Memories of Girlhood

This project began as a blog prompt for our Junior Girls: “Write about a moment in your life. Reflect on it. What did it mean then, vs. what does it mean now? How did it change your life or relationships with others? Is it something many girls experience, or not a lot?”

In 2023, we revived the prompt and opened it to community submissions. Realizing that very little oral history work was being done on girlhood, we aim to utilize our blog as a means to collect short histories – “Memories” – of girlhood worldwide. These memories showcase the unique experience of individual girls in our world today, while prompting us to wonder, are our experiences and concerns so different from one another? 

Button with text "Memories of Girlhood" and a purple diary next to an orange pen.
Memories of Girlhood: Sledding in Scappoose

Memories of Girlhood: Sledding in Scappoose

As the nights get darker and Thanksgiving approaches, my thoughts have been turning more and more toward my family and my childhood. As an only child, I spent a fair bit of time with my grandparents in Scappoose, Oregon during school holidays, giving my parents a much...

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Memories of Girlhood: Ice Skating Sundays

Memories of Girlhood: Ice Skating Sundays

Young girl ice skating. http://bit.ly/18WfzxA There are many moments I can draw out of the childhood memory box, but I will choose the few, though special, times at the ice skating rink. It was not a frequent pastime, rather an occasional stroll along with my father...

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Memories of Girlhood: Growing Giant Pumpkins

Memories of Girlhood: Growing Giant Pumpkins

Hillary and her brother, with some not-so-giant pumpkins grown in their garden. Photo courtesy of author. One of my favorite things about summer vacation was always gardening. Sometime in May each year we would start sprouting pumpkins seeds in the house, and I knew...

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Memories of Girlhood: Point Horror Books

Memories of Girlhood: Point Horror Books

Image from https://www.carolinebcooneybooks.com/index.html Freeze Tag. The Babysitter. Teacher's Pet. For a lot of people of my generation, those words may well sound familiar: they are titles from Scholastic's Point Horror range of horror stories for young adults....

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Memories of Girlhood: Barbies

Memories of Girlhood: Barbies

Image from https://dollsmagazine.com/60-years-of-struggle-barbies-careers-are-timeline-of-womens-hits-and-misses/ Barbie: My Love-Hate Relationship with a Doll When I was little, I loved playing with Barbie dolls. My fondest memories of my sister include spending...

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Memories of Girlhood: Secret Forts

Memories of Girlhood: Secret Forts

Photo from http://poemsandnovels.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/ta-da-our-blanket-fort.html Building a fort is a favorite childhood pastime. Forts come in all shapes and sizes, from living room blanket forts to backyard tree houses. As a little girl, I loved playing in forts....

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Memories of Girlhood: Grandmothers and Love

Memories of Girlhood: Grandmothers and Love

Grandmother's Helper, 1899. Painting by Harry Herman Roseland. https://iamachild.wordpress.com/category/roseland-harry/ I owe a lot to my grandmothers. They each taught me something about how to love and enjoy life. My mother's mom taught me what it means to love....

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Memories of Girlhood: The Grandpa Figure

Memories of Girlhood: The Grandpa Figure

From the author's personal collection. According to a notable archaeologist, "Our childhood memories constitute our own personal archaeology." I for one am totally on board with this saying; digging in the past is utterly meaningful and revealing as regards the...

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Memories of Girlhood: Camping in Scotland

Memories of Girlhood: Camping in Scotland

Junior Girl Sarah and her dad (and the top of her sister's head) on holiday in Scotland in the early 90s. When I was a girl, many of my friends went on holidays abroad whilst my family stayed in the UK. I can't remember being specifically jealous that they were...

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Memories of Girlhood: Doing the Snow Dance

Memories of Girlhood: Doing the Snow Dance

http://www.workitmom.com/bloggers/workitmom/2008/01/15/a-snow-day-almost-ruined-by-a-multi-tasking-working-mom/ Growing up in Michigan, snow and ice storms could be expected at any time from late October through April. For many people, these storms mean inconvenience:...

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Memories of Girlhood: Mathematical Aptitudes and Attitudes

Memories of Girlhood: Mathematical Aptitudes and Attitudes

Does the gender gap in math still exist? http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1860289_1859823_1859830,00.html I'm a straight-up humanities gal. I discreetly pull out my phone to calculate taxi tips. I'm not proud of this fact, and it's one I'd...

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