Fort Worth, TX—Fort Worth’s Girl Scout Troop 11 has been together for 70 years. The troop celebrated its anniversary in April 2019, by helping establish and sponsor a new Girl Scout troop at Oakhurst Elementary, where the troop began. The school is in the Oakhurst/Riverside neighborhood northeast of downtown Fort Worth, TX.
The idea of aiding a troop at Oakhurst Elementary School materialized when Troop 11 members attended and were honored at the school’s 90th anniversary celebration in December 2018. As they talked with school officials and parents, Troop 1216 was born.
Troop 11 is sponsoring the new troop both financially and socially. Their financial contributions will help the young girls purchase uniforms and other supplies. During their 70th anniversary celebration, Troop 11 women met the girls of Troop 1216, a multi-level troop made up of Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors. Anita Katz is leader of Troop 1216. Sonia Camarena and Nicole Vomberg (Oakhurst Elementary kindergarten teacher) are assistant leaders. Troop 1216 membership consists of 11 girls, who are each paired with a Troop 11 woman.
This is not the first time Troop 11 has “paid it forward” in their long history. In conjunction with their 50th anniversary in 1999, they established a Minnie Ruth Elrod Endowment Fund to help disadvantaged girls attend Girl Scout camp. The fund, which honors the troop’s leader of 12 years, began with $10,000 and grew with contributions over time.
"The women of Troop 11 model what it means to lead with G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ spirit to make the world a better place," said Becky Burton, CEO of Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains. "We love that they're sharing their strong passion for Girl Scouting and inspiring a new generation of Girl Scouts!"
Troop 11, which earned their Curved Bar Award (now the Gold Award) together as a troop in 1958, has been honored several times locally, both by the Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains and the women’s various public schools. Sixteen of the women are still living, while four are deceased. The 16 gather at least twice a year and have done so since graduation from Fort Worth’s Amon Carter-Riverside High School in 1961. The women have also traveled together through the years, one notable trip being to Savannah, GA, to visit the Juliet Gordon Low Birthplace in 2013.
Carole Capps Steadham is the Troop 11 member who has worked the hardest to keep the women together. She had the drive and organizational skills to keep them connected. Most Troop 11 members still live somewhere in Texas. However, one lives in California and another in New Mexico. In the past, Troop 11 women have lived in Alabama, California, Florida, Maryland, New Mexico, South Carolina, Washington State, and even Germany.
Campfire Stew: Fort Worth’s Girl Scout Troop 11, a book that chronicles the long life of Troop 11, will be released later in 2019.