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Trail Blazers: Looking at the pioneers of leadership

Trail Blazers is a weekly historical feature in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives
Trail’s first Girl Guide Company, summer 1911. Back L-R are: Sally Thompson, Ruth McKinnon, Ethel Carr, K. Beisley (captain), Dorothy Blackman (Lieutenant). Middle L-R: Angie Board, Clara Austad, Molly Austad. Front: Ruby Walker, and Pearl Carr. (Trail Historical Society)

Featuring the history of youthful leadership in the city is timely this week given the days of July and August sunshine that traditionally add a twist of zeal to the organized summer camps at Kootenay Lake.

Jesslyn Jarvis, collections coordinator with the Trail Museum and Archives, submitted two historic photos for Trail Blazers, both evoking a sense of wonderment.

Who are these pioneers?

And where did they get those fantastic uniforms?

The first image (3998.600) captures the Rossland-Trail Boy Scouts at the Trail CPR Station, leaving for summer camp on July 3,1929.

The Rossland-Trail Boy Scout Association was organized the year previous (1928) under the leadership of Dr. C.H Wright.

The troop started out with 35 boys in four patrols. Their uniforms were made by a Trail dressmaker, using brass buttons and bandanas as neckerchiefs.

And every summer, for decades, the scouts attended camp outs at Camp Koolaree on Kootenay Lake.

“The entire Boy Scout organization was created in 1908 England by Lord Robert Baden-Powell,” Jarvis noted. “And Trail’s first Scout troop was formed soon after, in 1910, under Scoutmaster George ‘Scotty’ Alexander.”

The second image (0634.600) captures Trail’s first Girl Guide Company, organized in March 1911 with school teacher Kay Beisley as Captain and Dorothy Blackman as Lieutenant.

The Trail guides company disbanded in 1917 and only resumed with a donation from the Presbyterian Church in 1927.

The First Trail Company was registered in 1928, followed by the Second Trail Company in 1929.

About Camp Koolaree

Established in 1931 by the Trail United Church, Camp Koolaree is a 137-acre camp located on the West Arm of Kootenay Lake.

Surrounded by beach, trails, mountains and lake, it makes for a true wilderness setting.

Still running today, Camp Koolaree is also called “United Church Camping in the West Kootenay,” and all are welcome regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, national origin, economic status, family status or faith tradition.

Read more here: Trail Blazers

Read more here: Trail Blazers

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Rossland-Trail Boy Scouts in July, 1929. (Trail Historical Society 3998.600)

Sheri Regnier

About the Author: Sheri Regnier

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