I am the proud grandmother of a fourth-generation Girl Scout. My mom, born in 1922, was a Girl Scout in Wapakoneta, OH. I was a Girl Scout in Pittsburgh, PA. My daughter, a Gold Award Scout, grew up in Girl Scouting in Appleton, WI, and spent many happy summers at Chalk Hills Camp. Now my granddaughter is a Brownie in Minneapolis, MN.
I served on the Board of directors for the Fox River Area Girl Scouts and later, I was on the Board for the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes. I treasure the friendships I’ve made through Girl Scouting as well as the outdoor skills I learned in my troop, at Girl Scout camp, and as a Girl Scout camp counselor.
Camping has changed a lot with greater awareness of preserving the natural environment. We no longer trench tents, dig latrines or lash tables from green wood, but Girl Scouts will always gain lasting friendships from camp experiences along with skills like outdoor cooking, hiking, canoeing, and coping with unexpected challenges, and singing around a campfire.
In addition to the fun of Girl Scout camping, I got my first taste of trying to make the world a better place when my troop leaders organized a weekly after-school program for second-grade girls at a run-down school in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. In the 1960s as the civil rights movement was gaining attention throughout our country, Pittsburgh, like so many American cities, was quite segregated. My intrepid leaders drove small groups of us to that school to sing, laugh, do crafts, eat snacks, and get to know the African American girls who participated. Their school was only 7.5 miles from my school but could have been in a different country given the stark contrast with my all-white suburban school.