Thursday, May 21, 2009


Brownie Troop 117, Beverly Vista Elementary School, 1960

When I was a little girl, all of my best friends joined our local Brownie Troop, so I joined too. We met in the Troop House on the playground of Beverly Vista Elementary School in Beverly Hills. The school has been updated and remodeled over the years, so I don't think the original Troop House is still there (I must drive by and check that). The Troop House was painted an institutional light green on the outside. Inside, it had a wooden floor, lots of tables and chairs and a raised stage at one end. We met once a week after school. Various crafts were explored, as well as reading from the Girl Scout Handbook. During one Easter Vacation we attended Girl Scout Camp at the Lazy J Ranch in the hills of Malibu. That experience cured any thoughts I may have had about raising chickens! P.U.
I can still name all of the girls in the photo above. Most of them went through 8th grade and then on to four years of high school with me. I've seen a few of my old friends over the years at reunions. It's always fun to catch up.
They are, from left to right: Jeri Lou, Denise, Allison, Erica, Jody, Ellen, Nancy, Leslie, Sharon, Eva, Ria, Mandy, Dana, Sandy, Karin, Gayle. The troop leaders were Mrs. Milner (left) and Mrs. Martin (right).
Allison's mother, Mrs. Rudolph (not pictured) was the Mom that taught us all how to knit. We knit squares that Mrs. Rudolph sewed together for an afghan to donate to a local retirement home. I am eternally grateful to Sergi Rudolph. Thank you for teaching us to knit! Learning this skill has given me great satisfaction over the years!
Yes, I still own my original Barbie, all of her clothes and accessories!

After learning to knit squares, my Mom gave me some scrap yarn and I knit a few dirndle skirts for my Barbie doll. Mom knit the crop top! Very stylish!
Alas, after two years with the Brownies I decided not to "fly-up" to the Girl Scout troop. By that time, I'd lost interest in after-school activities and was too fascinated with learning to play guitar, modern jazz dance class and arts and crafts at nearby Roxbury Park Recreation Center! Were you ever a Brownie, Bluebird, Girl Scout, Cub Scout or Boy Scout? Do tell!
More vintage photos here.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

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At 8:53 AM PDT, Blogger jenna! said...

Lazy J, I've been there. Wow, its been a long time since I thought about that place.

Too funny that you posted about your Barbie. We were just talking about the original Barbie last night. (Our sewing teacher Becky, her father threw hers and all of her accessorites out!)

Have a great holiday weekend!!

At 9:02 AM PDT, Blogger Beth said...

How awesome that you have so many great memories that happened all in the same general area!

I actually went from Brownies all the way through to "Seniors". I loved the crafting and camping!!

Have a great weekend!

At 9:17 AM PDT, Blogger susanc said...

Great photo - I love the gloves! I sold my Barbie a couple of years ago on Ebay to a lady who lives in Australia with the few outfits I had, as I don't know any little girls that I could have given her to.

At 9:38 AM PDT, Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

:) As you may have guessed, I was a brownie, then a bluebird (there was no GS troop where we lived at the time), then a GS. I think I stuck with it through 6th grade (went camping somewhere near the potomac, where we found fossils of shark teeth!) I loved it. I would have stayed with it when we moved back to CA in 7th grade if I hadn't succumbed to peer pressure. Sigh.

Gorgeous Barbie. She kinda looks like you!

Happy weekend. Lemme know if you have any advice re: getting past the marathon on monday.

At 1:05 PM PDT, Blogger Natalie said...

I LOVE the brownie photo. It is a classic. I wanted to be a Bluebird but there were no troops in my area. I was a GS. Recently I found my sash. One day walking home from my GS meeting I lost my beret. It was devastating because I thought that beret was the coolest accessory ever and I knew we couldn't afford to buy another one. I retraced my steps and still couldn't find it.

And yes I had a raspberry colored beret in the 80s.

At 3:38 PM PDT, Blogger Kath said...

I think I was a brownie first but I barely remember it. I do remember being a junior girl scout though, earnig badges for various crafts and such, and I definitely remember selling cookies! And funny enough - I'm fairly sure I went to a weekend camping trip, a "Branding Bee", at the Lazy J in Malibu.

At 4:14 PM PDT, Blogger Beth McDermott Oliver said...

You seem to be the only Brownie not wearing gloves. Can that be true?
Beth O.

At 7:06 PM PDT, Blogger Jean said...

I love your food blog as well, what a great place for me to be able to scope out a new place to visit. I too was a Brownie, the woman who led our troop had the most marvelous red hair. My Barbie was the twist & turn. I can't believe you still have yours! What great memories.

At 7:47 PM PDT, Blogger mary said...

You know that Pam and I are co-leaders for our daughters' GS troop, right? We just flew up and bridged last month and our 12 girls are now juniors. We started with them as Daisies in kindergarten. Daisies is a level for kindergarten that was added about 10-15 yrs ago. I would post a picture of our troop, except I don't have permission from all the parents. I'll try to find one of SG to post for you! Our first away sleepover camp last October was none other than Lazy J! Wonderful memories!

At 1:33 AM PDT, Blogger LINDA said...

I have ten years of happy memories of the Girl Scouts. Our troop started a G.S. Drill team and went on to win many awards. Remain friends with many of them today!

At 8:15 AM PDT, Anonymous Jennifer said...

I went through Brownies but didn't continue on to Girl Scouts, because I saw all the fun my brothers were having in Boy Scouts (archery, camping, horsebackriding) and all the CHORES it looked like my sister was doing in Girl Scouts (soap making, sewing, memory and recitation)!
I enjoy your blog a lot; you're always very upbeat and positive! Thanks, Ellen!
Long-time reader, first-time commenter,
Jenn from Michigan

At 9:30 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a Brownie then Junior Girl Scout, raised my two daughters in Girl Scouting as a leader, troop organizer and trainer. I think it is such a wonderful organization for girls and young women...and adult women, looking for good volunteer work that makes a difference. I have my Lifetime have tapped into my "inner Girl Scout". As they say, "once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout".
Suzanne from MT

At 11:54 AM PDT, Blogger Madge said...

OMG, y'all are wearing gloves. And hey, I think I had that exact same Barbie. I know I had that case, and two Barbies that my Mom bought me used from the American Club in Bangkok. The other one had hair that was moulded plastic. Wow, memories.

P.S. I, too, was a Bluebird (they didn't have Brownies in Thailand), and then a Girl Scout. I kinda sucked at it.

At 11:06 AM PDT, Blogger Memories of Yesterday said...

Awww - I was a girl scout from 1-12th grade, and have been a leader since graduating from high school. Our troop in Santa Monica just got back from a camping trip this weekend, and will be going to Lazy J in the fall!


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