1956 Girl Scout Roundup to Be Commemorated at Haven Hill Festival

Lots of folks have heard of Boy Scout "Jamborees" but few have heard of Girl Scout "Roundups". The 1st ever Girl Scout Senior Roundup was held at Highland State Recreation Area in 1956. The Park was transformed into a small "tent city", and thousands of Scouts and their Leaders attended. The following are excerpts from the official  Friends of Highland Recreation Area Press Release:

On Saturday, August 26, 2017, at 1:00 pm EST, a special commemorative informational sign created with the assistance of the MotorCities organization of the National Park Service, will be unveiled at the Park during the 2017 Haven Hill Festival. Girl Scouts young and old are encouraged to attend the Festival to learn of and recall the memories of one of the organizations’ most significant outdoor gatherings. The ceremony is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend.

ABOVE: An amazing aerial photograph of the 1956 Girl Scout Senior Roundup in Highland State Recreation Area. This giant daily Flag Ceremony was held in front of what its now the park's maintenance buildings complex. Photo Property FOHRA.

ABOVE: An amazing aerial photograph of the 1956 Girl Scout Senior Roundup in Highland State Recreation Area. This giant daily Flag Ceremony was held in front of what its now the park's maintenance buildings complex. Photo Property FOHRA.

The Friends of Highland Recreation Area volunteers are pleased to announce the commemoration of the first-ever Girl Scout Senior Roundup which was held at Michigan’s Highland State Recreation Area in 1956. Scouts and their Leaders from all 48 states and the territories of Alaska and Hawaii traveled by plane, train, bus, and automobile to attend the 12-day gathering from June 29 to July 10, 1956.  Ten other countries from around the world were also represented at the giant multi-day campout.

In preparation for the 1956 Roundup, an enormous one square mile encampment was created on the land of the former Edsel and Eleanor Ford Haven Hill Estate within the Highland State Recreation Area with the help of the United States 5th Army. The military troops built roads, assembled large tents, installed shower facilities, and even erected a press tent. The hundreds of large and small tents and other US Army-constructed facilities resembled a small city with water pipes and electrical power, telephone lines, food facilities, and even a small hospital for the over 6,000 Girl Scouts, their Leadership, guests, and visiting dignitaries.

An informative display of re-printed original photographs telling the story of the 1956 Roundup event will be on display at this years’ Haven Hill Festival on Saturday, August 26 from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm in the Goose Meadow festival tent.

The Haven Hill Festival is an alcohol-free outdoor family event held yearly at Highland State Recreation Area in White Lake, Michigan. In addition to the Scouts Ceremony, this year’s Festival will include summer foods and beverages, live brass band music, a barbershop quartet, a vintage base ball exhibition game, a fundraising Commemorative Brick Sale at the Gate House and an Antiques and Collectibles Sale at the Edsel Ford Barn. Proceeds from the food, beverage, and fundraising sales provide funding for the Friends group to continue their renovations of the remaining Edsel and Eleanor Ford Haven Hill structures and properties.

The Highland State Recreation Area is located at 5200 Highland Road (M-59) White Lake, Michigan, 48383. (248) 889-3750. Admission is with your Michigan Recreation Passport status on your vehicle license plate.

For more information go to www.fohravolunteers.org.

Article Contact: Jay Fitzgerald, Secretary, Friends of Highland Recreation Area. Ph.: (248) 494-8919

 

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John Fitzgerald

The Friends of Highland Recreation Area (FOHRA) volunteer organization was established in 2007, and is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt non-profit organization operating under lease agreement with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Within one of the most picturesque, fascinating, and historically significant state parks in southeast lower Michigan, our goal is to combine the former Haven Hill estate history with Highland Recreation Area’s existing amenities, wilderness, and recreation.