Memories from 1999, Rediscovered

In the city of Minnetonka 15 years ago, fifth grade girls from Troop 82 agreed to seal away keepsakes from their lives in a time capsule held onto by one of their troop leaders, Chris Sullivan.

The Star Tribune was there in 1999 when they closed up the capsule, documenting the various items the girls chose to put in it and why. In the article, one of the troop girls explained why she included a cereal box:

“We might not have them in 15 years,” Rachel said. “We might have an IV stuck in our arm for food.”

Last month, girls from Troop 82, now women, reunited to finally open the capsule that was carefully tucked away in Chris’ attic all these years. They also had a copy of the 1999 article and all got a kick out of Rachel’s food IV hypothesis.

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While the outward purpose of this gathering was to open a box of now historical items, there was also another deeper purpose – to reflect on their learnings and relationships built while in Girl Scouts and to celebrate who they’ve become today.

There was a lot of reminiscing and catching up, even before the time capsule was unlocked and opened. Everyone went around the table and shared what they were doing and where they’ve been since seeing each other last.

Laura has been traveling the world through her career in finance, living in countries like Egypt, France, and Brazil. Natalie, a new mom, has also traveled quite a lot since marrying her husband who is in the Navy. Rachel is now a birth doula in Washington, and Rose lives in Colorado and works at a real estate company.

After everyone at the table shared their updates, it was time to unlock the capsule. You could feel the anticipation and excitement in the air.

The very second the time capsule was opened, laughter took over the table. Laura read aloud a story she had written. Cookies that had been tucked away hadn’t totally crumbled yet. Photos spilled across the table and memories came rushing back to everyone.

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Jim Nelson, Troop 82’s other leader, reminisced about his experience leading the troop with Chris. He reflected, “We had an opportunity a lot of dads didn’t have. We got to hang out with these women, which was a great experience for me.”

It’s clear that although these Girl Scout alumnae and families now live far away from one another, their bond through Girl Scouts will hold them together forever. The opening of the time capsule marks 15 years of growth for these women, and as 15 more years pass, it will be great to see what they do in the world.