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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Q5: Family celebrates long tradition in Girl Scouts

  • Victoria Vaughn Ballard has four generations of Girl Scouts in her family.
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  • Victoria Vaughn Ballard has four generations of Girl Scouts in her family.
    1. Girl Scouting has been a long tradition in your family. What family members have participated in Scouting and over how many years does this participation span?
    Alberta Heintzelman was a troop leader of her daughter Marilyn's troop at Muncie Grade School in Leavenwoth from 1957 to 1962. Marilyn Heintzelman Vaughn was a camp leader in Texas before she had children and her daughters, Vicky and Chrissy, was a troop leader from 1981 to 1996 in Texas and Washington. Victoria become a leader before she had children and continued with her two daughters' troops from 2005 to present. I guess if you add up all of the years we have all volunteered it's nearly 60 years.
    2. How has Scouting changed over the years from the time your grandmother, Alberta Lee Heintzelman was involved with Girl Scouts to the present, as your daughters Mary and Katie Ballard take part in the organization?
    Scouting has changed just as everyday life has changed since the 1950s. Camping was much more primitive and many times not at organized camps or campsites.
    We would just go out into the woods or to some one's farm. Now it seems to take lots of supplies, bathrooms and even beds sometimes.
    The badges and program are also changing. There is not the emphasis on homemaking, sewing, cooking and out- of-doors that there once was.
    There is now a lot about electronics-games, computers, movie making, there's also more about the environment.
    3. What sort of service projects do your daughters take part in and how do those projects differ from ones that your grandmother participated in?
    The biggest service project I can remember was making a quilt for the Children's ward at Cushing Hospital. (We even had our picture in the Leavenworth Times in 1962). We each embroidered blocks then set them all together. It took a long time. I think service is emphasized more in the '80s and now.
    4. How do the Girl Scouts' service projects help their communities and what are the most important benefits for the girls when they volunteer for these projects?
    The girls learn about a world outside of their own. They learn to have empathy for others' problems. And they learn to work together to try to solve those needs or problems.
    5. Is your four-generation Scouting bond an important legacy that you think will be passed down to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and what is the most valuable lesson that this experience has given all of you?
    It is definitely a legacy I hope is passed down. Girls need to have a platform that they can be in charge and not influenced by the ideas of boys.
    Page 2 of 2 - They need to realize it's OK to be smart and that many professions are open to them.
    Alberta was a registered nurse, and cadet nurse during World War II, Marilyn was a high school math and science teacher, and I am a chemical and civil engineer besides teaching math and science.
    I think Girls Scouts influenced all of us in many ways that we don't even realize.
    — Rimsie McConiga
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