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News & Press: GS News

New home for Girl Scout programs pays tribute to traditions

Monday, October 04, 2010   (0 Comments)
Posted by: jennifer punch
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Retrieved from: http://www.westport-news.com/news/article/New-home-for-Girl-Scout-programs-pays-tribute-to-686884.php

 

When a recent study concluded that more adults would volunteer to participate in outdoor Girl Scout activities if there were heated cabins and toilets that flushed, Judy Frey set out to make changes at Weston's Camp Aspetuck.

Funded by the Girl Scout organization's "A Place to Grow" capital campaign, a 21,000-square-foot, heated cabin housing a kitchen, gas fireplace and restroom facilities was dedicated Sunday in honor of Frey.

The Judy Frey Troop Program Building, dubbed "The Lodge," can accommodate 42 girls for overnight trips. Local troops can also use the facilities to work on badges. Frey said she visualizes youngsters spending an afternoon sledding outdoors and enjoying hot chocolate in the warm cabin. In the summer, the building can be used as an office, infirmary and additional space for programs.

Teresa Younger, president of the Girl Scouts of Connecticut's board of directors, thanked 100 people gathered Sunday at Camp Aspetuck for their support.

She said that when she first moved to Connecticut from North Dakota 20 years ago, the Weston camp was the first local Girl Scout property she visited. "This reminded me of home," she said looking at wooded terrain surrounding the Frey building.

Frey, too, expressed appreciation for Camp Aspetuck's natural beauty. In a few introductory remarks, Frey said that she is grateful to have so many people show up for the building's ribbon-cutting ceremony. "I would rather be at camp on a Sunday afternoon, but maybe you all have something better to do," she smiled.

Frey's long tenure with Girl Scouts began with her role as troop leader for her then-5-year-old daughter. Now 40, her daughter, Lisa, was on hand for the building's dedication.

Along with the new building, an additional trail was also officially opened. Ann Sheffer named the new trail after Nancy Waltz Peach, who was in a troop that she led years ago. Peach, an expert backpacker, hiker and GS leader herself, died last year. Described by Frey as "a camper extraordinaire and someone who made a great contribution to scouting," Peach shared her skills with young women even though she didn't have children of her own.

"When we open the trail today," Frey said, "we need to remember what Nancy used to always say when we were on a hike, `You can always walk one more mile.' "

In preparing her remarks for the dedication, Frey shared that she initially thought about giving "the usual talk about the importance of the camp experience for girls."

"I realized, though, that I would be preaching to the choir," she said. "Almost everyone here today is a camper and many of you have been Girl Scout campers." In keeping with those traditions, Sunday's program began with a flag ceremony, the Pledge of Allegiance and singing "The Star Spangled Banner."

Sophie Call, 12, a seventh-grader at Bedford Middle School and member of Troop 50069, said the Frey building would allow the girls to continue with their activities even when the weather is bad. After spending several summers at Camp Aspetuck, Sophie noted that she especially enjoyed working on the eco-friendly badge. A lover of animals and nature, she laughed as recounted how upset she became when campers were forced to find worms that would be used as bait. "Mrs. Frey came up to me and asked if I wanted to free the worms that were left over," Sophie said. "Even though she hardly knew me, she knew I was upset and came to do whatever she could to help out. I think it's really great that this building is being built in her honor."

Younger agreed: "Judy has a knack for stepping in and making people feel included.

Girl Scouts is part of her heart and soul," she added. "Her commitment to the girls is so passionate."


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