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Devoted volunteers provide multigenerational experience for local Girl Scouts


Betty Bavor and Gladys Szabo

BRUNSWICK — Betty Bavor, 89, and Gladys Szabo, 80, are both members of Troop 1644 in Brunswick, Maine, and yes, both of them are still Girl Scouts and are very active supporting girls in the Brunswick area. The lessons they continue to pass down to the next generation of Girl Scouts are invaluable.

“Betty and I do not miss an event. We are known as the craft and the swap ladies. We have even gone to camporee and slept over at our ages,” says Gladys.

As said by Betty, “What a privilege to continue my scouting journey giving back and learning about Maine's scouting events with fine Leaders and great Girl Scouts. Thank you Juliette Gordon Low - the Girl Scout movement adapts to a changing world. Girls and women believe and make the world a better place living the Promise and Laws of Girl Scouting with unlimited opportunities and adventure.”

“Betty and Gladys are two volunteers that will do anything you ask of them. They love to be with the girls and share their Girl Scout adventures with them. I don’t think the girls have a good idea of how long these two ladies have been Girl Scouts! It is volunteers like Betty and Gladys that make me realize the time-tested importance of Girl Scouting and how it is going stronger than ever! I don’t think we have said thank you enough to them for their contributions. Their commitment to Girl Scouts goes beyond just speaking about it; they continue to actively participate in it!” said Volunteer Support Specialist, Elaine Taylor.

Betty’s Girl Scout journey began in 1939 in a rural farming town in Massachusetts when she became a Brownie. Fast forward to 1960, she stepped into a role as a teacher as well as a Troop Leader after moving to Connecticut.

“Our troop camped year round, had service projects, celebrated traditional Girl Scout events, sometimes as a troop, sometimes as a neighborhood, and at least once a year as a Council event. Troop 705, ours, took many trips promoting camping and outdoor skills we all learned together. The troop's co-leaders were remarkable and cooperative parents made all experiences possible and valuable. When my troop graduated from high school, I became a floating leader helping new leaders and assisting neighborhood programs” said Bavor.

Gladys began her Girl Scout journey when she became a Troop Leader in 1969, when a friend asked her if she wanted to help start a Brownie troop. “We worked on traditional Girl Scout activities, but we camped every month of the year. Once in March, there was a cabin belonging to another council. We had a big snowstorm the night before, but it did not stop us. The road on the way in was knee deep in snow, so we grabbed plastic sleds to haul our equipment and food. Back then we could bring dogs, so our Husky had come with us. She pulled the heaviest sled, and all was great until we came upon a tree on the trail. Well, the dog decided to jump over the tree instead of under. You can imagine what happened.”

Both were members, or “sister scouts” as Betty likes to call them, of the Southwestern Connecticut Council before moving to Maine.

Thank you, Betty and Gladys, for all of your hard work and dedication to not only Girl Scouts of Maine, but Girl Scouts as a whole. We truly and sincerely appreciate you.

Once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout.

Check out their story in the Times Record!