Born on March 25, 1895 in Johannesburg, South Africa to American
parents, Vaal seems to have lived a well-traveled life. She is noted as Vaal
Anne Stark and Anna Vaal Stark. A graduate of Stanford University, she spent
her early years studying and helping needy children. She is best known as
the legendary Regional Director of the "Big Tree" Region XII, full of
wisdom, warmth, originality and skill in dealing with adults and girls
alike. She held the post for 38 years, until her retirement in 1960.
Recruited by Lou Henry Hoover, another legendary Girl Scout, she had a
life-long love of camping. She inaugurated a Girl Scout camp in the Big
Basin Redwoods State Park, called Camp Chaparral. This camp operated
successfully and famously without buildings or shelter. Later it became a
National Training Camp for Girl Scout adults. She passed away Sept. 19, 1975
1920 Federal Census. Palo Alto, CA
Well known photo of Vaal Stark in full Camp Director mode, under the trees
and open skies. Her camp name was Grizzly - note the small carved grizzlies
on the shelf behind her. Camp Chaparral.
1930 Federal Census, notes that Vaal and roommate are directors of Girl
Scouting. Palo Alto, CA
regional director of Girl Scouts from Palo Alto, California, awarded Golden
Eaglet insignia to Margaret Miller (center) and Winifred Tuft (r) of Tacoma
at the spring Court of Awards ceremony held at Jason Lee Intermediate School
in May of 1925. The Golden Eaglet was then the highest award given by the
Girl Scouts. Recipients had to possess at least 21 merit badges, been a
scout for at least three years and meet other obligations. Margaret Miller
had earned 42 merit badges, achieved 100% attendance in four years at Scout
meetings and won many honors. Winifred Tuft also had won honors in all
branches of Scout work and had 100% attendance over two years at Scout
meetings. Source: Tacoma Public Library
This brochure from 1939 gives a detailed
packing list for those attending trainings that lasted from 2 to 8 weeks.
Adults were to wear "Greenies" - official Girl Scout Adult Camp Uniforms
while attending training.
Wolly's Words is a book full of the wisdom that Vaal had collected and
shared with others about Girl Scouting, camping and relationships.
Wolly's Objectives for Camp Chaparral
To help each one stand on her own feet.
To help each one contribute and so, belong.
To help each one observe the small things
that make up all the big ones.
To help each one truly love living in the woods.
A Memorial to Our
Ladies in Khaki and Green
Juliette Low - as you've never seen her before!
- A "Wolly" Grizzly
Birdsall Otis Edey