Preserving Our Past Councils Own Badge

Preserving Our Past Interest Project is a great complement to the Playing Our Past Junior badge for older Girl Scouts.

The Preserving Our Past IP is an interest project from the Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey Council. It is a terrific tie in to a historical festival (like our local Little House on the Prairie festival) or visit to a National Historic Site through the National Park Service.

Skill Builders

  1. Go to a museum or antique store. Look at the different ‘appliances’ of the past and try to figure out what they were used for. Do they have a clamp for a table? Could they be worked by a pedal? Maybe you’ll find one you want to take home!
  2. Before the industrial revolution, you would have had to make everything you needed. Try sewing together a piece of clothing by hand or making a wax dipped candle.
  3. In Victorian times, TVs and computers were not yet invented. Make a list of some things a girl your age could have done to entertain herself. Think of activities for all the seasons and try them out!
  4. Water damage is a big problem in houses that are being preserved. Make a list of other possible problems. Brainstorm on ways to solve these problems.
  5. Have you ever cooked your family dinner? In the past, it was the lady of the house’s responsibility to see to all meals. Help plan, shop for, and make dinner. Try making bread, cake, or your favorite dish from scratch with the materials that would have been available then (for example, chocolate was not widely available). What effect would this have on your every day eating habits?

Technology

  1. Go on a tour of a few of your local historical buildings. Make a documentary from interviews and footage from the tours. Make sure you get permission to film before you begin.
  2. Visit your town or county’s website. Is there a section devoted to historic buildings? If there is, make a list of historical places in your community that interest you, and visit at least one. If not, suggest it to someone and help create it.
  3. Find out how technology has changed our lives. Compare how people stored food, made dinner, and relaxed to today.
  4. Learn how houses and antiques are preserved and cared for. Ask to watch someone at an antique store or museum restore an object.

Service Projects

  1. Offer to help your local council or historical society catalog and organize papers or artifacts.
  2. Teach younger girls how to dip candles, sew or crochet. Then, teach them how to play a period game, such as Fox and Goose.
  3. Many historical buildings rely on volunteers for continual up-keep. Find out if any need your help, and volunteer painting or beautifying the property.
  4. Crochet scarves or quilt blankets for your local homeless shelter or hospital. Donate your work.
  5. Plan a project to spread awareness about historical projects that are going on in your community. You could hold a barbecue with proceeds going to a historical fund. Perhaps you could create a cookbook with information about local historical buildings or traditional crafts.

Career Exploration

  1. Visit a museum or antique store. Ask about job openings and necessary skills for getting these jobs. Is any special training required?
  2. Get a part-time or summer job at a museum or for your local historical society.
  3. Read about the different types of furniture or designs houses had in the past. Then, interview or job-shadow an architect or interior decorator. Do we still use some of these styles today?
  4. Restoring and caring for historical buildings requires the efforts of many people with different career skills. Research the types of people who are needed to restore and care for historical buildings. Which one would you want to do? What skills and training are needed to fill these positions?
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