I joined the Girl Scouts as a Brownie at age seven about the year 1958. I had the opportunity to attend one week of Girl Scout camp that first summer and I went every summer after that for two weeks. One day, my dad said it was time to go to summer school and take typing so I could learn to type. He said that if I ever got divorced, then I could become a secretary. I was devastated! No more camp! At least until I was 17 and I got a summer job at that very camp where I had gone for many summers. I loved camp so much. I gained confidence and went on to help girls in camps all over the country, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and finally Washington state. I worked at camp every summer and I grew to love the outdoors, travel & lake life. I graduated from college with my Master’s Degree in Recreation and went to work as a professional Girl Scout in South Bend, Indiana, where I hired the staff for camp. I always wanted to live on a lake but lakes were few and property expensive near South Bend but I did visit Lake Michigan often as it was well within driving distance.
Marriage came along, two children, I started a business in genealogy and then the divorce. BUT, I know how to type! I guess I can thank my dad for that. And I learned how to make my own web pages and sell on line. I am nobody’s secretary, I am the owner of a business which takes me around the United States selling wonderful products to genealogists.
Dating started up again in 2002 and I knew I had to get on that lake. I met the husband to be and I bought the lake property in a nearby county. I told him it’s the lake plus me or nothing! We are married now and he said just the other day he will never live here. We love it so much and I credit that love to my many summers at Girl Scout camp.
Meanwhile, the Corona Virus is raging but my husband and I are well stocked with food in the freezer and I know how to cook well. We don’t even feel like there is a pandemic as we rarely leave our beautiful property anyway. I do miss going on the road with my business and the lack of income certainly effects me, but this too shall pass.
Yes, Girl Scout camp played a huge part in my life as well as having made so many friends. My high school just had their 50th class reunion last summer and four of us girls (we left the men at home) traveled together and met up to be together. We were all Cadette Scouts in the same troop in Michigan and we are in contact with each other often.
I wish more girls would attend camp. I gained mental strength and confidence and I know it made me into the woman I am today.
(The attached photo is of our class reunion and my three Cadette friends: Marty Alsgaard, Dorothy Houser Fancher, Barbara Merry Busch & myself, Bev Trew Palmer.