Barbara Wolfson

1940s Wing Scout Learned Leadership

Barbara Wolfson has only one memento from her years as a Girl Scout in the 1940s on Long Island. It’s a photograph that shows eleven girls. In it Barbara is wearing the uniform that she made herself. This uniform represents the sense of accomplishment that she remembers from those years as a Brownie, a Girl Scout and eventually a Wing Scout.

As Wing Scouts, her troop learned about the different parts of an airplane. They learned terms like “aileron” which is a surface on the outer edge of a wing that moves up and down. Barbara never learned to fly, and she’s not sure she ever climbed aboard an airplane at that time. But it was wartime and this was a way for girls to be prepared.

“As I look back, Girl Scouts was an opportunity to get together and to get along with other girls; it was an opportunity for leadership. We gained a certain amount of confidence and a sense of achievement when we finally received the badges. It was a positive experience.”

Barbara Wolfson