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The Girl Scouts began with Juliette Gordon Low’s dream to provide
girls a chance to grow and learn through activities that explored their
community, nature and the larger world around them. She formed the first
all-girl club in Savannah, Ga. in March 1912.

By 1923 there were Girl Scout branches in all 50 states. The earliest evidence of a Girl Scout troop in Brevard
comes from newspaper announcements for activities and outings planned
for the group in 1925. Their leaders were Miss Elizabeth Zachary and
Miss Bertie Ballard.

Activities included day hikes to “learn
valuable lessons about wild flowers and trees, and various things in
nature, besides the art of cooking in the open, and becoming more
accustomed to the ways of the hiker” in preparation for a week-long
camping trip to Pilot Mountain.

MacFarlane’s Lake was constructed

by John Calvin Tinsley in the early 1940’s

In 1953 the Pisgah Girl Scout Council purchased 133 acres in the East Fork area to develop a year-round camp for use by eight Western North Carolina counties. The property had been owned by A.S. MacFarlane and included a 3-acre lake. The purchase price was $4,300.

The only structure on the property was a small caretaker’s cabin. Dever
and Buford Raines were the first caretakers. Today the rustic hand-hewn
Raines Brothers Cabin is popular with photographers and artists.

The first tents for campers were at Sleepy Hollow, built in 1957, and
High Top, built in 1958. They were canvas tents on wooden platforms
designed to sleep four. Permanent roofs were added to the Sleepy Hollow
units in 2001. Today Sleepy Hollow is made up of log cabins. The High
Top units were replaced with yurts in 2007.

Whippoorwill Lodge,
built in 1959, was the first permanent building constructed at the camp.
It has served as a kitchen, dining hall, trading post, art center and
staff lodge through the years.

Other unique additions to Camp
Pisgah have included Pioneer Ridge in 1964 and the Treehouses in 1977.
Pioneer Ridge was originally stationary covered wagons designed to sleep
four girls. These were replaced by cabins in 1994. The Treehouses are
small sleeping cabins built on stilts and set among the trees.

Raines Brother Cabin at Camp Pisgah, 1991

Many of the buildings at Camp Pisgah were built or renovated by local
contractor Avery Reese. Reese worked and lived at the camp for 25 years
until his retirement in 2009.

Thanks to Avery Reese for providing information about Camp Pisgah and
its structures and to Calvin Tinsley for photographs and information on
the lake construction.

Top Photo: Girl scouts
planting tree on S. Broad St.  (today the
library property), circa 1925. Edna King, Ethel McMinn, Roberta Bryant,
Catherine Snelson, Ruth Snelson, Martha Osborne, Edna Mason, Beulah Zachary ,
Nancy Macfie,  Elizabeth Shipman,
unidentified, Helen Allison, Adelaide Silversteen, Annie Young, Nancy Johnson,
unidentified, Margaret Miller, Annette Patton and Bertie Ballard (leader).

(Photographs and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library.

Visit the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional photographs.

For more information, comments or suggestions, contact Marcy at
[email protected] or (828) 884-3151 ext. 242.)

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(828) 884-3151

212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712