Mrs. George Ketcham, Backpacker

The August 8, 1967, Missourian caption said “Even Charles, son of Mr. and Mrs. George A. Ketcham, wants to assist his mother with her back pack, a 20-pound weight that she has been wearing for months in preparation for a hiking vacation next week when she will travel about 10 miles a day, walking over the Appalachian Trail with her husband, and her father.” Click on any photo to make it larger. You can read the full Emily Hughes’ story here.

Hike will start at Nantahala, N.C.

I guess someone thought the shot that ran in the paper was cuter than this one that shows Charles’ face. Mrs. Ketcham’s mother was going to keep the six-year-old while the hikers start out north of the Georgia border at Nantahala, N.C.

“Mother will drive us to where we get on the trail, 30 miles away,” Mrs. Ketcham said, “and then we’ll take three days to get back, rest and repack. Then she’ll drive us to the other end and we’ll hike the 20 miles back in two days. After that, well see how we feel. If we’ve had enough, we’ll turn around and head home.”

She had been working up to carrying a 20-pound pack since May. She wore it when she was working as a counselor during the Junior Cadet Day Camp so she wouldn’t lose conditioning.

Grandma Gatewood

I’ve been scanning photos of  another hiker, Grandma Gatewood, for a future story. This is a shot you’ve seen before.

This remarkable woman was one of the first extreme hikers and an ultra-light hiking pioneer who was the first woman to hike the whole 2,168-mile Appalachian Trail in one season. She did it in 1955 at age 67, wearing Keds sneakers and carrying an army blanket, a raincoat, a cup, a first aid kit, one change of clothes and a plastic shower curtain, all stuffed in a homemade bag slung over her shoulder.

She hiked it again in 1960 and then again at age 75 in 1963, making her the first person to hike the trail three times (though the final hike was completed in sections). She also walked 2,000 miles from Independence, Mo., to Portland, Ore., averaging 22 miles a day.

This was shot in 1969 when she was walking in Hocking Hills State Park

Girl Scout Day Camp 1967

I posted photos of a group of Girl Scouts and Brownies touring The Missourian to celebrate the 100th birthday of the organization. I don’t think I’ll be around for the 200th birthday party, so I’d better get this one out early. Here’s the 1967 Girl Scout Day Camp held at The Seabaugh Farm. The following story ran on The Missourian’s Youth Page August 5, 1967. It had a three-photo combo of  Scout Kim Williamson, above, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Garnet Williamson, 1333 Howell, who “overcomes her shyness, gains enthusiasm and finally exuberantly sings out during a songfest at the Cadette and Junior Girl Scout Camp this week.” (The combo earned me a credit line and 15 bucks.)

Telephone directory story

There are some stories that read like a telephone directory and this is one of them. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, an editor pointed out. “The phone book is probably the best-read book in town,” he said. “Everybody’s got one, and the first thing they do when a new one comes out is look up their name to see if it’s in there and if it’s spelled correctly. That’s one of the reasons we want lots of names in the paper. And, we want them spelled correctly.”

Camp Revolving Door

The Seabaugh Farm should be renamed Camp Revolving Door for two weeks out of the year because,  only two hours after 113 Junior and Cadette Girl Scouts close their annual Day Camp, 225 Brownies and leaders will move in for another week of fun and learning.

 The girls will arrive at 9 a.m. and stay until 2:30 p.m. Until 12:30 they will be assigned to unit homes; after that they will work in activity centers. First-year Brownies will participate in singing, hiking, fishing and camp crafts; second-year Brownies will work on badges. After the first day, the meal will be prepared by the girls.

Mrs. Janet Dickerson was camp director

Mrs. Jack Dickerson, camp director, asks parents to follow road signs posted near the camp to prevent congestion. Mrs. Dan Day is assistant camp director, Mrs. Bruce Reed is business manager, and Mrs. Barry Hazen is scout adviser. Mrs. Paul Dowling will be in charge of the truck. The following persons will serve as nurses: Mrs. Milton Schoss, Mrs. Jim Tiapek, Mrs. L.S. Bunch, Mrs. George Farrar and Mrs. Marvin Roberts.

Units 1 through 4

Leaders in the various units are as follows: No. 1, Mrs. A.D. Price, Mrs. Richard Dippold and Senior Scout Martha Hahs; No. 2, Mrs. Robert Guard, Mrs. Robert Restemyer and Senior Scout Ann Dippold; No. 3, Mrs. Ray Wilfong, Mrs. Orville Glueck, Mrs. Bob Drury and Senior Scout Regina Busche, and No. 4, Mrs. H.W. Benson, Mrs. Donald Terry and Senior Scout Betsy Evitts.

Units 5 through 7

Other troops and leaders include #5, Mrs. Wilfred Ressel, Mrs. Jimmy Musgraves and Senior Scout Tara Kaiser; No. 6, Mrs. Albert Hitt, Mrs. David Retherford and Senior Scout Chris House; No. 7, Mrs. F.I. Drew, Mrs. Joe Krueger and Senior Scout Betsy Foster, and No. 8, Mrs. Jack Kollker, Mrs. Earl Miller and Senior Scout Jan Seabaugh.

Older girls worked on badges

Badge and their directors are Indian Lore, Mrs. Ed Kaiser and the Misses Dippold and Busche; Dabbler, Mrs. Charles Doerge and Miss Evitts; Songster, Mrs. Donald Barklage and Senior Scout Barbara Stone; Water Fun, Mrs. Jack Rickard and Mrs. Charles Blattner; Rambler, Mrs. Dipplod and Miss Kaiser.

Crafts and other activities

Activities and their directors include Hike and Barnyard Fun, Mrs. George T. Rasmussen, Mrs. Benson, Mrs. Musgraves and Senior Scout Jan Seabaugh; Arts and Crafts, Mrs. Wm. Dunham and Mrs. Emil Dewrock; Songs and Games, Mrs. Price, Senior Scouts Hahs and Becky Bender; Camp Craft, Mrs. Guard, Mrs. Wilfong, Miss House and Miss Foster; Fishing, Mrs. Tom Cooper, Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Richard Kogge and Mrs. Bill H. Williams. Senior Scouts who will have charge of the nursery wil be Jan Brunton, Donna Dinwiddle and Linda Drew.

For the first time this year, Boy Scouts will be participating, entertaining the sons of mothers busy at the camp. They will be hiking, cooking, engaging in camp crafts and other activities.

Photo Gallery of Girl Scout Day Camp

Here’s a gallery that captured some of the excitement of the Day Camp. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.


Girl Scouts Turn 100 Today

Happy Birthday, Girl Scouts! I understand you hit the Big 100 today. Want to hear something that will rock you back? These Brownies and Girl Scouts, who toured The Southeast Missourian in 1965 or 1966, weren’t too far off from having been around to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the organization. Now they’ll be able to light double the number of candles.

If you were a regular reader of the Saturday Youth Page, the photo above should look familiar to you. One of my jobs was to edit the weekly page, so I took a photo from the tour and made it into one of the standing page sigs. I always liked it because I knew it gave some of the bigots heartburn to see kids of different races “mixing.”

Newspaper tour groups

Cop reporter Dan D. Whittle is doing his best to look important and ignore the group standing around him.

A lot of newsroom folks hated the tour groups, but I enjoyed having them come back to the photo department at The Palm Beach Post.

If I wasn’t busy, I’d take them on a tour of the darkrooms, where the highlight was going through the revolving light trap that would let you go from the lighted hallway to the dark print room without interrupting any work that was going on. You’d revolve a cylinder until an opening showed up, you’d step inside and rotate it until the opening reached the darkroom, then you’d step out. With practice, you could do it without slowing down.

The farmer and the magic room

I’d tell the kids that the experience was a little like the farmer who saw his first elevator when he took his family on a visit to the big city.

He watched mystified as a door would open, people would enter a small room and the door would close. When the door opened again, the room would be empty. This went on for quite some time while he tried to figure out what was happening to the people.

Finally, an elderly woman entered the magic room. The door closed and a few seconds later a beautiful young woman stepped out. There was a brief pause, then the farmer turned and said in a hushed voice, “Son, quick. Go fetch your momma.”

Darkroom tricks

Once they made it through the revolving door, I’d usually have groups of them put their hands on a piece of photographic paper, then I’d turn the overhead room lights on and off to expose it. I’d toss the “blank” paper into the developer and let them see a reverse image of their hands pop up. Even high school kids were impressed, and it made for a nice souvenir to take home.

If we were lucky enough to catch a photographer with prints from an assignment that was going to run the next day, I’d introduce the shooter, have him or her show the kids the pictures, tell them a little about what how they were taken, then tell them to look for the shots in tomorrow’s paper.

I thought it was important for them to realize that real people produced the art that got pitched in a puddle in their front yard. It might encourage them to keep reading the paper. Based on what’s happening to newspapers today, I guess I must not have been too effective.

Earlier Girl Scout stories

 Tour group photo gallery

I tried to print as wide a variety of photos from the tour as possible (including the little girl picking her nose. I hope her kids spot it.). Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery. Happy Birthday, Girl Scouts of America.