Blue Birds from Emerson School

Blue Birds from Emerson School (December 1959)

Some time ago, this photo of the Blue Birds from Emerson School was shared on FaceBook. So many of these girls became Burbank High Class of 1968 grads that I thought it would be fun to share it. In case you have trouble identifying the girls, they are:

Back row (L-R): Stephanie Llewellyn, Kathy Benno, Sally Bartley, Alyse Trostler, Jill Gipson, Carole Aikin, Nazira Thomas. Front row: Jeanette Gosling, Barbara Weitbrecht, Cynthia Henry, Kathy Au, Tenny Battles, Marilyn Kasper.

The Blue Birds came to my family's home for a Chinese Christmas. Click the picture for a larger view.

The Blue Birds came to my family’s home for a Chinese Christmas. Click the picture for a larger view and to read the article.

In case you don’t know, Blue Birds were the younger versions of Camp Fire Girls, now known as Camp Fire USA, It was founded to be the sister organization of the Boy Scouts, but I always thought of it as the alternative to the Girls Scouts. We did crafts, cooking, hiking, beach days, museum tours, theme parks, and of course, camping. (I’m afraid that to this day, I’d much rather stay in a five-star hotel than go camping!)

Barbara Weitbrecht

Barbara Weitbrecht

Many of us were Camp Fire Girls all through high school and I considered them to be my best friends.  Our leaders were Ruth Benno (now deceased) and Georgette Weitbrecht. Mrs. Weitbrecht is now in her 90s and lives in North Carolina. I sent her this picture last Christmas and she was thrilled to receive it and relive many happy memories.

Barbara Weitbrecht works for the Smithsonian Institution.

Barbara works for the Smithsonian Institution.

I’ve found some of these girls on FaceBook and others I saw at our class reunions. I was especially happy to connect with Barbara Weitbrecht, who is a database programmer for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. She is an avid gamer and is a team writer for Home Station magazine, which is devoted to gaming on the PlayStation Network. Her latest article, “Reality is a Matter of Opinion,” reveals some of her growing-up years in Burbank, CA and I highly recommend reading it. It’s absolutely spectacular writing about online role-playing games, avatars, imagination and reality.

Barbara also wrote about the Camp Fire Girls’ ceremonial rituals in her article, “The Uses of Glory”.

Please — will the rest of the Blue Birds (and Camp Fire Girls) connect with us and give us your stories?

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One response »

  1. June Ingersoll Roseberry says:

    I was in Blue Birds when I was living in the state of Washington in first grade. I can’t remember why I joined brownies but I was in a troop close to home for a couple of years. When we transfered back to California I was asked to join the campfire girls the last day of sixth grade. I was blessed to be in Mrs. Parrish’s group till my senior year. What a great group of young women. Mrs. P was a wonderful leader.

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