A new display at the Mazomanie Historical Society Museum coincides with the 100th anniversary Girl Scout celebrations all across the U.S. this year. Area residents and current scout leaders have contributed numerous items and memorabilia to create a display that features many aspects of the scouting program.
According to accounts in The Sickle, the earliest known Girl Scout troop in Mazomanie formed in 1945 and it held a mother daughter banquet the following May in the Mazomanie Community Building. Some but not all of those scouts include Lois Reeve, Betty Westland, Shirley Duhr, Mary Sears, Virginia Ohnstad, Kathleen Shackleton, Marilyn Gust, Mary Fangmeier and Betty Lou Solon.
The scouts were active through the 1950s and 1960s and then inactive until Mae Wildt helped to revitalize the program. Mae had been a scout herself in the Milwaukee area in the mid 1940s and then became leader of Troop 666 which included daughters Karen and Lisa. Now granddaughter Sidnee is a Brownie Scout. It is not unusual for generations of a family to become involved in the scouting program.
Black Earth scout, Kathy Bomkamp, and best friend, Carrie Obright, were very active in the 1970s and 80s. Eventually, both received the Girl Scout Gold Award, the symbol of Girl Scouts highest achievement in 1982. Mother, Irene Bomkamp, was leader of Black Earth Troop 303.
Currently there are nine troops which include Daisy (kindergarden & first grade), Brownies (second and third grade), Juniors (fourth and fifth grade), Cadettes (sixth, seventh & eighth grade). The tradition of girl scouting is very strong at this time with the involvement of 13 leaders and many, many girl scouts.
The display includes uniforms, photos, projects, camping experiences, memories, and memorabilia from the Girl Scout celebration held in Madison on May 5, 2012. The society is compiling a list of past and present scout leaders and personal memories from people involved with the scouting program. Paper and photos can be copied and returned to the owners. For more information and/or to contribute, contact Rita Frakes, Curator, 795-4355 and Virgil Matz, Historian, 767-2305.
The museum located at 118 Brodhead Street is open summer Sundays from 1-4 p.m. or by appointment, 795-2992
–Rita Frakes, Curator