Esther Griffin

Girl Scout Camp at Harris Hill Near Elmira, NY

Esther at Harris Hill Camp While wearing a Brownie uniform with a little gold brownie pin warms my memory, my fondest recollections of scouting revolve around Girl Scout Camp on Harris Hill outside of Elmira, NY. I can relive almost every moment of that wondrous week. I never see the quivering leaves that identify a Quaking Aspen without being back there when we were sent on a nature treasure hunt and no one could find that tree. The counselor looked up and grinned, as we were all standing right beneath one — I can still see it now, covered with trembling leaves. I pass on the information I learned back then to my grandchildren that the leaves quake because their stems instead of being round or triangular, are flat, flapping easily to flutter with every breeze.

early momentosI remember being the poorest of swimmers, determined to get my swimming badge and floating most of the last couple laps while everyone else had finished and ringed the pool cheering me on to my small victory. At that time being an only child, I still relish the comaraderie of all the girls, especially my favorite, Carolyn Weir. We kept in contact writing lengthy letters then drifted apart geographically. In my 70’s I chanced upon an obituary for her father, contacted her and we renewed our friendship revisiting Harris Hill.

Working on my Hostess badge, I learned proper table setting and never set a table without checking that the sharp edges of the knife blades are toward the plate! Scouting was a wonderful activity still remembered and appreciated by this octogenarian.

Esther McNeil Griffin
Binghamton, NY