One of the First African American Girl Scouts
Laurette Hinkson joined Girl Scouts in 1930, at the age of 10, in Elmira, NY. She earned the Golden Eaglet, the highest award for Girl Scouts at the time, in 1939. As a Girl Scout, Laurette was involved in many community service projects including one at the Neighborhood House and others at various nursing homes and community centers.
Laurette loved the outdoors. She recalls going for hikes and staying for a week at Camp Seneca on Seneca Lake. She also remembers earning her archery badge. “Girl Scouts taught me how to get along with everybody,” Laurette said. “I learned to do so many things that helped me in my adult life. I learned to try to treat people like I wanted to be treated.”
Laurette cites her most memorable Girl Scouting experience taking place at the 90th anniversary of Girl Scouts where she met former Secretary of State, Colin Powell and his wife. She was able to have her picture taken with them and she gave his wife a kiss. “I told them I was so proud to be able to meet them,” she said.
Laurette has been involved with Girl Scouts for over 80 years and is very proud of her 50 year membership in the Golden Eaglet Order of the Hendrick Hudson Region. Today she supports the Girl Scout troops at her Brooklyn church, St. Philips Episcopalian Church. “I am close to many of the girls there,” Laurette said. “It brings back many memories.”
As told to Kim Dunne