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The Ultimate Family Reunion at Basin Harbor

Family is family, they say, no matter how much time or distance gets in between.

Last week, Basin Harbor hosted a “family” of 185 girl scouts for their Button Bay Roundup Reunion, a gathering commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the scouts’ original Roundup back in 1962. The ’62 gathering brought together 10,000 girl scouts and girl guides from all over the world for two weeks of camping and activities in a large field south of Basin Harbor (which became Button Bay State Park shortly after). For many of the attendees, now in their sixties, this was the first time back to the area since then, and the first time in 50 years seeing some of their friends from the Roundup.

And what a reunion! The ladies (and a few accompanying husbands in the mix) were kept busy, attending art and craft classes, nature walks, lake cruises, kayak treks, sightseeing bus tours, cocktail hours, and general fellowship. While some were seen relaxing in Adirondack chairs, the gals seemed very active, harboring the energy of their girl scouts youths. One of the oldest attendees in her 80s, Marj, managed to pack in a drawing class, lap-swimming in the pool, and a dulcimer practice session on the deck all before lunch!

The food at Basin Harbor, of course, was a big hit with the scouts as they enjoyed three gourmet square meals a day—a considerable step up in quality, of course, from the mess hall camp meals they remembered receiving 50 years ago. The ladies admitted that they were thrilled to be staying in Basin Harbor’s luxurious accommodations at this point in their lives, compared to the rustic setup in the field at Button Bay, though many of them had been back to camp at the state park since the Roundup. The ladies were in good humor, recounting their shared memories about what it was like at the gathering in ‘62. One story that came up multiple times with a chuckle was the “open air shower” scenario. Although the makeshift camp showers had curtains around them, the tops were exposed to the elements—and exposed to the rascally Army pilots flying around in helicopters overhead!

The most memorable thing about having the scouts on hand at Basin Harbor, for the staff, was the singing! In fact, song seemed to erupt from all corners of the resort at any given time—with every meal, during the evening gatherings, around the campfires, or even just out in the parking lot. The scouts remembered every word to each of their familiar old tunes. Beyond the singing, BHC employees appreciated the generosity extended by the group as they shared stories, offered an open invitation to their campfires and singalongs, and even gifted out their “shares”—homemade pins, brooches, and necklaces they had created in advance to give away. Those who had the chance to chat with these accomplished women (and honorary husband scouts) were treated to stories of life beyond the scouts: cross-country moves, global travels, Tennessee BBQ competitions, overcoming struggles with fibromyalgia, Nebraska living, and many more inspiring tales.

The Button Bay Roundup Reunion of 2012 represented the epitome of a family gathering that Basin Harbor is proud to facilitate. The group made full use of the resort’s spacious facilities and grounds, meeting areas and services. The resulting smiles upon departure were evidence of another successful reunion, complete with fond memories, reflections, and an unbridled sense of fun and togetherness.

Basin Harbor Club thanks the Girl Scouts for bringing their smiles and laughter to our little world!