Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Pile of Button Bay State Park Buttons are on Their Way Home After 51 Years!

The infamous 1962 Button Bay Buttons
In 1962 the International Girl Scout Roundup took place in what is now Button Bay State Park in Vergennes.  That event celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Girl Scout organization.  Over 10,000 girl scouts from around the world camped together on the beautiful point overlooking Lake Champlain.
Of course you know that state park rules forbid the removal of any item from the park, including the Button Bay buttons, clay deposits formed over time on the floor of the lake.  The Girl Scout Roundup in 1962 preceded the formation of the park, so the collecting did not break any rules.  However, a box full of buttons arrived recently at State Park headquarters from a Girl Scout in Ohio who has been feeling guilty about the buttons in her possession.  We asked for some stories about that event, and this is what she said:
"Going to the water to swim was planned for us, obviously to accommodate the 10,000 campers, and my memories were mostly about 1. Always needing to stay with your “buddy” and 2. Finding buttons. Each troop was to bring a souvenir from their home area (ours were buckeyes from Ohio, the buckeye state and maybe something else) that we could ‘swap’ with others (encouraged mingling,
More of the recovered Button Bay Buttons
I guess).  We then pinned our collection on our straw hat that was part of our uniform. The more, the better Anyway, my very best memory was of the singing, in particular when the whole camp gathered of an evening in a large natural amphitheater and sang together!  “Round up good fellowship, service and cheer. Round up the things we hold so dear. Our hearts are high with adventure joys that resound as we sing, sing out our round-up song”.  Of course it was sung in rounds and all the many voices amplified in the night skies was my highlight. Still sing it once in a while!"

The beautiful returned buttons will become part of a special display in the Button Bay Nature Center celebrating the story of the 1962 Girl Scout Roundup.  Look for it on your next visit to Button Bay State Park.

For some neat historical information on the 1962 Girl Scout Round Up, check out this site:http://www.vintagegirlscout.com/roundup62.html

1 comments:

Nancy White said...

We have a special contribution for your exhibit - a gift from one of our alums - a hat and a shoebox FULL of Girl Scouts S.W.A.P.S. from the 1962 roundup in Button Bay - virtually every SWAP that was available is said to be included in this collection.

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