Scout sales goes back to 1917 when a troop in Muskogee, Oklahomaundertook a cookie sale to raise funds to support their activities. In 1933, a troop in Philadelphia organized the first official cookie drive, and by 1936, Girl Scouts of America began contracting with commercial cookie companies to bake the cookies that we have all come to know and love (the first recipe was for a sugar cookie!) The kinds of cookies currently available for sale vary regionally and are sold under different names in different places. From year to year, certain types of cookies are dropped due to lack of popularity while new flavors are launched.

A few of the mainstays include perennial favorites Thin Mints, Do-si-dos (peanut butter filling), and Samoas(vanilla cookies covered in caramel, coconut, and chocolate). (For more details about specific cookie varieties, check out http:///littlebrowniebakers.com/) As of 2007, sales were estimated at about 200 million boxes per year! (For more information about the history of Girl Scout cookies, check out http:///en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girl_Scout_cookie.)

What exactly is the connection between an exhibition about Jewish food traditions and Girl Scout cookies? Imagine my surprise and delight when I looked over the order form and saw a hechsher (special certification marking found on packages of food that are certified kosher) proudly stamped on the order form next to the description of each cookie.

OU hechscher is found on Girl Scout cookie boxes

Like many other food companies with national distribution, the Girl Scouts have caught onto the benefit of offering a product that is certified as kosher as a way of making the cookies accessible to all (and believe me, many of my colleagues are doing their part to ensure that they meet their sale goals of 200 million boxes of cookies this year!) A section of the Chosen Food exhibit is dedicated to explaining and exploring the mysteries of kashrut (Jewish dietary laws derived from the Bible and rabbinic extensions)

Now that your appetite for Girl Scout cookies has surely been whetted and you’re probably feeling sad that no adorable children in green or brown vests came knocking on your door with a sales pitch, don’t fret. You can still order cookies directly from their website: http:///www.gscm.org/programs/productsales/cookies.html. Please order me another box of Thin Mints!

Posted in jewish museum of maryland