Camp Fire Girl Reunion

It seems my family is "reunion" crazy.

Twenty years ago my eldest daughter decided to have a reunion of the Camp Fire Girl group that I had for nearly 10 years. I kept the group until the young woman graduated from high school in 1970.

She's decided that since her high school is having their reunion this weekend, she wanted to get the Camp Fire Girls together once again the night before. She sent letters using all the addresses she had and many letters came back. And then she searched for people on Facebook to invite.

First let me tell you about how I got involved.

Dana, my daughter was in a Blue Bird group. The leader, who has been a good friend over the years and one of the biggest fans of my books, decided someone else needed to take over and called together the meeting of the mother. I was the youngest one there. (This was a long, long time ago.) No one volunteered. Feeling totally inadequate, I finally said I'd do it. My daughter loved being a Blue Bird.

I grew up with these girls. From Blue Birds they became Camp Fire Girls and earned all kinds of beads for their vests and sold more Camp Fire candy then most of the other groups in the city. They participated in yearly Council Fires.

We day camped together and somewhere along the way, I helped plan and ran many of the day camps which always had one overnight. We camped at the beach, the Hueneme Navy Base, and a school ground--probably some other places that I don't remember.

As a group we camped on weekends many places, up in the mountains where in snowed and Boy Scouts couldn't take it and went home, at the beach. We camped at the Camp Fire camp in Santa Paula when I was 9 months pregnant with my youngest child.

As they grew older we back-packed into the mountains--I had never done this before, but I learned right along with the girls. In high school, they became Horizon Club Girls, and we took lots of other trips. We went to San Diego to joint a lot of Horizon Clubs from all over--and had to fight off the sailors who realized all these cut girls had arrived in their teritory.

We went to Hollywood and took in free TV shows and went sight seeing.

These girls all came from poor families and we always had to earn our way to do anything. In their Junior Year we decided it would be fun to make a trip to the Grand Canyon. Oh my, what a great idea--but we had to earn every penny to go there. We collected green and blue stamps that could be turned into money. We put on plays.

One year we did a parody on Dark Shadows, the soap opera. The next year we put on a spoof of Peter Pan--turned both into musicals. What a talented bunch I had.

I signed a check with Greyhound of $1000 and we got another Horizon Club group to go with us and filled the bus with 40 people, 4 chaperones and the rest highschool girls though we did take my younger daughter and another younger Horizon Club girl to fill every seat. Remember, this was in the days before credit cards, so we had to earn all the money we needed for the bus, our lodging, and the food we ate.

We loaded the bus and headed first to a place where the water leaves the Colorado River to come to L.A. (The Gene Pumping Station) It was free lodging and wonderful food for just watching a movie about how the Hoover Dam was built. The next a.m. we headed to the Grand Canyone. We spent three days and two nights there exploring. And then it was on to Las Vegas where we stayed with other Horizon Club Girl's families. Each group had a different experience. We headed home exhausted, but what a wonderful way to end our time together as a Horizon Club.

The group was made up of girls from all different ethnic backgrounds and three high schools. We had a great time together and learned a lot. Looking back, I wonder how I had the guts to plan some of the things we did.

One of the girls who ended up being my middle daughter's sister in law told me many years later that what she learned from me was that you could do anything you wanted, all you had to do was work at it. Wow! That really made me feel good.

Tomorrow I'll tell you all about how the reunion went.



Tomorrow you can see photos of the group as we grew up and our two reunions.

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