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Girl Scouts mark 100 years   with a night at the museum Cecelia Spitler, left, Jasmine Stringham, and Emma Hansen of Curtice, Ohio, examine a quilt made of Daisy, Brownie, and Girl Scout uniforms during a celebration at the Toledo Museum of Art.
Cecelia Spitler, left, Jasmine Stringham, and Emma Hansen of Curtice, Ohio, examine a quilt made of Daisy, Brownie, and Girl Scout uniforms during a celebration at the Toledo Museum of Art.
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Published: 5/6/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Girl Scouts mark 100 years with a night at the museum

BY JIM SIELICKI
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The prospect of sleeping on a marble floor in the Toledo Museum of Art's Peristyle lobby didn't seem to bother Paige Freeworth, 9, of Bowling Green.

Like most good scouts, she came prepared for the Saturday night pajama party spread out through much of the museum.

PHOTOS: 100 years of girl scouting

"I brought a squishy sleeping bag," said Paige, who was joined by nine fellow scouts from Bowling Green Troop 10067.

The Bowling Green scouts were part of a sleepover of 1,600 girls and their chaperones organized by the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio.

The event celebrated the centenary of the Girl Scouts of America and the museum's move to its home at 2445 Monroe St. 100 years ago.

lly King, left, Shaelyn Kiser, and Sophie King from the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio Troop 10036 play on the metro sculpture in front of the museum during the 100th birthday celebration.  Some 1,600 girls planned to sleep in the museum Saturday night. lly King, left, Shaelyn Kiser, and Sophie King from the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio Troop 10036 play on the metro sculpture in front of the museum during the 100th birthday celebration. Some 1,600 girls planned to sleep in the museum Saturday night.
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The nation's first Girl Scout council was chartered in Toledo; the document testifying to that honor was signed on the steps of the museum in 1917.

That mattered little to Paige and Kaitlyn Reedy, 9, also of Troop 10067 in Bowling Green, who were slightly disappointed that their sleeping assignment was not in the Classic Court with its mummies and ancient statues.

Both said they were looking forward to the activities that included an outdoor pizza party, storytelling, hands-on projects, flashlight tours, and a disco tent with a DJ.

"We'll all be dancing," Kaitlyn said while waiting for organizers to take a group photo on the museum steps.

The photo was staged on the same steps where a Girl Scout rally was held May 6 1917, in recognition of the Toledo charter signing.

After the photo, the girls rushed to a tent set up on the plaza in front of the museum where 400 pizzas were set out for dinner. Monroe Street was closed to traffic for the day.

Sleeping arrangements for the girls and their chaperones were primarily in the museum's lower level, with a few upstairs in the Great Gallery, the Peristyle concert hall, and on its stage. The event was to conclude at 10 a.m. today after breakfast.

Museum Director Brian Kennedy, who opened the event on the museum steps facing Monroe Street, said the museum had pretty much forgotten its role with the Toledo council charter until approached by the local Girl Scouts about a year ago.

"This was a surprise to us," he said, adding that museum officials quickly realized that the centennial was important to both organizations.

Mr. Kennedy later elaborated that after museum officials saw the 100-year-old photograph of the scouts on the steps, plans began developing to create a "night at the museum" that members of the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio would long remember.

He acknowledged that the museum's "high security" situation posed some unique challenges, which precluded using most of the gallery spaces.

Jennell Polcwiartek, left, and Beverly Miner, in vintage uniforms, pause at the historical marker after its unveiling Saturday on the steps of the museum. Jennell Polcwiartek, left, and Beverly Miner, in vintage uniforms, pause at the historical marker after its unveiling Saturday on the steps of the museum.
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Carol Bintz, the museum's chief operating officer, told the girls that Nina Stevens, wife of the museum's first director, George Stevens, was instrumental in opening Camp Libbey near Defiance. Mrs. Stevens, who was an assistant museum director, was the Toledo chapter's first president, Ms. Bintz said.

"Girls, we're not in the rearview mirror any more, are we," she said to cheers.

The Toledo Museum of Art was founded in 1901, largely on funds provided by glassmaker Edward Drummond Libbey, in two sky-lit rented rooms in a downtown commercial building. The Girl Scouts of America was founded by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Ga., in 1912.

An Ohio Historical Society marker commemorating Toledo as the first chartered Girl Scout council was dedicated and placed next to a similar marker commemorating the founding of the Toledo Museum of Art on the west side of the campus, facing Monroe Street across from The Plaza apartments.

Contact Jim Sielicki at: jsielicki@theblade.com or 419-724-6050.



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