I was a Brownie and Girl Scout in Troop 27 at Black Elementary School in the town of Seymour in Eau Claire.
My mom was an Eagle Girl Scout. I still have her 1930 Girl Scout handbook as well as my own Girl Scout sash. I learned a lot with the guidance of our troop leaders, Mrs. Turner and Mrs. Watson, and other moms that helped with our troop. I smile remembering the good times.
My childhood home was on Highway Q and my family often drove Highway P to Chippewa Falls. While visiting family and friends this summer, I drove Highway P from Seymour to Chippewa Falls. I know the road well.
Since learning of the tragedy with Troop 3055 in Chippewa Falls, I have wept. I commend the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes, especially Sherry Jasper, for the Sunday night vigil. I have hope. Thank you to all.
I was employed as a summer Girls Scout counselor at Camp Nawakwa during college. Under the direction of camp managers, Carole and Wayne Halberg, many girls experienced camping and the outdoors. The Nokomis Facebook website brought back memories.
In April 1971, my classmate, Charles (Chuck) Hodges, and Joan Milward were killed by a drunk driver that failed to stop at a red light. A third student survived the crash. I wept. My friends and I had many emotions, including shock, sadness and anger. We wondered how this could happen. Our school was mourning as was our community.
Despite our grief, our class decided that we needed positive action to express our grief and to heal. Chuck and Joan would not have wanted hatred and revenge. In their memory, our school and community members participated in a walk to raise money and help with hunger in our community. As I recall, over 1,000 people participated in the walk. We needed to continue to do good deeds.
In the days, months and years ahead, as we express grief for the loss of Jayna, Autumn, Haylee and Sara, may we continue to do good deeds. May we continue to pray for Madalyn. We will remember this tragedy for years. At my class reunions, as we remember the deceased, the first name read is Chuck, a young boy killed by a drunk driver.
I weep. I take positive action today. I’m sending a check to the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes to help Troop 3055 and other Girl Scouts to develop friendships and skills they will have for the rest of their lives.
I’m sending a check to Eau Claire North High School to support today’s faculty, staff and students in learning the importance of personal responsibility and positive action as I had learned 50 years ago.
I’m sending a check to University Lutheran Church to support them in reaching students at UW-Eau Claire and Chippewa Valley Technical College to bring hope to their lives.
I’ve contacted my local Arizona Girl Scouts to volunteer.
As you weep, resolve to take positive action. Perhaps the action is to take time to listen to a person grieving, to bake cookies to share, to collect mittens for cold fingers, to fight alcohol/drug/substance abuse, to write a check or take one of many other positive actions.
I weep. I take positive action. I have hope for a better tomorrow.
Harvey, of Cottonwood, Ariz., is a 1972 graduate of Eau Claire North High School.