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Alumnae – Testimonials

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Marilyn is in the front row, second from the left. Photo taken in 1947 with Troop 4.

Girl Scout Alumnae Feature Story

There are times when you meet someone special; that was my impression after meeting Marilyn Bauer. Marilyn stopped by the headquarters offices in Billings on #GivingTuesday to give a generous donation and I was intrigued with her great Girl Scout memories and asked her to return the following week to visit.

Marilyn was part of Girl Scout troop #4 in Huron, South Dakota. She remembers Girl Scout activities at the Scout House located on the State Fairgrounds in Huron, where she cooked potatoes in the coals of a BBQ pit outside the Scout House.

Marilyn brought her first camera with her to the Council office – a Falcon Deluxe Miniature. This is the camera she used to earn her Photography badge in the 1940’s. The camera is in its original box.  Marilyn also remembers planting trees every Arbor Day with Mr. Davidson from the local Nursery, celebrating Juliette Gordon Low by reciting the history of Girl Scouts, soaking reeds to weave baskets, and remembers earning her sewing badge by using Swedish embroidery to create colorful designs on tea towels and throws.

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Photo of Marilyn’s first camera, she used to earn her photography badge.

As a girl and into adulthood, Marilyn has traveled to 29 countries, some of them multiple times, and has been on six continents (not Antarctica). Marilyn attributes her love of adventure and travel to Girl Scouts.

           “I remember sitting on the front steps of my home in South Dakota and looking at the horizon across the prairie and wondering what was on the other side of the horizon.”

Marilyn has traveled around the horn of Africa in a storm, where they had to turn the engines off so they were not damaged. Her favorite country is Italy, where she has visited four times – she loves the people, the food and the history. She is still taking photos, but now uses a digital camera. She has one enlarged (11×14) favorite photo proudly displayed in her home of each place she has traveled to over the years.

Marilyn raised her two sons on a farm in Montana, with her husband, Roger. The boys were Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. As a family, they enjoyed camping and backpacking in the mountains around Helena and Glacier National Park. Marilyn’s sons hiked into the Bob Marshall Wilderness with their Boy Scout troop, accompanied by their dad as volunteer.

Thanks for coming by the office, Marilyn. It was a pleasure to meet you and I am inspired by your love of adventure and travel.

–Andrea Kenney, Chief Development Officer of Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming

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Photo of Marilyn Erickson Bauer today


If you have Girl Scout memories and would like to be featured in a Girl Scout feature story, please email and tell me all about it.

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“When I was a little girl I was extremely creative, but had a problem with shyness. it wasn’t that I couldn’t make friends, I was just painfully shy. I couldn’t seem to speak in groups of more than two people, and I had a difficult time stating an opinion to someone else. My mother signed me up for Girl Scouts and became my troop leader, it did not take me very long after that to find my voice. with my new found “sisters” I felt like I could take on anything. I even managed to gather the courage to present facts about another country in front of over 100 people (when I was in the 1st grade) all because my very own group of friends was behind me.
Being a Girl Scout when I was younger truly changed my path in life. G.S. taught me to follow what I dreamed, honestly, for lack of sounding cheesey, without my troops from when I was younger I probably would have never pursued my art or my writing, it was having those girls in my life for those years that encouraged me to be me, and not be scarred of what someone else might think. And now I am passing that lesson onto my daughters. I don’t think there is anything more important in their lives than a good support system and people who believe in and encourage them. every little girl needs that!”

                      – Alicia Fladager Ballenger, Living in Montana

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