CROSS KEYS - Pamela Wertman said Thursday that she found the perfect beverage for the young girls active in Bellwood Girl Scout troops.
"It's called Birthday Cake tea," the Victorian era-dressed Wertman told the dozen girls gathering at Pamela's Victorian Cafe and Music to learn about tea parties and related etiquette.
Tea parties, Wertman said, date back to 1911. That was the year before Juliette Gordon Low telephoned a distant cousin and told her of plans to start an organization for the girls of Savannah, Ga., America and the world.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Bellwood Brownie Jenna Lasher (right) passes a tray of scones to Cadet Girl Scout Mikayla Frantz, 12, as part of a Victorian tea celebrating 100 years of Girl Scouting at Pamela’s Victorian Cafe & Music in Duncansville on Thursday afternoon.
"So tea parties were going on when the Girl Scouts was founded," Wertman, who refers to herself as Blair County's premier tea hostess, said.
In recognition of the organization's founding on March 12, 1912, the national Girl Scouts organization and affiliated troops are participating in events and activities to mark the milestone.
Wertman's presentation offered the girls a mix of history and etiquette, followed by baking Girl Scout cookies from a 1917 recipe and by singing campfire songs, Terri Pearce of Bellwood, a Girl Scout leader for 15 years, said.
Some local girls may travel in June to Washington, D.C., for the 100th Anniversary Sing-Along on the National Mall, Pearce said.
At Thursday's tea party, Wertman kept the girls focused on manners.
She showed them how to use a small spoon to stir their beverage without making noise. Those who want a second cup of tea, she said, allow the small spoon to rest against the side of the cup.
She also showed the young girls how to hold a cup of tea, by wrapping one's index finger around the handle, almost to the first knuckle.
"Contrary to popular belief, the ring and pinkie finger are not extended," she told the girls. "That's only for the royal family."
"I like having this tea party," 7-year-old Jayce Miller of Bellwood even though she had to refuse one of Wertman's sconce's because of her food allergies. "I'm working on my first-aid badge."
Six-year-old Rylee Poorman said she likes Girl Scouts' activities.
Girl Scout leader Valerie Turek said she formed a Daisy troop after finding out none existed for Bellwood-area girls in kindergarten and first grade. Her daughter, Avery, 6, seems happy with that decision.
"The crafts are fun," Avery said.