When did you start with Girl Scouts?
1950 - Seventh grade meant a new school and a new route to walk there. I often shared this with Christa, a 9th grade girl who lived down the street. She told me about the Pfadi (Girl Guides), where she was a Patrol Leader, and invited me to a meeting. My mother was sure this was a one-time thing and cancelled my piano lesson so I could attend a meeting of Troop #9. As usual, the troop met somewhere in the forest. That first day we made tin can stoves and cooked tea. I loved it all. I have been a Girl Scout ever since and have not had another piano lesson for 72 years!
Where were you a Girl Scout?
I started as a Pfadfinderin (Pfadi for short - Girl Guide) in Zürich, Switzerland, and moved up through the ranks to First Class, Troop Leader and Service Unit Manager of the Abteilung Manegg in Zürich. When I got married in 1964 and moved to Bozeman, I brought with me a Letter of Introduction from the Swiss International Commissioner. It did not take me long to find the Bozeman Girl Scouts. Within weeks I was a helper in Junior Troop 520 at Irving School, and the rest is history. The Bozeman Girl Scouts are not quite rid of me yet!
What is a favorite Girl Scout memory?
How many pages do we have?? I would not have lasted this long, if I had not enjoyed it all, from the girls at regular troop meetings to international opportunities. I was fortunate enough to have several of those, to see different parts of the world and - most of all - to meet some very special Sister Girl Scouts. While I was still wearing the blue uniform, the list includes a troop camp with British Guides, the 1957 World Camp for the Baden-Powell Centennial, several stays at Our Chalet, Landsleir 1991 in Norway, attending Sea Ranger meetings (incl. rowing on the Thames) in London and shaking hands (the left!) with Lady Baden-Powell, the first Chief Guide for Britain. While my kids were little, I did not go very far but stayed busy with the Bozeman Girl Scouts, had a successful 10-year+ tenure as Service Unit Manager and directed Day Camp numerous years. Girl Scouting is a sure remedy for empty nest depression: In the last 30 years I was able to be a Conference Assistant at the 1984 World Conference in Tarrytown NY, was a visitor at the National Convention in Minneapolis, lead a troop trip to Seattle, participated in four program sessions at Our Cabaña - once with a group of Big Sky Council girls, three times on my own - and accompany the Bozeman Senior GS Troop on their trip to Paris, Our Chalet and Pax Lodge. All these trips made wonderful memories that I love to share with young Girl Scouts. However, what is closest to my heart is our local Day Camp. It gets a little harder every year to find staff, but the girls love it and make it all worthwhile.