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.
Joan Butler (standing in back) with her original Speigletown Troop 72 in 1958, which included five nieces. (Photo courtesy of Sara Young)
Joan Butler (third from left in back row) with her Junior Troop in 1961. (Photo courtesy of Sara Young)
Some of the badges won by the nieces and great nieces of Joan Butler, who began leading scout troops in 1959 and began family tradition now in its third generation. (Jeff Haff/Gazette Web Editor)
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’s niece Jean Mahar led this troop of Girl Scouts ,including Jean’s daughter Jennifer, center front. The troop was visiting nursing homes to deliver homemade lap blankets and sing Christmas carols. (Photo courtesy of Sara Young)
Three generations of Joan Bulter’s family have been involved in scouting. From left in the top row are: Kayla Mahar, Karen Becker, Laura Giarrusso, Janice Butler, Valarie Matott, JoAnne Matott, Sara Young; from left in the bottom row are: Jennifer Mahar, Jean Mahar, Joan Butler, Linda Wilson. (Photo courtesy of Sara Young)