Tag Archives: Edna “Skipper” Hollis

60 years of Girl Scouting with Edna “Skipper” Hollis

Submitted by Ann Thacker

Metro Denver

Lakewood

Edna “Skipper” Hollis led Girl Scout Troop 362 during my growing-up years. Who knew she would still be leading us, as adults, 60 years later?

Troop 362 was a big troop with three different age-groups. I was in the middle. That was nearly 60 years ago. And, we’ve kept in touch all those years… reuniting the last Saturday of every July at Skipper’s rustic cabin on the shores of Lake Eldora. She left this place on Thanksgiving 2016 at 104 ½ years old. As we gather at the cabin for one last time, we reminisce and bask in her love. She was a remarkable woman whom I deeply loved and admired.

Her energy was limitless. Even though she was nearing 50 back then, she taught us to: swim, canoe, hike, snowshoe, mountain climb, toboggan, ice skate, and chop ice from a deeply encrusted mountain spring. We learned to dip our buckets in the cold, clear water for drinking and bathing. She filled our days and nights with songs, swimming, cooking on a wood-burning stove, wildflower hikes, bird walks, campfires, and scary stories that went “boo” in the night.

She demonstrated kindness, compassion, unconditional love, and even taught us to “date young men.” To this day, my best date was the one she arranged for us (and chaperoned) with Air Force Academy Cadets. She showed us nature in its authentic purity, tender beauty, raw power, and rugged grandeur…all the while keeping us safe and secure.

More than anyone I’ve known, she trusted the goodness and abundance of life. Knowing that nature is God-made-manifest, she revealed a natural world, full of miracles that live forever in my heart and imagination.

Because of her, I remember to pause and drink in a sparkling dew drop, or inhale the scent of a soft, pink rose. I hug trees, speak to crickets, and sing duets with meadowlarks. I stand tall when lightning splits the clouds and thunder rolls. And all the while, I feel her presence, sense of wonder, and joy; as I take in the awe of each moment.

She embodied all that is good and continually expressed gratitude for life itself. She stood as a pure reflection of the divine, an illuminated mirror in which we could see our own souls.

How intimately she knew and loved the One Creator! And, how generously she loved each of us!!! I’m profoundly grateful for the privilege of opening the gift that she was… and I celebrate her; for she enriched my life.

Thank you, Skipper, for being who you are… a blessing to us all!

Girl Scouts of Colorado is proud to celebrate the legacy of one of our most cherished alumnae, Edna “Skipper” Hollis. In 2016, Skipper passed away at the age of 104, leaving a 94-year history of Girl Scouting as a girl and an adult volunteer.  Skipper touched the lives of hundreds of girls, families, and volunteers and will be remembered for her love of the outdoors and the annual troop gathering she hosted at her Colorado cabin for more than six decades.

To make a gift in honor of Skipper, which will support opportunity grants to ensure any girl is able to attend camp, or  to honor an alum who has made a difference in your life, go to the Girl Scouts of Colorado website: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/support-us/alumnae.html 

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments too.

Memories of Skipper and Troop 362

Submitted by Peg Goodwin Merrill

Metro Denver

Denver

When one enters their 70’s it is common to do a lot of reflecting back on the life you have lived thus far. For me the seven years I spent as part of Denver Troop 362 were definitely ones that taught me a lot and contributed to the woman I became. I was privileged to have had Edna “Skipper” Hollis as a troop leader during those years. As I prepare to come to Denver for her final “Scouts Own” I have been reflecting a lot about my experiences with that troop and the things I learned from Girl Scouting.

My love of the outdoors and camping began with our troop’s many trips to Lake Eldora. Winter or summer the lake called us. There wasn’t a ski area in the late fifties and early sixties, so we had to hike up the hill. I remember one time when we went winter camping and had to climb thru very deep drifts of snow. Our leader “Skipper” forged ahead and made a tow rope for us to pull ourselves up the mountain through the deep snow carrying our gear and sleeping bags. Once we reached the cabin, it was quite a task to get it warm, so we created a rotation system to take turns staying awake and feeding the fire all night. Most likely it was experiences like this in my youth that taught me perseverance.

Skipper was great at getting our mothers involved too, and many of them taught us a variety of merit badges, so there was always something to work on and no one was ever bored. Troop 362 was also where I learned to knit under the tutelage of Mrs. Crockett (whom we nicknamed “Davy”).

Perhaps, one of my fondest memories was the trip we took to Seattle, Washington for the World’s Fair in 1962. We spent a few years raising money for the trip by putting on plays, hosting spaghetti dinners, babysitting, etc. In addition to funds that the troop raised, each girl had to earn some of the money for the trip herself. So, we learned about planning, budgeting, and having a goal to look forward to. Our fathers even got involved and built large wooden boxes for each patrol to hold all of our cooking supplies. Each box was painted a different color. We chartered a big bus and camped out along the way, so again there was a lot of planning and preparing involved, as each patrol had to have all the food they needed to prepare meals.

That same summer I was fortunate enough to have been chosen as a delegate from Denver to the Girl Scout International Round-up in Button Bay, Vermont. It was Skipper’s encouragement that got me to apply – don’t think I would have had the courage to do that without her help. Going to Round-up was a wonderful experience and it saddens me that that opportunity no longer exists for girls today.
Another thing I learned in Scouting that I still use to this day is my love of music and all the songs we learned both at summer Girl Scout Camp and with my troop. Many of those songs I would sing to my children as lullabies, and just recently I was singing to a new grandbaby and my son came in and joined me in a duet singing “Mountains High” to his new baby, as he remembered me singing it to him.

Skipper also taught us about the stars and the wildflowers. She encouraged us all to earn the “Curved Bar” award, and many of us achieved this.

I am really looking forward to our annual troop reunion on July 29, 2017 and seeing old friends. It will be hard to say “good-bye” to Skipper, but I know her memory and the memories of Troop 362 will live on in each of us whose life she touched.

Girl Scouts of Colorado is proud to celebrate the legacy of one of our most cherished alumnae, Edna “Skipper” Hollis. In 2016, Skipper passed away at the age of 104, leaving a 94-year history of Girl Scouting as a girl and an adult volunteer.  Skipper touched the lives of hundreds of girls, families, and volunteers and will be remembered for her love of the outdoors and the annual troop gathering she hosted at her Colorado cabin for more than six decades.

To make a gift in honor of Skipper, which will support opportunity grants to ensure any girl is able to attend camp, or  to honor an alum who has made a difference in your life, go to the Girl Scouts of Colorado website: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/support-us/alumnae.html 

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments too.

Edna “Skipper” Hollis

Submitted by Nancy Riddle

Metro Denver

Jackson

Edna “Skipper” Hollis. What an amazing woman, and I am so very proud and lucky to have had her as a Girl Scout leader. She taught valuable life lessons and remains an inspiration.

My fondest memory was of a 17-day, 4,000 mile bus trip in 1962 with 27 Girl Scouts, four leaders, and an intrepid bus driver, “Daddy Jim”. We camped through five states and Canada with a four-day stopover at the World’s Fair in Seattle. What adult in their right mind takes this on? Skipper Hollis!

With four patrols responsible for daily cooking, clean-up, log keeping, photography, programs, and other tasks, we learned more that summer than can be imparted in this simple missive.

Skipper always hand-wrote annual messages to me through her 103rd year. I especially cherish a note she wrote at the end of the afore-mentioned trip: “…but-in in my way- if I’ve helped you to know personally the true values that Scouting should unveil, then I’m happy to have been an interpreter of its realness. Scouting is a very fine guide to living. May it always be an enrichment to you…”

May Skipper’s legacy live on as it has for members of Troop 362 and may Girl Scouts continue to inspire young women.

Girl Scouts of Colorado is proud to celebrate the legacy of one of our most cherished alumnae, Edna “Skipper” Hollis. In 2016, Skipper passed away at the age of 104, leaving a 94-year history of Girl Scouting as a girl and an adult volunteer.  Skipper touched the lives of hundreds of girls, families, and volunteers and will be remembered for her love of the outdoors and the annual troop gathering she hosted at her Colorado cabin for more than six decades.

To make a gift in honor of Skipper, which will support opportunity grants to ensure any girl is able to attend camp, or  to honor an alum who has made a difference in your life, go to the Girl Scouts of Colorado website: http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/en/support-us/alumnae.html 

This story was submitted using the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments too.