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Girl Scout Week Alum Story: The Incredible Tale of Troophouse


Longtime Girl Scout Alum Betty Moore shares this story in honor of Girl Scout Week 2022:

In the 1940s, GSNI’s legacy council—Girl Scouts - Rock River Valley—was called the Rockford Girl Scout Council, and its newsletter was called Winnesco News. (My guess is that this stood for Winnebago Scout, but none of the older alums really know.) Some of our surrounding little towns at the time, such as Belvidere, had their own Girl Scout councils. In 1952, the Girl Scouts in Boone, Ogle, and Winnebago Counties merged to create the Rock River Valley Council of Girl Scouts.

I've finally read my way through the Winnesco News of 1944 and started 1945. During the tail end of 1944, Girl Scouts sold wall calendars for 25 cents and cookies for 35 cents a box. Girl Scouts were told a selling point was that the cookies were fruit-based and buying them would help with sugar and shortening shortages. (People needed ration points to get sugar during World War II). Cookies were not sold during 1943 because of ingredient shortages, so 1944 had a big goal of 10,000 boxes to sell.

The January 1945 issue of Winnesco News awarded me a wonderful surprise—a full-page financial disclosure of how much Troophouse cost to build. Originally meant to cost $6,200, Troophouse ended up costing $7,338.85. The additional costs included cupboard shelves, hauling of the logs, stain, paint, the lanterns, and building materials. The best part of the article was that the entire Troophouse project was funded by Girl Scouts!

Previously, the 1942 cookie sale netted $1,563.68. The Girl Scouts also collected grease for a couple years which netted $3,165.56 (Girl Scouts only received 5 cents per pound!). If a troop wanted to, they could also donate $1 per member totaling $2,461.88. There was $305 given in donations. So, in the end, $7,496.12 was raised which was nearly $150 over the original Troophouse goal!

What an amazing story from our local Girl Scout history! Looking back, we are so proud of our sister Girl Scouts of 1942, 1943, 1944, and 1945. Thanks to them, Troophouse at Camp McCormick has faithfully served generations of campers and will continue to inspire a love of the great outdoors for years to come!

Happy Girl Scout Week 2022!