Fran Bush, a committee member, brings stories from the past to document Girl Scouts' rich history.
Read the Stories Below!
Through the years, many relics from Girl Scouts make their way to the Heritage Committee, a group of men and women, who lovingly preserve and document the memories, adventures, and history of Girl Scouts of Utah.
Our wonderful Heritage Museum (located at the Salt Lake City Office) is packed with answers to so many questions. Like, when did Girl Scouts start in Utah? It takes a dedicated history detective to sort through files and piles of newspaper clippings stored in the museum to ferret out answers.
The dedicated volunteers of the Heritage Committee work diligently to organize our council history, focusing on the administrative aspects, the girl’s activities and the marvelous personalities that have contributed so much to our council’s development.
Fran Bush, a committee member, brings stories from the past to document Girl Scouts' rich history.
Read the Stories Below!
Fran Bush, a current member of The Girl Scouts of Utah Heritage Committee, writes about her experience coming across an old scrapbook.
1938 National Camp at Cloud Rim
“Scrapbooks…some original Girl Scout cookie recipes…memories… These all add up to treasure. And the treasures you’ll find once you start looking at the collections housed in the Utah Girl Scout Heritage Museum.
I found a couple of old scrapbooks at the Ogden Scout Office in 1975 when I was researching the history of scouting for the 75th anniversary. This discovery drew me to the Heritage Museum. I wanted to see them again.
I didn’t find those particular scrapbooks, but I did find something almost as good, a log book for the All America Camp of 1938 held at Camp Cloud Rim. Always interested in how Girl Scouts did things in the past, I started reading.
For the Heritage Committee, the best part of this scrapbook appeared in the first pages. A complete roster of the participants and the states they represented were listed. Following, page after page of the book revealed a day by day description of delightful surprises.
For example, these girls elected to don western wear rather than the typical camp uniform. Small groups of girls took overnight pack trips on horseback to the valley below to enjoy Schneitter’s Hot Pots. That must be The Homestead Resort, I thought.
Local experts demonstrated Native dances, helped girls with a variety of native crafts, and told stories of ancient native lore.
Girls from all over the United States came together to share not only a camping experience but to provide an introduction to their own state. Each evening, teams of girls presented brief informative reports.
The most surprising entry of all concerned a visit to camp by Lou Hoover. Just imagine having the wife of the President of the United States come to camp with you!
Equally amazing to me, was the fact that copies of this log book were printed for each participant on a hectograph.
Some of you may not have heard of a hectograph before, it uses a gelatin base set in a long flat pan. A ditto master provided the ink, and information is written on the back of the ink from the ditto master, then placed on the surface of the gelatin. In just a few minutes, enough ink from the ditto master transfers to the gelatin, allowing printing to begin. Simply lay a sheet of paper onto the gelatin surface, then remove it. You will see the information printed onto the paper.
A hectograph is perfect for camping events because it is portable and easy to use. The ink settles down into the gelatin after a period of time, which requires repeating the process several times to produce many copies. The advantage of this process, is once the ink has settled to the bottom the hectograph, it can be used again with different information written on a different ditto master.
The book was difficult to read because the ink had faded over 75 years. It wasn’t going to last much longer. That problem has been solved. The committee used a modern computer to transcribe the entire book. You can read all about the wonderful adventures these campers had any time you wish. Come see us at the Heritage Museum at the Salt Lake City office.
Not all of the scrapbooks in the Heritage collection are so complete. Beautifully designed books feature unidentified troop members enjoying memorable activities. These books still have value because they depict so many good ideas for troop projects.
We welcome the submission of more troop scrapbooks. Please, please, please, when you do submit them, take the time to identify the people captured in the photographs, note the locations where the pictures were taken, and date the photographs.
P.S. The bad news is, ditto masters are no longer available.”
For more information on the Heritage Committee contact Brandy Strand at email@example.com
Fran Bush from the Girl Scouts of Utah’s Heritage Committee has been out and about collecting more of GSU history! This month she brings us the story of Pat Corey, a Girl Scout mom and leader.
"Have you ever thought about the life-long skills and friendship a girl gains by being involved in Girl Scouts? Pat’s story is one that shows you never stop being a sister to every Girl Scout, once a Girl Scout always a Girl Scout!
Starting as a young girl in Fruit Heights and into parenthood Pat had been involved in Girl Scouting in many different capacities, from committee work to training to Annual Meeting to helping lead Wider Opportunities (now called destinations) and so much more. Her daughter started Girl Scouts as a Brownie in 1968-69 and as the troop aged into Cadettes, Pat took on the troop leader role. “The older girls were so much fun,” she laughed. There are “. . . . so many emotions going on. They just don’t know what to do with themselves. It’s so much fun to watch them.” When asked about her obvious preference for these older girls Pat made it clear she knew she could make a difference in these girl’s lives. She said, “Scouting. That’s the only place where they feel comfortable.” Pause “Listen to the girls. Let them talk.” Pat is still in contact with the girls from her troop, even getting birthday cards!
Fran remembers attending one of Pat’s Outdoor Trainings for Snow Camping, where she reminisces being dismayed with Pat’s description of spending the night in the snow cave she just built. “It’s comfortable.” Pat assured the attendees, “You’ll stay warm throughout the night.” Fran being concerned about how cold a snow cave could get asked Pat, “How warm does it get in the snow cave?” Pat answered with the sweetest smile on her face, “Fran, it’s a snow cave. If you warm it up . . . . . . “ Pat did not need to finish, Fran knew the answer.
During the interview Pat remembered so many stories and major contributors to the Girl Scout Movement. As Fran notes, that’s way it goes with this kind of history search. Finding the answers to, “I wonder what Pat remembers about Mt. Rainer?” lead to more “I wonder” search possibilities."
Keep an eye out for amazingly wonderful stories from our very own Fran Bush!
Girl Scouts can do anything, set your goals, overcome obstacles, rework your plan, and achieve your dreams! That is the power of Girl Scouts and our very own Fran Bush from the Heritage Committee has been out in the community learning about the adventures of a Girl Scout with a BIG dream from 1981!
So begins our story of Tammy, a Utah Girl Scout, who learned that climbing the fireplace at Camp Cloud Rim can inspires dreams. Many years ago at theage of sixteen, Tammy dreamed of climbing Mt. Whitney in Alaska and she focused on making that dream a reality. She would need to train heavily, get other Girl Scouts involved, build a fundraising plan, and put together the details for the trip.
Pulling on the Girl Scout family, Tammy worked with Pat Corey, winter camping and survival trainer, who agreed to help Tammy prepare a team of Utah Scouts for the ascent. After research and knowledge gathering it was soon realized that Mt. Whitney posed too much of a challenge. Prohibitive insurance rates for this adventure forced Tammy and Pat to scale down the dream. However, Mt. Rainier in Oregon fit the bill, with a two day climb to the 14,410 peak that would require scouts to carry heavy packs, wear headlights on their helmets because most of the climbing would be in the dark, and train relentlessly to hone the many skills the scouts would need. And, each scout would need to raise at least $1500 to pay for their trek. They sold tee shirts, applied for grants and were fortunate enough to gain the attention of Arlene Blum, a renowned mountaineer who led expeditions in the Himalayas. She presented a slide show with a Salt Lake audience and donated the proceeds of this program to the Rainier efforts.
As the Girl Scouts worked on funding their adventure they also began their training with the scouts hiking and camping, often in dreadful weather, to prepare themselves for the rigors of Mt. Rainier. Pat remembers spending the week between Christmas and New Year’s on top of Ben Lomond Peak near Ogden. Tammy remembers attempting to climb the Grand Teton with guides from Exum Mountain Climbing School, but bad weather stopped them 150 feet from the top. There were many training sessions: ice climbing techniques, how to make igloos, avalanche monitoring, how to use crampons, and emergency first aide, just to name a few.
Two years of training and fundraising brought the scouts to Paradise Ski Resort where they met the guides who would take them to the top of themountain. Blowing snow and poor visibility didn’t alter the excitement of anyone. They had trained for this.
Upon arrival and the start of their hike the winds reached 55 mph and they didn’t get to Camp Muir, their base camp, until 6 pm on the first day. It would be time to face the elements again at 2:30 am the next day, with their guides leading the way. The clouds dropped the next morning and light beams fromthe glaciers lifted the spirits of six scouts who still had enough strength to complete the climb. Pat stayed at Camp Muir with scouts too tired to continue while the others continued the trek.
Seracs, described as mini avalanches by Tammy, were visible as they climbed. The guides stopped when they encountered a crevasse, a deep cleft in theglacial ice, directly in front of them. The group needed to make a decision, take a different route that would be much longer and much more challenging or turn back. The girls were anxious to continue. However, Tammy’s Girl Scout intuition, based on her training and knowledge gathering, started some unpleasant inner turmoil. Tammy recalls, “ . . . getting hit by a message: telling her to get off the mountain.” She described it as a call from JulietteGordon Lowe or divine intervention. "It was a gut instinct telling her that they were in danger.” She told the girls: “This mountain feels unstable and dangerous to me.” That was it. The guides led them back down the mountain to their base camp.
Another group of hikers (not Girl Scouts) climbing up the mountain met the scouts who were on their way down. Guides from both groups discussed considerations for a successful climb. The second group opted to continue up, leaving the scouts who were descending frustrated that the decision had been made to descend. However, the second group of hikers were not so fortunate in their adventure and did not make it off of the mountain, showing that a Girl Scouts training and education can be instrumental. Subdued, the Girl Scouts realized how lucky they were and were still determined to climb another day which they did in safer territory before returning to Utah.
There is so much more to this story and you can read newspaper accounts of this 1981 adventure from the Tribune and the Standard Examiner that are stored at the Heritage Museum. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to connect with the Heritage Committee today!
2/7/1925 - 2/20/2016 Two dates summing up the life of Arlene Dart. But what about the dash between those dates? It represents a life well lived, of hard work, a sense of humor and a dedication to Girl Scouts.
Her daughters remember her for her determination, her sacrifices, her gratitude and her sense of humor. Sharon Muir, one of her daughters, talked to me about the ways her mother exemplified these qualities during her lifetime. Following are some of the memories Sharon shared with me.
“Girl Scouts opened up a world for Mom that she hadn’t had before.” Sharon began.
Sharon was in a Brownie troop before her mother joined the scouting movement. “Somewhere along the line they needed a new troop leader and I volunteered my mom. I told ‘em, ‘my mom can do it. She doesn’t do anything all day.’ She got started at that point.”
Arlene was a great troop leader. She became really involved in other aspects of Scouting: Day Camp Director, Cookie Chairman, and Neighborhood Chairman for Provo Council. She was part of the merger of Provo, Salt Lake and Ogden Councils to become the Girl Scouts of Utah.
She organized Day Camp for two service units, Timpanogos and Trefoil.
“She would take 100 girls and leaders up to Trefoil Ranch for five days of Day Camp. Every morning started with a flag ceremony followed by Girl Scout activities in their units all day.
The Cadettes could spend the whole week there. I’d take my troop and they’d work as aides to the units. We’d stay for the entire week in the upper meadow. In the evenings we had the camp to ourselves.
Then Mom started doing two weeks. A week of camp for one service unit, then time to clean up and prep and then we’d do the other week for the other service unit. My troop would stay up there two weeks.”
Sharon talked about a cross country trip. At the time Sharon was a Cadette leader with small children of her own. My troop joined others in planning this cross country trip. I couldn’t go so Mom took my place. She and Della Clark, Belva Jones and Beth Evans took a busload of girls, mostly from Utah County. They drove across the country to New York City. They stayed at Macy a couple of nights. I remember they stopped in St. Louis. Mom had never been anywhere! She was raised on a farm.
None of the ladies had ever done anything like this, either. They got on the bus, stayed in camps along the way, camped out and had a marvelous trip.”
Mom was a trainer. She loved to train, especially for Day Camp. Arielle Fredrick had Mom and me train. We were a team. We would go to Salt Lake to train. We’d do these 18-24 hour basic leadership trainings.
“All these folks would come in and Mom and I were the training team. It was fun to train with her. She had a great sense of humor, she knew her information. ‘Now here’s this manual that you don’t have to read at all. Just put it under your pillow when you go to sleep for your nap in the afternoon and all that information will go right up into your brain.’”
Toni gained a new appreciation for the law, “A Girl Scout is a friend to all and a sister to every other Girl Scout.”
Arlene Dart’s contributions to Utah Girl Scout Council live on. Her daughters continue her legacy with the same determination, sense of humor, service and gratitude.
She was on the camp committee and had the opportunity to be part of the ceremony to break ground for the building of the “new lodge” at Trefoil. You will find her name on a file in the lodge. You can find her mark in the purpose “to build girls with character, confidence, and courage to make the world a better place.” She did that!
As a Girl Scout
Sharon Muir grew up in the 60s. “When I was in elementary school somebody said they had a Brownie Troop and I wanted to go. I got signed up at a Brownie Girl Scout meeting. It had to have been 60 years ago. It was in the neighborhood, not far, and all the girls were Christian from different religions. That was kinda neat.
“I remember in my Brownie leader’s driveway we spent weeks curling cardboard up and somebody poured wax over it. Then we got a big ol’ number ten can and been opener.” (to punch air vents at the top of the stove) “And then one day we fried a hamburger on our buddy burner. And hamburger on a buddy burner is an immense amount of flame. I remember sitting there watching the thing flaming up shouting, ‘It’s on fire! It’s on fire!’
But that was the first piece of meat I ever cooked by myself and it was the most wonderful piece of meat I ever had in my whole life. The best hamburger I’ve ever eaten. And I got to do it all by myself.”
Intermediate Girl Scout experiences followed.
“I went to Intermediates at Mrs. Raymonds and she taught us how to make hospital corners to make a bed. Gosh! That was amazing. And we made these square corners and I thought that was the neatest thing in the world.”
As a Senior Girl Scout she earned her Curved Bar, the highest rank in Girl Scouting at the time.
The last Senior Round Up, a National Girl Scout Opportunity, was held in 1966 in Farragut Idaho. Sharon and two other Utah Girl Scouts applied. Utah Council could only send two girls. Sharon didn’t go. She dropped out of scouting for a while.
She attended the College of Southern Utah during the winter and spent her summers at Girl Scout Camps, Cloud Rim and Red Cliff, as a counselor.
Marriage followed her schooling and she settled down in Orem.
As An Adult Girl Scout
In the 70s, she worked as a Girl Scout leader, the when Worlds to Explore badge program was introduced where girls earned different badges depending on their interest and skill level.
“Worlds to Explore was fun to do,” she explained. “It’s fun to work with and train and watch the girls have all these experiences."
Cathy Buss, a friend, had a Cadette troop and needed an assistant leader. She and Sharon took the troop to the Tetons and did, ” . . . a lot of troop stuff like hiking, canoeing, camping, cooking outdoors, campfires, singing and having fun.”
Cathy got pregnant and said, “I can’t do this anymore. Will you?” So Sharon did.
She had the troop for eight or nine years during which time she started her own family.
Her troop decided to plan a trip to D.C. Belva Jones and Beth Evans worked with her and the girls to make the arrangements for this ambitious adventure. Sharon had little kids so she didn’t go, her mom took her place. Cadettes from other troops were invited too, mostly from Utah County. This was a first time experience for these ladies, and it all happened because of Girl Scouts.
“I love to train,” Sharon confessed. She started training with her mother.
“When Laura Williams was the training committee director there was a group of us who always made up the committee. When Cloud Rim reopened, we did event planning for that. We did any kind of training for all of the leaders, which often took two or three days if it was a big event.”
Fond memories of troop meetings and the Worlds to Explore program guided her work on the Council level training and program committees. She was on the Board of Directors when the decision to close Camp Red Cliff was made.
“That was a very difficult decision,” she remembered. “The camp didn’t belong to us and it needed expensive upgrades.” Safety was another consideration.
The Program Committee staged two Encampments at Camp Williams and one at Lagoon where she was the director.
“We would do these roll outs of the programs for the year every fall. That’s when the Sharon Ann video was made. There was this great big chair and Sharon Ann, dressed in a cute little pinafore, climbed up into it to talk about what was going to happen. The video is in the office.
“I took three different groups to National Center West. Pat Corey and I took the first one. It was a Utah Opportunity... when we were doing those. It was an amazing thing to have these kids from all over the country meet together.
“The first year Sue, my sister, and I met a troop of girls from Chapppaqua, New York. They were a group that liked to sing and we were a group that liked to sing. We would sit around the minute it got dark enough for a fire and sing and teach each other songs and harmonize. And that was so much fun. It was just wonderful.”
As a Utah Girl Scout Employee
“I started in membership, out in the Basin and clear down in Delta. I spent years in membership and then in program.”
Her husband had an automobile accident that changed both of their lives. From that point he was quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down. Sharon was the care giver.
Sharon’s associations with her friends in Girl Scouts grounded her. The group that had formed during her training years was her anchor.
“They make it so everything is o.k.,” she said.
What about Sharon’s own family? She raised boys. “My kids grew up in Girl Scouting,” she said. “My son started his career as Pocketknife (camp name). He now works with a Boy Scout troop in Provo. Troop 51 is 100 years old.”
Becoming a National Operation Volunteer (NOV) gave Sharon a chance to continue her contributions to Girl Scouting.
She explained, “In the Utah Girl Scout Council, volunteers serve as partners with the staff. Volunteers are there to assist in a whole lot of different duties. The NOV is there to support the National Staff in different areas.”
She worked with staff as they went back through redeveloping the program over the last ten years.
“I was selected as a volunteer with the national organization. I got to work with a team that’s looking at junior badges and Brownie Try Its, that’s been rewarding.”
“I had the opportunity to create a training outline for Girl Scout Traveling Troops.”
We left the Worlds to Explore behind and started Courage, Character and Confidence to make the world a better place.
Involvement with Girl Scouting has slowed down for Sharon. The National Recession created problems. NOV “ . . . has kinda fallen through the cracks.*
But the volunteer spirit in Sharon burns brightly. She accepts invitations to work on the Camporee Committee and events like that. You can’t keep a “Good Girl Scout” down.
* Recently GSUSA has contacted Sharon to join the National Volunteer Partners Team, NVP. She will be supporting council stuff and volunteers as partners building membership and program.
Shaggy Dog Rag (a lively dance), Red Cliff Specials and campfire skits were all part of Camp Red Cliff in the 1950s when I got hooked on camping. I loved the after dinner dancing, the skits at campfires and the wonderful songs sung after every meal. I loved the way the camp smelled early in the morning when the sun glinted on the dew covered landscape.
Some of those things have not changed over the years but progress happens. I have watched the camping program modify to meet the needs of girls in the age of technology. Plus, girls today do not want to use a “biffy”. Utah Girl Scout Camps are alive and well today because of the fine programming directed by our professional staff.
The history of camping goes back to the beginning of Scouting in Utah. The Ogden Council received access to property on National Forest Service property to be used for camping in 1920, the same year Ogden Council was founded.
Troop camping came first. Individual troops guided by volunteer leaders set up camp sites on this property. This was not a good system for several reasons. Leaders were not always able to take their troops camping and inadequate camp training were two of the problems. Change was needed.
Established camps solved the problems. Troop camping had been successful in several ways. Many of the features girls enjoy today grew as these troops worked together and shared experiences in the great outdoors.
Early camping activities were conducted in units including meal preparation. How each of Utah’s Girl Scout Camps evolved from biffy digging to flushable toilets, from folding bedrolls up to sleeping bags, from cooking meals on a campfire to marching to dinner at the lodge encompasses a lot of history.
Time passed and units of girls were given freedom to choose from a menu of activities including archery, nature rambles, fire building, and singing. Dutch oven dinners and stick cooking didn’t lose popularity.
A Brief History of Camps in Utah
Camp Red Cliff was established in 1920. It closed in 1980. Girl Scouts did not own the property and necessary improvements to the camp were expensive. The camp was sold in 1983.
Camp Pinar was established in 1926 in the Blue Spruces area in Salt Lake. Extensive upgrades were needed after years of use. The Girl Scouts did not own this property, either. The camp was moved to the area where Camp Cloud Rim is today.
Mountain Dell Farmhouse wasn’t really a Girl Scout Camp but lots of girls enjoyed camping experiences there for many years. It had been a Pony Express Way Station at one time. Girl Scouts used it for troop camping, outdoor training and Brownie Camp. It was abandoned by the Girl Scouts in 1978.
Camp Cloud Rim, near Park City, was established in 1937. Utah Council owns this property.
Echoing Pines in Nevada was established in 1939. Girl Scouts stopped using it in 1985.
Trefoil Ranch in Utah County was established in 1946. Utah Council owns the property.
East Canyon Property in Morgan County was purchased in 1977. Utah Council was unable to access water for this camp. The property was sold in 1989.
Utah Council leadership has made excellent decisions about acquiring and maintaining camp properties over the years. Our camps have strong programs and are in high demand.
The “Camp Bureau” is part of the National Girl Scout organization. In 1935 this bureau determined minimum standards for all camps designated as Girl Scout Camps of any sort. Each camp had to conform to these standards.
The magic of Girl Scouting has surrounded the two camps we use today and gives them their own special story. Future articles featuring each of them will highlight what makes them so special.
A vast collection of newspaper articles, photos, scrapbooks and memorabilia has been donated by campers to the Heritage Museum over the years. It’s such fun to relive the joy shared at the time.
Come to our museum to revisit your Girl Scout camp. Meet your favorite counselors in pictures or find the words you have forgotten to a favorite song. Call the Girl Scout office to get information about making an appointment. A Heritage Committee member will be happy to open its doors for you.
references used: Gwen J. Herd: “History of the Girl Scout Camps”. “Girl Scout Camp Study”, Report of the Recommendations of the Camp Study, 1935, 1936, 1937.
Birdie (Birdena) Clampitt joined the Girl Scout movement in Utah for a reason common to many adult members. Her daughter wanted to join and the troop needed help to get started. She volunteered to be the assistant troop leader.
That was in 1965. All these years later Birdie grinned at me and said “I’m a lifetime member.”
Before I could respond she added, “I do whatever I can.”
She paused. The grin faded. “I haven’t done a lot lately.”
At age 91 Birdie has forgotten a lot. While I chatted with her about her Girl Scout experiences her daughter, Roxanne, prodded her memory.
She was forty years old when troop #413 in Salt Lake City organized. After two years as the assistant leader she became the junior troop leader. She remembered things like the new Girl Scout pin had three face and the old Girl Scout uniform was one piece. A box of cookies cost $1.00.
She loved camping and she did a lot of it.
“We went to Camp Cloud Rim, Smith and Morehouse a couple of times and Pioneer Grove and Rose Park. Millcreek Canyon was another early location she remembered.
While camping at Smith and Morehouse she formed a lasting memory, “The outhouse was being cleaned when we were there and what a smell!”
Little things like smelly outhouses didn’t dampen her enthusiasm for camping. She loved it so much she became a day camp director more than one summer. She mentioned day camps at Pioneer Grove, Rose Park and Millcreek Canyon.
One summer she went with the girls on a trip down south to go camping. The bus broke down and they all had to wait to get it fixed. Then they were able to continue on.
Doing what she could to help included accepting the role of Neighborhood Cookie Chairman.
“Cookies were stacked to the ceiling!” she chuckled as she described her living room. “My husband wondered how to get through.” Ah-ha the plight of the unprepared Girl Scout husband. He was a good sport.
Birdie stayed with the Girl Scouts after her daughter became inactive because she liked it. She had been “kinda shy” before joining.
“Girl Scouts brought me out.” she said proudly.
“She became more outgoing, made friendships that became close. Girl Scouting helped her,” Roxanne concluded.
She enjoyed going to camp at Trefoil Ranch. “Once there was a fire at Bridal Veil Falls,” she recalled. “We had to evacuate.”
Still, her memories of Trefoil remained fond. “I liked it very much. It was a good place to be,” she said.
As the years passed by Birdie accepted many positions to help with Girl Scout activities. She joined the Heritage group and enjoyed the work. She made quilt blocks out of old Girl Scout uniforms. Then some one helped to put them together to make a nice quilt.
In 1983 Brenda Tall and Fran Bush were selected to represent Utah at the Leadership for Today and Tomorrow in Washington DC and sponsored by Avon. They were given the responsibility of organizing a similar event in Utah. Fran called Birdie to ask her if she would be the registrar. She accepted. She didn’t ask any questions like, “Who are you?” and “Why are you calling me?” She just did the job. She was able to coordinate attendance with registration for various classes that were offered. Both Fran and Brenda were most grateful.
Birdie made that scary part of event organizing so easy. She probably has a long list of events where she handled the registration so she was good at it and it was fairly easy for her to do.
Training was one more aspect of Birdie’s volunteer assignments. She usually said, “I liked it,” or “I enjoyed it.” when she talked about one of her jobs.
Training adults was difficult for her because, “Some ladies wouldn’t listen very good. I liked learning the information that I needed to teach them.
One event stands out in Birdie’s memory. In 1984 Dawn Minor took a group of older girls to Europe. Birdie went with them.
“I don’t remember much about it,” she confessed. “I just remember I had a great time.”
The girls helped her celebrate her 78th birthday during this trip. She didn’t remember where they were for this celebration. They traveled to England, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, France and Austria.
Birdie attended National Conventions in Denver, Portland and Florida. The Council paid her registration fees. She enjoyed these conventions and was happy to go.
Awards she has received include the Green Angel, the Thanks Badge and a 40 year pin. Looks like she has a couple of membership pins coming.
"Old Girl Scout"
Some people have good memories, some have poor memories and some have absolutely fantastic memories. Beth Butler fits into the third category. Ask her a question about her past then settle down to hear a story complete with names and places. Dates are evasive little rascals.
Beth remembered meeting with a social group in 1951 when her first child, Chris (a boy) was very young.
“At one of our club meetings I said, “I need something to do. I think maybe something with kids. My friend, Marge said, ‘Oh, what about Girl Scouts?’
"I said, I don’t know anything about Girl Scouts."
She said, ‘Well, Donna Ann, that’s her daughter, is a Brownie and is ready to fly up and they don’t have a leader yet.’ And before I knew it I was going to a Brownie meeting because I was going to be their Intermediate Leader in the fall.
“Sharon Dayton watched my son, Chris, while I went to Scouts. My troop met at the Franklin School on State Street in South Salt Lake. When Chris got older I decided he could play around at home so we moved our meetings to my house.”
Beth couldn’t remember how many years she was an Intermediate Girl Scout Leader but she knew it was until her daughters, who weren’t born when she became a leader, were Senior Girl Scouts.
My two daughters, Caralin Dalton and Lori Gillman, were Brownie, Junior, Cadette and Senior Girl Scouts. I count Girl Scouting as an invaluable part of their education. I am proud of the adults they have become. Girl Scouting had a hand in that.
“I went to trainings and before long I was a trainer. Becky Crane trained the Brownie leaders and I trained the Intermediate and Cadette leaders." (The Cadette program didn’t start until the 1960s.) Joyce Steckel was the neighborhood chairman.
“I was a trainer for years and years."
"One of my jobs was to give training: basic leadership, workshops, outdoor cooking and outdoor skills. I was a council trainer, did basic leaderships fall and spring and did workshops — outdoor skills, cooking, badges and songs."
“After every training I would, in my mind, think, ‘well, I’ve had so many leaders who came to training. And if each leader had ten girls, think of the girls that I am having an influence on.”
Beth did basic training at Harmony Park in South Salt Lake. “We used Harmony Park to recruit,” she explained. “It was at Harmony Park that Betty Rider decided to be a leader."
Beth held “singing workshops” in her house once a month when she lived in South Salt Lake. She remembers looking out of the front window of her house during one of her workshops. There was the mailman, watching them. “It was funny,” she said.
Johnny Higgins came to the workshops to sing along with everyone else. “We were dependent on Johnny because she pitched us,” Beth confessed.
For many, many years Beth was the neighborhood chairman for the Granite neighborhood. She used a hectograph to make the agendas for each meeting. She also remembers something very special.
“For years and years the adults in our neighborhood would go to Cloud Rim for about a week after camp was closed for the summer. Someone had to close the camp. We did it.”
Granite Neighborhood would sing on the Cottonwood Mall Christmas tree. Mr. Richards was the manager of the mall. He constructed a set of bleachers in a cone shape where the girls would stand. The Christmas tree came alive when the girls, dressed in their green uniforms, stood on the tiers and started singing.
Singing. Beth loved to sing and she loved to share her singing with others. She always taught songs by rote. She didn’t make copies of the words to pass out to groups of singers. She led the singing at Annual Meeting for several years.
"Along the way I have made so many friends and the song we sing so often, “Make New Friends, But Keep the Old,” has special meaning for me. There has never been a time when I have thought of stopping my Girl Scout connections. It has indeed “made all the difference.”
When asked about Mountain Dell Farmhouse Beth said she took her girls there to camp and she also did trainings there so that the leaders would know what was available to them. “It was a fun thing to do.” She smiled as she talked about the farmhouse. “There was a big, old fashioned wood burning stove inside. There was an outdoor fire place so we did a lot of our cooking outdoors.
Granite Neighborhood didn’t have a day camp location in its boundaries. Beth went to day camps at Fairmont Park in Sugar House and at the mouth of Emigration Canyon. The girls chose a camp name for her, Bambi.
There was no job in Girl Scouting that Beth was not ready to tackle. She was an employee, a district advisor, for the Council in 1963. “When I worked for them we were in an office on 3rd South and it was upstairs." Edith Killbourne and Pearl, (oops, Beth couldn’t remember her last name), worked with her.
Beth went to the National Convention in San Diego. “I got a good deal of help from the classes,” she remembers.
After so many years of contributing directly to the girls and adults of Utah Council, Beth joined the Heritage Committee where she helped with organizing the uniforms, books, badges, banners, pictures, dolls, in other words, all things Girl Scouts.
The Thanks Badge was awarded to Beth in 1967. She showed me her collection of badges and pins. There is a 50 year pin in her box. I asked her if he had received her 60 year pin. 2016 take away 1951 equals 65. She should be eligible. She told me she hadn’t been active since she moved to Kaysville a number of years ago.
Fifty years of actively participating in Girl Scouts represents lots of memories and lots of forgotten details. Highlights of Beth’s experiences give us a taste of what great things our members have contributed to make Scouting today so wonderful.
ps Beth received a card from Johnny Higgins at Christmas. Girl Scouts form lasting friendships. And, Betty rider, “She is one of my best friends,” Beth grinned.
Footnote references: “Old Girl Scout” from the “This is Your Heritage” series from the 26 Trooper.