Items bring back memories for former troop leader
BEDFORD, NH – The year was 1995. Big at the time were Pogs, cassette tapes, printed photos, Babysitter Club books, American Girl dolls, and timeless Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies. All were memorialized in a time capsule prepared by Goffstown Girl Scouts on May 22, 1995, and found only recently by the Goffstown Historical Society as they cleaned out a room.
Heather Hunter, current leader of Girl Scout Troop 20354 and a board member for the Goffstown Historical Society contacted Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, the council serving girls across New Hampshire and Vermont. She sent a photo of a blue plastic bin with a note on top that indicated Brownie Troop 267 and Junior Troop 2018 sealed the time capsule in 1995, and listed three troop leaders’ names and phone numbers. There were no email addresses – email was not much of a thing at the time. Of the three, only Jo Ann Duffy could be reached, then the excitement of opening the tote grew.
The girls who packed the time capsule are now in their mid-30s. Of those who could be found, most no longer live nearby, but were glad to see the opening through a Facebook Live video when Duffy and some current Girl Scouts opened the tote on Wednesday, May 12, at the council’s Bedford office.
“I think it was the Junior troop who put this together,” said Duffy as she opened the time capsule, recalling the original plan. “In ten years we’ll get together and open it up – that would have been 2005 - and here we are, 26 years later!”
Duffy said that over the years she would occasionally remember the project, but assumed it had been lost. “I was shocked when you contacted me!”
She pulled items from the plastic bin as the Girl Scouts and their leaders watched. The confusion over the need for a printed TV guide was clear for one Girl Scout Junior, while their leaders exclaimed over their memories of Pogs – collectible cardboard discs based on milk bottle caps that kids used for a game.
“The times have changed so much!” said one of the Girl Scouts.
Commenting during the Facebook Live opening was Kat Miller, one of the girls involved in making the time capsule. “This is amazing!” she wrote. “We put in a Babysitter's Club book, and I'm a book editor now and my BOSS created that book series!"
Among the treasures were a cloth “quilt” top the Girl Scouts made, a vintage and well used Brownie handbook, a Girl Scout catalog, the 1994 Goffstown town report, badges and patches, typed letters and notes, an American Girl doll catalog, a 1994 map of the town of Goffstown, photos of the Girl Scouts, and more. Each Girl Scout created a small biography with photos, drawings, and messages to future, which they expected to see in 10 years. Jessica D’Avanza, 10 years old at the time, wrote “Today I started my braces. I will get my braces (off) in a year. But when we open this time capsule, it will be all over.” She noted that she loves to read The Babysitter’s Club books, and expressed her thoughts for the future. “I wonder what I will look like when we open the time capsule? Where is my American Girl doll now? She is my favorite doll.”
Still, some thing never change. Thin Mints are still the classic Girl Scout cookie, and the packaging wasn’t drastically different from today’s. At least they took the cookies out before packing it away for a 26-year rest.
About Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains: Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is recognized throughout New Hampshire and Vermont as a leading expert on girls. Our Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results. It is based on time-tested methods and research-backed programming that helps girls take the lead—in their own lives and in the world. Through our exciting and challenging programs, Girl Scouts not only participate but also take the lead in a range of activities—from kayaking, archery, and camping, to coding, robotics, financial literacy training, and beyond! Serving girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Visit www.girlscoutsgwm.org.