The Joy of Girl Scouting

Posted: Jan 23, 2012

When Girl Scouts in Arizona prepared to load the bus for camp in the 1950s and 1960s, they were likely to have seen Dorothy Canfield Foster. Why? Well, she was hard to miss! With her big smile and even bigger, colorful umbrella, Dorothy could be spotted from a mile away.

Dorothy began working for our council in 1952 as a member of the office support staff.  During this time, with fewer than 10 staff managing 4,281 girls and 1,320 adults, Dorothy was always willing to help where she was needed to keep the office running smoothly.  She worked tirelessly on the things that may have seemed small, but undoubtedly made a big difference for Girl Scouts. From registering girls in troops, to ensuring girls were placed in the correct cabins for camp, all were done to make girls’ Scouting experiences memorable.

Dorothy’s wit and wry sense of humor brought joy to the office.  She earned many “one of a kind” badges during her years at GSACPC, including the “bent ear,” the “backwards registration” and the “clean coffee pot.”   In 1967, she was also the first of the council’s clerical staff to earn the “Thanks Badge.”  By the time she retired in 1969, she had she worked under three executive directors, experienced three office moves, and saw exponential membership growth—from roughly 4,000 to 18,000 girl members.

However, even after retirement, Dorothy did not stop helping the Girl Scouts organization. She spent years sifting through the historical archives of our council to write a book, titled The Long Green Line—recapping the first 50 years of Girl Scouting in Arizona.  She completed the document in 1977, which provides a rich resource for council history to this day.

Dorothy passed away on September 4, 1989 in Phoenix, Arizona, but her memory and joy for the Girl Scouts lives on.