A Brownie beanie and some of the badges won by the nieces and great-nieces of Joan Butler, who began leading scout troops in 1959 and began a family tradition now in its third generation. (Jeff Haff/Gazette Web Editor)
Joan Butler came home from work one day to find a box of Girl Scout-related information on the steps of her apartment in Speigeltown. Apparently, the leader of her niece’s Brownie troop had quit, and because Butler had been a volunteer, she inherited the job of troop leader.
That was 1958.
Butler, now 82, had no children of her own, but she had five nieces and she became the leader for their troops, sometimes leading three troops at a time and beginning a three-generation legacy in her family.
Her family has been involved in Girl Scouting for more than half the 100-year life of the organization.