“The Girl Reserves are high-minded.
Believe my soul they’re double-jinded.
They work hard and don’t mind it
All day long.” – YWCA Girl Reserves Jingle
Children were not left out. The True Reformers of the 1870s established youth departments, with children belonging to their own “Fountains,” or chapters. Garden clubs, county extension agencies, and fraternal groups regularly offered programs to young people. Almost all beneficial and mutual aid societies gave youngsters a chance to save money and to practice good stewardship.
No individual did more for children than Virginia Cabell Randolph, who established Lynchburg’s Eighth Street Community House. Before integration, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts met at Community House, as well as at area churches. Lynchburg’s senior citizens still recall Randolph’s energy and passion for engaging African American young people. Many also remember children’s activities at the “Colored” Hunton YMCA and Phyllis Wheatley YWCA.
Local chapters of national African American civic and social groups sponsored programs for young people. For more than two decades the Lynchburg chapter of The Links has included girls and boys in their “STEP with Links” activities. The Order of Eastern Star sponsored youth groups. Lynchburg and the surrounding region boasted a Jack and Jill club.
Enrichment programs such as Little Miss Ebony, sponsored by the Serenade Club, and the Miss Bronze Lynchburg pageants, sponsored by The Buddies, Inc., encouraged talent and the development of poise, leadership, and scholarship. The Delta Jabberwocks did the same, as did the AKAs’ Simply Elegant projects.