Ruth Webb Smith Papers

1933-1947 [bulk 1937-1939]. ½ box (7 folders), 17 items. MSS. COLL. #189

NOTE:  The numbers cited in parentheses, e.g. 1:5, refer the researcher to the Series#:Folder# in which that name/topic will be found.


This collection highlights the activities of Girl Scout Troop 25 of J. Van Lindley Elementary School. Materials focus on the troop from 1937 to 1939, with additional items spanning through 1947. Included are scrapbooks, photographs, and various paper items that illustrate the troop’s trips, activities, and lessons. Researchers interested in the activities and lessons of a typical Girl Scout Troop will find this collection especially helpful.

Arrangement: This collection is organized into four series and arranged within series by document type or subject. The series are: Miscellaneous, 1939; Photographs, ca. 1937; Printed Materials, 1933-1939; and Scrapbooks, 1937-1947.

Provenance: The two scrapbooks in this collection were donated by Ruth Webb Smith in October 1995 and assigned accession numbers 1995.178.2-3. She donated the remaining materials in May 2008, and they were assigned accession number 2008.14.1.

Processing: This collection was organized and the finding aid was prepared by volunteer Kimberly Oliver in May 2016.


Ruth Webb Smith (1926-2012), also known as “Bootsie,” was a member of Girl Scout Troop 25 at Lindley Elementary School. She was the daughter of Frank Gertrell Webb Jr. and Ruth Lane Webb (1897-1961), one of the troop’s founding leaders.

Born in Georgia, Ruth spent most of her childhood in Greensboro, where she earned the Girl Scout’s Curved Bar Award, the highest award at that time. After graduating from high school in Georgia, she attended the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (later the University of North Carolina at Greensboro), graduating in 1947. Ruth worked as a social worker and camp counselor, and was known for her active involvement in church and community organizations. She married Charles Homer Smith in 1950 and had two daughters, Helen Smith Glover and Jane Webb Smith.

Girl Scout Troop 25 was founded at Lindley Elementary School in March 1937. The troop began with 24 original members, leader Mrs. F.G. Webb Jr. and assistant leader Mrs. Herman Wilson. It was a part of the Girl Scout Council of Greensboro and Guilford County.

Biographical Sources: The biographical information was acquired from the donor and gathered from materials in the collection. Additional details were found in Ruth Smith’s obituary, “Ruth ‘Bootsie’ Smith, 85: Lived in Georgia, Loved North Carolina” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 1, 2012).


This collection centers on the activities of Girl Scout Troop 25. It contains photographs, printed materials, and scrapbooks, with the bulk of material in the scrapbooks. Newspaper clippings, photographs, and printed and handmade materials in the scrapbooks describe the various activities of the troop and its members. The collection focuses on the troop from 1937 to 1939, with additional items pertaining to the wider Girl Scout Council of Greensboro and Guilford County. Personal information about the donor and other individual members is limited, as the collection focuses primarily on the troop as a whole. The strength of this collection is its variety of materials, ranging from membership cards, cookie order books, and photo negatives to ribbons, invitations, and newspaper clippings. A limitation is the lack of contextual information about these materials.


1. Miscellaneous.  1 folder (1 item).  1939.

This series contains a handmade invitation to Troop 25’s Christmas Tea, held on December 14, 1939. Another one of these invitations can be found in the Troop 25 scrapbook.

2. Photographs.  1 folder (1 item).  ca. 1937.

The only item in this series is a portrait of Ruth Webb in her Girl Scout Uniform, circa 1937.

3. Printed Materials.  2 folders (3 items).  1933-1939.

This series contains Margaret Allred’s certificate of membership in Troop 25 and leader Mrs. F.G. Webb Jr.’s general training course certificate. Also included is a 1933 Girl Scout Handbook, which outlines troop guidelines and expectations and information members are expected to learn.

4. Scrapbooks.  3 folders (10 items).  1937-1947.

This series consists of two scrapbooks that contain newspaper clippings and photographs of the troop’s meetings and parties, membership cards, cookie order books, and photos from the troop’s visits to the Old Mill Girl Scout Camp. Also included in both is a 10-year reunion photo of the troop. Photographs in both scrapbooks are mainly posed pictures of the full troop or candid photos of members participating in camp activities, with the donor and her mother identified in many of the images. One scrapbook (4:1) is more personally oriented, titled “Girl Scout Scrap Book” and having Ruth Webb’s name on the first page. The other scrapbook (4:2) is more focused on the troop, containing detailed information about its founding and official operations, with lists of activities, patrol assignments, and annual reports. The troop scrapbook also includes the negatives of the photos it contains.


11Miscellaneous (1939)
21Photographs (ca. 1937)
31Printed Materials -- Certificates (1937-1939)
2Printed Materials -- Handbook (1933)
41Scrapbooks -- Personal (1937-1947)
2Scrapbooks -- Troop (1937-1947)
3Scrapbooks -- Troop, Loose Materials (1937-1947)