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.
1. Years: 1955-1966 as a Girl Scout; then 1974-today as an adult Girl Scout
2. Camp Name: I was a camp counselor and my name was Sam.
3. Favorite Badges: My favorite badges were all the ones associated with camping.
4. Girl Scout Leader: Mrs. Anne Wells and Mrs. Nelle Offutt were my leaders from 6th grade through 12th grade. They helped us do some amazing camping and backpacking trips and they inspired us to care about the world beyond our Pittsburgh suburb. They were the mothers of two women I’m still in touch with.
5. Free Summer Afternoon: On the trail, with a good book in a hammock, in the garden, skipping stones into the river or lake, a picnic with family or friends.
6. Favorite Comfort Treat: The almonds and walnuts I roast. I just grab a few when I’m hungry between meals.
7. Beverage of Choice: Caffeinated coffee, black. Just 2 cups in the morning.
8. Woman in the Public Eye: Stacey Abrams. She was a Girl Scout!
9. Favorite Colors: Green, Yellow, Lavender
10. Can’t Live Without: Computer!
11. Favorite Girl Scout Cookie: Caramel DeLites (Samoas)