The world looked quite different when Dodie Anderson was born, 88 years ago. Not even a year after Dodie’s birth the American stock market crashed. As a result, the United States was sent spiraling into the Great Depression. Cities that were primarily dependent on industry were devastated, as industry almost came to a halt. Dodie lived in Chicago at the time.
Forged in the fire of adversity, Dodie grew strong and resilient.
In 1950, Dodie moved to South Carolina where she would later attend USC Upstate. It was in South Carolina that she completely devoted herself to Girl Scouts and building girls of courage, confidence, and character, who are making the world a better place. Dodie Anderson, much like Juliette Gordon Low, is a visionary. Dodie has always looked to the future with a profound sense of purpose, and belief that girls can change the world. She believes Girl Scouts gives girls the opportunities to truly shine.
It was important to Dodie that her daughters be totally immersed in the Girl Scout Experience. That included sending all four of them to Camp WaBak as much as possible. Each summer, she would send the sisters off with a kiss and a promise that they would return stronger, and more confident than before. As a testament to her vision, the Anderson sisters thrived at camp.
Driving through the winding camp roads, Dodie’s daughter Nancy was transported to a much simpler time when she was a camp counselor at WaBak. She could see herself stepping out of the platform tents with a gaggle of young campers at her heels as if she were their mother duck. Passing the docks, she remembered that first time feeling of launching herself from the platform into the cool water below. It was somewhere during those long summer days that she learned to be independent, confident, and strong. Where she learned to be a leader. Where she would later send her own daughter, Erin, to learn those life lessons that must be experienced first-hand, and where her granddaughter Maddie had just completed her first week at Camp WaBak.
Dodie and Nancy relished the nostalgia of days passed as we drove through the camp, but both couldn’t wait to see that same excitement on young Maddie’s face. As we neared the Rambler Lodge for pick-up, anticipation filled the air.
As much as it pained Maddie to say goodbye to her camp friends, she couldn’t wait to tell her family of her adventures at camp, and all she learned. The moment Maddie caught a glimpse of her parents, she ran into their arms and quickly began recounting her stories of friendship, discovery, and adventure.
Four generations later, growing up in an entirely different America, what do Dodie, Nancy, Erin, and Maddie share that remains constant? The Girl Scout Experience. They are all united by the bonds of a worldwide sisterhood that is devoted to making the world better for the next generation to come. For every girl like Maddie, who learns leadership, compassion, and fearlessness, the Girl Scout legacy of the Anderson Family lives on.
In true Girl Scout fashion, Dodie transformed her beliefs into action as she donated the funds to build the Administration Building at Camp WaBak. We are so thankful to Dodie, and her family for their continued support of the Girl Scout mission in our community and around the world.
Begin your Girl Scout legacy today. Join a sisterhood that reaches around the world and unites us all in courage, confidence, and character. Give your girls the gift of Girl Scouts.