Bertha Milbank was born in 1911 in New Mexico Territory. Throughout her 101 years, Bertha forged her way in life with determination and a firm direction for the future. She graduated from Missouri Valley College with a degree in math and physical education and supported herself through the Great Depression being paid in scrip, not cash. She later married Dr. George Milbank and had two daughters, Elizabeth and Sally.
As in everything, she poured herself into innumerable civic groups - often as board chair or president. These include Wichita Area Girl Scout Council, medical auxiliaries, the arts, parliamentarians (local and national), Episcopal Church groups (local and national), Daughters of the American Colonies and the American Revolution and Kansas Children's Service League.
Bertha was also focused on grooming future leaders, especially young girls. She guided others to use their talents for the greater good and to make a difference in the world. She taught by example and to give completely of oneself in time, talent and resources.
As a leader among leaders, Girl Scouts fit perfectly with the goals
and aspirations she held dear. Bertha would be proud of the newly
formed Juliette's Pearls Leadership Society, where girls will thrive
with the support of so many mentors.
Mrs. Frank L. Carson, Carrie May, contributed to the success and growth of Girl Scouts in the very early years of the Wichita Girl Scout Council, chartered in 1925. The first record we have of Carrie May’s Girl Scout involvement is in the 1929 First Presbyterian Church records as a committee member for Troop 1. Undoubtedly, she contributed to the arrangements and successful convening in Wichita of delegates from five states at the Covered Wagon Region Girl Scouts Conference in April, 1930. This early 1930’s photograph depicts Carrie May with her four daughters, Mary Martha, Virginia, Frances, and Caroline, all members of Troop 1. By this time she was a First Deputy Commissioner of the council, and she also continued to support activities of Troop 1. Early council records are sparse, but we know that Carrie May’s active council involvement continued through at least 1935, when she is cited for her “untiring efforts” in planning a Field Institute gathering in January. Her daughters also remained active Girl Scout members, with Mary Martha joining the camp staff in 1933 and leading archery activities. Frances and Virginia are mentioned as girl leaders during the Wichita Girl Scout Conference in 1937 celebrating Girl Scouting’s 25th anniversary. It is thanks to the vision and efforts of women such as Carrie May Carson, that Girl Scouts prospered from a troop of eight girls to a council of more than 1,000 girls and 116 leaders by 1939.
Edna Mae Deines is a lifelong Girl Scout; however, her actual scouting experience started as a Cub Scout leader for her son Brian’s den. When her daughter, Tracey, reached Brownie age, Edna joined as well, as a troop leader. Together they journeyed through Tracey’s Senior Girl Scout experience. Edna took the same tactic with her daughters Shelley and Darcey; thus, she was a leader for 21 years and for 12 of those years she led two troops. In addition, Edna also served as the Neighborhood Chairman. Under Edna’s guidance the Girl Scouts were visible in the WaKeeney community: volunteering, earning badges, camping and being featured monthly for their accomplishments in the hometown newspaper. Beyond her local leadership positions, Edna served as District III Chairman (1977-1983), served on the Sunflower Council Board (1977-1983), and participated as Girl Scout founder “Juliette Low” at the 75th Daisy’s Diamond Celebration (1912-1987). Her active service to the Girl Scouts totaled 32 years. Edna received the Girl Scout Neighborhood Chairman of the Year Award (1977-1978), Scouter of the Year Sunflower Council (1982-1983), and the Juliette Gordon Low Girl Scout of the Year Award (1991). A native of WaKeeney, Edna is the wife of Myron Deines, the loving mother of four children, Brian, Tracey, Shelley and Darcey, and the grandmother of six.
Mary Dolores Collins Crum retired after 47 remarkable years of service to the Wichita Area Girl Scout Council. To Girl Scouting and in every phase of her life, Dolores has brought warmth, devotion, and enthusiasm.
It was said at her retirement, “Dolores has worn so many hats in her tenure with Girl Scouting, it is safe to assume that she knows every facet of what it means to offer Girl Scouting to thousands of girls and adults.” She has served as Director of Camping, Program, Training, Adult Recruitment, and Special Events. The National Association of Girl Scout Executive Staff inducted Dolores into its Hall of Fame. Dolores’ influence continued for a number of years with one of the Girl Scout Alumni and Friends annual scholarships being named the Dolores Collins Crum Scholarship. Her expert writing and research skills came in handy when Dolores penned our Girl Scout Council’s history book entitled For The Girls. This book chronicles the Council’s 75 year history, from 1925 to 2000.
Dolores’ committed citizenry extends through Girl Scouting and into the community. Her care for her church, her family, and her community is reflected in her service to the Governor’s Commission on Juvenile Delinquency, United Way Committee to Offer Camping to Low Income Children, Model Cities Task Force on Recreation, The Junior League of Wichita, St. Thomas Aquinas Altar Society, Delta Delta Delta Alumnae, and League of Women Voters, to name a few. She has been married to Charles Crum for 57 years, and together they are passionate fans of Wichita State and KU Basketball.
Dolores Crum personifies the Girl Scouting movement and we are truly grateful for her generous service.
Joann Kamas served as the Executive Director of the Wichita Area Girl Scout Council from 1987 to 1999, during which time she was known for her high-energy style of leadership, combined with a wonderful love for Girl Scouting and Girl Scout volunteers. She inspired many to make the Council an exceptional example of what Girl Scouting can be for all girls.
Joann put a premium on the importance of volunteering; she truly practiced what she preached. Prior to taking the position as Executive Director, Joann served as a member of the council’s Board of Directors, as well as two terms as President. Joann was active as a council committee member and troop leader. She also served in many other community and professional organizations.
Joann took the initiative to work with the City of Wichita to establish the current network of bike trails, and to educate the public about the importance of water conservation.
Joann once said, "I would like to leave a small mark. Sometimes I think people are afraid to give of themselves, but once they know what it feels like, they're hooked. You feel like a valuable person when you're giving."
In fact, many in this room today were “hooked” by Joann’s ability to bring together volunteers with shared talents and their love for Girl Scouts. In return many friendships were made that have lasted a lifetime.
Joann died suddenly March 26, 1999 after suffering a heart attack while vacationing in Amman, Jordan with her family.
Joann Kamas left more than a small mark on our community. We will well remember her love of Girl Scouting, her commitment to helping girls become the leaders of tomorrow, her strong example, her tireless energy, and her ability to make all she knew feel welcomed, valued, and a friend.
Gladys Gardner and Karl T. (K.T.) Wiedemann were married on July 22, 1950, in Minneapolis, Minnesota where Gladys was born and raised. K.T. was originally from El Dorado, Kansas. Shortly after their marriage, they moved to Wichita to be closer to their business interests. Together they shared a deep love for the scenic Flint Hills of Kansas.
To help support the place in which they lived and operated their business, the couple established the K.T. Wiedemann Foundation, Inc. in 1959. Mrs. Wiedemann was extremely active in the Foundation, with the vision for a finer quality of life in Wichita and the state of Kansas. The Foundation supported many organizations, but Gladys took a special interest in youth and particularly in the Girl Scouts.
In 1959, a campsite of 120 acres near Beaumont, Kansas was purchased from the Wiedemanns and became the council’s first resident camp. In 1961 it was named Camp Wiedemann. The camp welcomed its first campers in 1967 and served thousands of girls and adults over the next 37 years. Mrs. Wiedemann enjoyed visiting the camp during the summer program, and the campers were excited to visit with the camp’s namesake, too.
Mrs. Wiedemann was actively involved in the Foundation until her death in 1991. We are grateful for all the memories and opportunities that were bestowed by Mrs. Wiedemann’s giving spirit. It has been said that if you listen closely, you can hear girls’ voices and the melody of the song “Welcome to Wiedemann” drifting through the blue-stemmed grasses of the Flint Hills. Thank you, Mrs. Wiedemann.