Girl Reserves

Sponsor: YWCA - Young Women's Christian Association

Began: 1918

Name changed to Y-Teens in 1946

 Officially the Girl Reserves of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) began in 1918. However, like many clubs - it evolved from many informal girl gatherings under the YWCA program and from the Patriotic League of the YWCA.

 

The Girl Reserves sought to help girls 12-18 develop a well-balanced personality, grow physically and take on social responsibility.

By 1921 there was a Girl Reserves handbook  to outlined the program.  It was a uniformed group, although by the 1930 there was a great deal of discussion on the merits of uniforms

Girl Reserve Slogan: Face Life Squarely

Girl Reserves Purpose: To find and give the best.

Girl Reserves Pledge: I will do my best to honor God, my country, and my community, to help other girls and to be in in ways a loyal, true member of the Girl Reserves.

Embroidered

Armband

The Girl Reserve armband was for all ages;

  • Grade school age girls would embroider a light blue floss around the triangle.

  • High School age girls would embroider tan floss around the triangle and

  • Girls in business and industry would embroider red floss around the triangle.

The first style of membership pin was 3/4" triangle

2nd style was GR triangle in a blue enameled circle

3rd style was GR triangle in a blue enameled circle without a line under the GR

Silk-screened

Armband

with hand-stitched red embroidered

Corps Bars

A rare Past President Girl Reserves pin with 3 pearls and an attachment for 1942

Another solid Girl Reserves pin with 3 pearls, although in different areas of the pin. The "U" pin is unknown.

Solid Girl Reserves pin with T" & "45" guard pins

The early Girl Reserves program had earned recognition to be placed on the armband. Although the handbook notes these are cloth emblems, a later adult adviser's book notes that the emblems would be metal buttons.

1928 Girl Reserves (summer) uniform, white middy blouse, white pleated skirt, Copenhagen Blue silk tie. Winter uniform was a navy blue skirt. Camp uniform was navy bloomers.

In 1922 the Girl Reserves ring was offered as the highest achievement of a Girl Reserve - she would then be called a Special Girl Reserve Aide.

This National Archives image shows girls of Japanese ancestry who were interred at the Las Ninas Relocation Camp during World War II. They are wearing Girl Reserves armbands and the note card in front says "Las Ninas G.R. club"

Publicity slide - this photo also appeared in the handbook

The Girl Reserve program lasted until 1946, when the name was changed to Y-Teens, to be more in step with the

modern girl.

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Last Updated June 14, 2020

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