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Chattanooga Doll Club presents a history of Girl Scout dolls

As the Girl Scouts of the USA celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, the Chattanooga Doll Club is educating local Scouts on the organization’s history through a presentation of Girl Scout dolls.

“Because it’s the Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary, we decided it would be a great time to show off all of the Girl Scout dolls,” said Chattanooga Doll Club treasurer Linda Kurzenberger. “We are showing them how the uniforms and dolls have changed over the years and giving them an opportunity to make their own paper dolls.”

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Chattanooga Doll Club treasurer Linda Kurzenberger presents Girl Scout dolls to Girl Scout Troop 40360 at Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts. With dolls and bears from 1930-2012, Kurzenberger said the club decided to celebrate the Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary by presenting the dolls to local Scout troops.

Kurzenberger is making the presentation to local troops and kicked off the program with a presentation to Troop 40360 at Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts.

“They really seemed to like it and were thrilled to see all of the dolls,” she said of the first presentation. “I think they were most surprised by the older dolls.”

A former Girl Scout, Kurzenberger began purchasing Girl Scout dolls over the years and adding them to her collection which now boasts more than 1,000 dolls. Through the years, she said she has collected dolls from as far back as 1930.

According to Debbie Lane, a local Girl Scout Council enterprise and registration specialist, Girl Scouts began in Chattanooga in 1919 and there are currently more than 1,000 troops with more than 13,300 members in the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians that Chattanooga Scouts belong to, she said.

“We certainly have to have change for anything to grow,” she said. “But it’s also good to look back at the traditions that got it all started.”

Camping, Lane said, is one of the original Girl Scout traditions that hasn’t changed much over the years.

“When it comes down to it, one of the first things a girl usually asks when she joins is when the troop is going camping,” said Lane. “Girls like camping, having fun and exploring a wide variety of activities, and they get that in Scouting.”

It’s those experiences and hands-on activities that inspire Girl Scouts and help them grow up to become successful and influential women, she said.

“For 100 years we’ve helped send them out there to achieve their dreams,” said Lane of Girl Scouts. “Girls keep participating in Girl Scouts after all these years because we’ve guided girls to hopefully inspire them and work toward achievement.”

An official celebration of the Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary called Bridgefest will take place locally June 2. Thousands of Girl Scouts will gather at AT&T Field and then cross the Walnut Street Bridge to symbolize the way the organization will bridge the gap into its second century of operation.

Later that night, Girl Scouts are invited to attend a Lookouts game and participate in a sleepover on the field. For more information or to preregister, visit www.GirlScoutcsa.org. For more information about the doll presentation, contact Kurzenberger at gizmosmom221@yahoo.com.

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