AUGUST 20, 1941
HYDE PARK, Monday—We had a lovely drive yesterday. The roads through the Berkshires are always pleasant, and not too frequented. The Western Hemisphere Girl Scout Encampment, near Otis, Mass., is situated on a lake, with plenty of trees to shade the tents and cabins. When we arrived, the girls, representing 24 states and 16 countries, greeted us through three of their representatives and then everyone passed by and shook hands.
After this, we started an inspection of the whole camp, which meant walking for nearly an hour and a half, a pleasant activity after the long drive.
My cousin, Mrs. Lyman Delano, went with me, which made the whole day especially enjoyable. She recently resigned as chairman of the committee which arranges for these international encampments, but she is still vice-chairman and has a keen interest in scouting. My friends, Mrs. Arthur Choate and Mrs. Frederick Brooke, were both there and I saw many other familiar faces.
Craft work is carried on in all the tents and the girls do a great deal of swimming, boating and hiking. I thought it particularly good that each unit cooked at least one meal a day and ate it in their own open air dining room, for this gives a chance for familiarity with outdoor cooking conditions. The girls who live in what they call the enchanted forest, which is a lovely grove of hemlock trees some distance from the main building, cook their own breakfast and supper.
Camp Bonnie Brae has a stable and a number of horses with a very able teacher in attendance. I think this is the only Girl Scout camp I have ever visited where the girls could learn to ride. It has proved so popular that nearly a hundred girls signed up for this particular activity.
None of them have had as many hours on horseback as would be required for really adequate training, but most of them have learned something about the handling and care of horses, a very good foundation on which to build for future horsemanship.
We all lunched together in the main building and I was glad to see again Mrs. Leigh-White from England, who has visited many of the other countries in this hemisphere since we met last year. Mayor Putnam of Springfield, Mass., was very kind and drove Mrs. Delano and me to the city, while a state trooper drove my car. At the broadcasting station, I was presented with a beautiful wooden key to the city. I took part in the broadcast which went out to the other groups of Girl Scouts throughout the country, and which I think was later repeated to South and Central American countries.
The drive home into a most beautiful sunset sky, was unforgettable. I arrived a little after 8:00, somewhat weary, but very happy to have taken part in this celebration.