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Dorsey Hampshire Tells of Girl Scouts World Encampment in Canada
by Dorsey Hampshire 1957


This is something my mom wrote after coming back from Girl Scout camp the summer before her sixteenth birthday.

from The Argus (Robinson, Crawford County, Illinois, Thursday, October 14, 1957)

(Editor's Note: Dorsey Hampshire, daughter of Mrs. Claude Hampshire, 909 West Porter Ave., was one of a patrol of Mariner Scouts of the East Lake-Porter County Girl Scout Council who attended a world encampment in Canada this summer. The Chesterton, Indiana, Tribune asked Miss Hampshire to write about her experiences and the report she gave them was printed in a recent issue of that newspaper. Miss Hampshire's mother is the former Margaret Dorsey of Robinson and she is the niece of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Dorsey and of Miss Alice Dorsey of Robinson. The Argus received a copy of the article and found it so entertaining it is reproduced below.)

Dorsey Hampshire Tells of Girl Scouts World Encampment in Canada
(by Dorsey Hampshire)
Mariners Ship 242

There were four centenary world encampments of Girl Scouts this year [in 1957] to honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of Lord Baden Powell. The one I attended was at Doe Lake, Ontario. The others were held in the Philippines, Switzerland, and Windsor Castle.

The camp was divided into sub-camps, the sub-camps into hubs, and hubs into units made up of four patrols. Our unit had girls from Newfoundland, Scotland, England, Manitoba, and Ontario. In all, there were girls and leaders from 48 countries at the camp.

With the exception of reveille, meals, and taps we were free to do as we pleased, swim, canoe, or just go around the camp, making friends, taking pictures, and swapping things.

This swapping business is catching and a lot of us were shortly down to the two uniforms we were required to have, one camp, and one dress. With one exception, practically anything was swappable. The exception was the Canadian camp shoes, which were really ghastly black lace jobs. The rest of their uniform was real nice, two shades of blue, but not one of them could get rid of a pair of shoes. Even the police caught the fever and were swapping blue and gold patches that say Ontario Provincial Police. This was a prize swap, since they had come to guard the place, and had only a limited number of sleeves available to rip patches from. I got one for a first class pin, which was a gyp, because the American first class pin is exactly like the Canadian.

Since we knew we were in camp in a unit with girls from English speaking countries we hadn't expected any language difficulties, but got them anyway.

We were at a centenary camp, they were at a sin-teen-ary. They had alu-min-ium pots, and when we asked at the commissary for napkins, we were told they had no baby breeches, what we wanted were serviettes. Cookies were biscuits, doughnuts were cookies, and the John was Nelson. We went to a movie, they went to the cinema. This was all further complicated by a feud between Scotland and England over the correct pronunciation.

The meals were typically Canadian, and seemed to bother no one but those of us from the United States. We'd known we were to have tea and had either looked forward to an afternoon snack or wondered how we could choke the ghastly stuff down. It developed that "tea" was supper and leaned very heavily in deviled eggs and salad. The big meal was at noon and absolutely depended on boiled cabbage.

We were positively gleeful the day hot dogs and buns turned up on the menu, and could hardly wait to bite into them. Little did we know. Mrs. Hyde, Deputy Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Girl Guides was our guest that day and she, oh horrors, cut off little slices of bun and hot dog with her knife and fork and we had to, too. I hope I never have to do that again.

On Visitors Day ours were the only Mariner uniforms there and we were asked "Where are you from?" and "May we take your picture?" Well, sure, and we were Girl Scouts from the United States. This got some rather odd looks, a couple "oh rilly's" and not many pictures taken.

Then, someone informed us the Salvation Army in Canada had recently started an organization for teen-age girls which, of course, they called Girl Scouts. After that we said we were Girl Guides from the United States. It really didn't make any difference about the pictures. Why waste film on the United States with East Istanbul present?

Breaking up camp is always a sad time, but this was especially bad, since there were really very little chance of our ever seeing each other again. Everyone cried, and cried. It was terrible.

Two days later we were doing up Niagara Falls and guess who else was doing up Niagara Falls on their way home? We said good-bye this time on a happier note.


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Page created August 1998. Original material Betsy Vera (bentley@umich.edu). Page background source: Jay Boersma. This website is for information and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to infringe on copyrights held by others.