HAMMOND | Twenty-five years ago, local Girl Scouts placed a time capsule packed with memorabilia at the Hammond Public Library in honor of the organization's 75th anniversary.
Now as Girl Scouting turns 100, four of the Scouts involved with the capsule project in 1987 gathered at the library Tuesday to open it.
“I'm trying to remember what we put in there,” said Sally Benson, who worked at the now-merged Calumet Council at the time.
Benson soon got her answer. One of the Scouts opened the capsule and pulled out a Daisy uniform, badges, pins, newspaper clippings of the April 25, 1987, parade when Girl Scouts marched in Chicago and old cookie boxes.
A tin commemorating the 75th anniversary contained a news release previewing the original capsule ceremony beginning with the question, “Where will you be in 2012?”
“We decided a time capsule was in order because we didn't know how things were going to be at the 100th anniversary,” Benson said. “Things haven't changed a whole lot, I guess. We just wanted to see what was different in Scouting.”
One of the Scouts at the library Tuesday was longtime member Elaine “Skip” Gehring, of Whiting. Gehring has been a Girl Scout since 1935 and served on staff at three of the four Girl Scout round-ups that attracted participants from around the world in the 1950s and 1960s.
Gehring recently returned from a reunion of one of the round-ups in Vermont.
“It's a great organization for girls,” Gehring said, “and I think it's something that has really kind of shaped my life I guess — that and family and church. But it's something that really shaped my life from the time I was a young kid, and I like the things they do. I always liked camping.”
Gehring said the organization has stayed strong because it has changed with the times.
“They are well-known enough and appreciated enough,” Gehring said, “and probably parents like to have their daughters in that kind of organization. A lot of times it meets after school, it kind of fills a vital period of time if parents are working with something that is worthwhile to do.”
Four school-aged Girl Scouts joined the women to open the capsule.
Jessica Golden, 18, of Hammond, said the capsule opening was neat to see. Golden has been a Girl Scout since first grade and has stayed in the same troop for her 12 years in Scouting.
“It's the 100th-year anniversary this year,” Golden said, “and I went to the cookie kickoff for the 100th year, and I was amazed at what happened over that period of time. To see what happened 25 years ago and to see these Girl Scout leaders and how different it was, but the same with the sisterhood and things like that, is really interesting.”