Usually the exhibits at the are painstakingly put together by adults on the museum board, who spend months planning, researching, reaching out to the community to assemble items, then organizing and arranging them. But the museum’s current exhibit is presented not by a group of adults, but by three eighth-grade Girl Scouts.
The girls, Lauren Rossitto, Natalie Lux and Maria Germano, are Cadette Scouts from Farmington Troop 66427. They have been together in scouting since kindergarten and, in presenting the exhibit, are now earning their Silver Award.
The exhibit, which opened March 11, joins thousands of events across the country in celebrating Girl Scouts of America’s 100th anniversary.
“It was initiated by the girls and the museum was very receptive,” said Carolyn Rossitto, the troop leader. “The girls created a flyer and sent it out to all the leaders in town and we put something in the newspaper asking for donations.”
In response, the girls received uniforms, sashes, scrapbooks and memorabilia from past and present Scouts in Farmington and around the state.
One scrapbook shows the activities of a troop in Farmington in the 1960s and two others are from recently graduated Scouts who have earned their Gold Award.
Also on display is a collection of uniforms in nostalgic styles, which Rossitto said dismayed the style-conscious young teens, camping equipment and pictures. One local woman loaned items from the last Girl Scout Senior Roundup, held in 1965, with newspaper articles, hat and uniform to commemorate the selective national event.
In the process the girls learned a lot about the history of Girl Scouts, but they also gained valuable skills, Rossitto said.
“They spent a lot of time creating flyers and gathering everything. They had to come up with a system, using spreadsheets, to catalogue everything so it could be returned in June, take pictures and record everything,” she said.
The girls also learned to talk on the phone when adults called with items to lend and practiced public speaking by giving presentations about the exhibit.
When it was finally time to put the exhibit together, dressing mannequins and arranging the items, Rossitto said it was like Christmas for the girls.
At the exhibit opening, Lauren, Natalie and Maria, greeted guests and answered questions but it was mostly current Scouts who came.
“Girl Scouts as a whole definitely pushes them to be leaders and learn all those life skills and they really put themselves out there,” Rossitto said.
“They created the exhibit to get the message out that Girl Scouts is a great organization to belong to and one that has been around a long time,” Rossitto said. “They hope that people will come to the exhibit to revisit Girl Scout memories or to see what scouting is about and maybe encourage a child they know to join a troop.”
The exhibit runs through June 10. The Unionville Museum is open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday between 2 and 4 p.m.