50th Reunion: Girl Scout Troop 263 Marches in Mariemont Memorial Day Parade
Submitted by Donna Mire, Girl Scout Alumna
This story begins over 50 years ago and it definitely exemplifies the Girl Scout mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.
I was a member of Girl Scout Troop 263, in Mariemont. When we were in junior high school, Nadine Hodell and Betsy Smith, our troop leaders, told us that if we stayed in Girl Scouting they would help us plan a trip during the summer of 1963 to Our Chalet, one of the Girl Scout world centers in Adelboden, Switzerland. They planted a seed which evolved into reality. The Village of Mariemont became very involved in our plans and supported our various money-earning ventures. We sold Girl Scout cookies, had numerous pancake suppers on Friday nights at the community center and sold "Mariemont Stationary." We even started an Ice Cream Social, which has become an annual event after the Memorial Day Parade.
We were a very active troop, planning our European trip, as well as participating in other Girl Scout activities. We earned badges, had regular camping trips, did many hours of community service, and sent troop members to Mystic, Connecticut and to the Girl Scout Round-up in Button Bay, Vermont. We also built floats and were annual marchers in the Mariemont Memorial Day Parade, and dedicated monuments in Mariemont. We became “sisters” and life-long friends.
After years of planning and money-earning activities, "Over the Sea in '63" became a reality. We embarked on a five week bicycle and train adventure through Europe—this included 13 seventeen-year old Girl Scouts, one leader (Nadine) and a guide from England! We traveled through England, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and France. Most of our travel was by bike, but when the roads became too steep we traded our bikes for seats on trains. We stayed at youth hostels and an occasional bed-and-breakfast. Today this adventure might not seem very unique, but it definitely was in 1963!
The residents of Mariemont were very excited about our trip. They created billboards around town, charting our daily travels and added pictures as we sent them home.
Our sisterhood did not end at our high school graduation. It has continued for the last 50 years through reunions every five years and even closer contact in recent years by frequent emails. We are a remarkable group of women who are wives, mothers, grandmothers and highly educated professionals who have given back to our families and our communities. We reside from coast-to-coast. We celebrate our accomplishments and comfort one another in our sorrows. In honor of our 50 year milestone of "Over the Sea in '63," our troop will proudly march in the 2013 Mariemont Memorial Day Parade.
Amaya’s story: Gaining confidence at Camp Stonybrook
Submitted by Gina H., Educational Outreach, Cincinnati
When the Educational Outreach team first met Amaya in 2010, she was a quiet and reserved 1st grader. She was reluctant to speak up during group discussions or be a leader in group activities. Acknowledging that Amaya could benefit from leadership opportunities and a chance to experience independence, Amaya’s mother registered her for a mini-session at Camp Stonybrook.
At Camp Stonybrook, Amaya got the chance to try new skills such as tie-dyeing, fire building, and outdoor cooking. Amaya was able to make new friendships with other girls, and also interacted with female role models from all around the world. After her camp experience, she was able to describe to our team the wide array of new activities she tried, as well as her favorite camp traditions. She then attended Camp Whip-Poor-Will the following year in 2011.
This year at Girl Scouts, Amaya is a far more confident participant in her school. Acting as a positive role model in class and Girl Scout meetings, Amaya leads small group activities by example by following directions and treating the other girls with kindness and respect. At the Girl Scout closing ceremony at her school, Amaya volunteered to speak in front of a group of over 50 people and explain to them why going to summer camp is important for girls her age. Because of Girl Scouts, Amaya has the confidence to share her opinion with others, be a positive role model for her peers, and inspire others to try new experiences.