Clara Washburn Cooper

First Girl Scout Troop in Vermont: Clara Cooper is second from the left in the front row
First Girl Scout Troop in Vermont: Clara Cooper is second from the left in the front row

Time Period

1910-1940

Notable Facts

Founded the first Vermont Girl Scout troop in 1917.

Personal Information

Date of Birth

12/13/1891

Date of Death

06/13/1991

Primary Residence

Randolph

Historical Significance

In 1917, Clara Cooper formed the first Vermont Girl Scout troop in Wilder. Cooper had moved to Wilder as a school teacher, and she also ran a large Sunday School class for girls. Hoping to provide the girls with some kind of activity during the week, she organized a group of Campfire girls, which were then becoming active in Vermont. The following year, the Campfire girls became Girl Scouts, largely because school officials refused to allow the girls to wear the short Campfire skirts in school on meeting days. Girl Scout uniforms did not pose this problem, so the troop decided to switch. In 1927, a member of the troop, Eleanor Tuttle, earned the Golden Eaglet award, the first Vermont girl to do so; in 1929 another member of the troop became an Eaglet Scout. Cooper's troop also developed a drum and bugle corps, which played in various parades. In 1940, Cooper moved to Randolph where she was also active with the local Girl Scouts.

Organizations or Movements

  • Campfire Girls
  • Girl Scouts

Occupations

  • School teacher
  • Sunday School Teacher
  • Campfire Girls leader
  • Girl Scout troop leader

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • First Girl Scout Troop in Vermont

  • Notes from Clara Cooper