Saturday, May 20, 2017

Training, Education, and the Outdoors: It’s a 35th Anniversary!

In 1926, Camp Edith Macy: University in the Woods opened its doors in Westchester Country, New York. Named after the chair of the Girl Scout National Board of Directors, it was designed to be a permanent Girl Scout training center. Over the years, the Girl Scouts held classes in administration, outdoor skills, field work, and arts and crafts for leaders and girls in the Great Hall.

In 1980, ground was broken for an addition to the property and the original training center was soon joined by Edith Macy Conference Center, a year-round training and educational facility which is open to Girl Scout volunteers and staff members, as well as nonprofits and for-profits for training events. Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, we wanted to take a moment to look back at some of the history of “Macy.”

Girl Scouts practice dancing on the green next to the Great Hall in 1926.

The Fourth World Conference of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting Movement welcomed delegates from around the world to Camp Edith Macy in 1926. The parade of delegates featured flags from each of the participating countries.

In the 1947, Girl Scouts gathered for camp—and singing—on the steps of the Great Hall.

Girl Scout luminaries, including CEO Frances Hesselbein and National President Jane Freeman, gathered for the Edith Macy Conference Center groundbreaking ceremony in 1980.

Since 2014, The Elliott Wildlife Conservation Grants have given selected Girl Scouts the opportunity to implement girl-led wildlife conservation projects to help visitors experience the wildlife, cultural, and historical assets at Edith Macy. Projects have included educating visitors about red foxes and the creation of iPad led tours of the Elliott Wildlife Interpretive Trail.

The ten Girl Scouts who were named National Young Women of Distinction in 2015 were honored at Edith Macy. From addressing the decline in bee populations to working to stop violence against women, those young women ignited meaningful change in their communities and around the globe.

Since 1982, the Edith Macy Conference Center has welcomed visitors for events that range from Girl Scout celebrations to corporate retreats to weddings—but it will always be our Girl Scout University in the Woods! Here’s to the next 35 years!