By Josh Carpenter

SPENCER – Cynthia Pinkston isn’t even sure how the box of old dime store dolls ended up in Charlotte.

Pinkston, an executive assistant with the Girl Scouts Hornets’ Nest Council, uncovered a box last fall that included dolls dressed up as different Girl Scout “Girl Guides” from around the world.

The box was located in an old storeroom at the council, and the only information Pinkston could find about the dolls was a note that said the Girl Guides’ uniforms were hand sewn by Cornelius Troop 234 in 1962.

“No one really knew anything about them,” said Pinkston, who manages the council’s historical collection. “We’re not sure how they got there.”

Each doll has a different uniform representing different countries, and Pinkston believes they were made to observe the Girl Scouts’ 50th anniversary.

Generally, the dolls would have gone in the Hornets Nest’s historical display, but there wasn’t any room, Pinkston said.

That’s when Beth Nance came into the picture.

Nance, director and founder of the Spencer Doll and Toy Museum in Spencer, was looking for a way to celebrate the Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary with a special display.

She contacted the Hornets’ Nest Council about potential ideas and got the dolls in return.

“It’s just amazing to me that 50 years later, these dolls have survived and for the most part, the clothing is completely intact,” Nance said. “It’s wonderful.”

With the display, she’s hoping to give a history lesson to today’s Girl Scouts.

But Nance is also aiming to achieve a separate goal.

“Cornelius isn’t that far from here, so I wonder if we could find some of these ladies from this troop,” she said. “We’d absolutely love to find some of those girls who are now women. I just think it would be so wonderful.”

The dolls will be part of a permanent collection at the museum, which opened in July, Nance said.

The 100th anniversary Girl Scouts display will be open through December and features uniforms used in the 1940s and other historical items, she said.

If she can round up enough members of Troop 234, Nance said she’d like to hold a special reception in their honor.

“I think about my daughter and her friends sitting around a table sewing like this and it just warms my heart,” Nance said. “They’re building relationships. This has been a real blessing.”

Have more information?

If you were a part of Cornelius Troop 234 or know someone that might have aided in the making of these Girl Scout uniforms, call 704-762-9359 or go to