Campfire Girls, Blue Jays of Alabama and the Spring Migration at Dauphin Island

cp5One of our favorite customers  (yes….we do have favorites!) and I were chatting as she checked out from a recent sale.   Debbie always has some great stories — very smart with a sense of sharing history without making you yawn.  I’m always captivated by her stories.  I was gleefully talking about the nearby gaggle of geese and how I love their little webbed feet.  A good goose walk is all the rage you know.

Somehow we got on the story of the Blue Jays, Campfire girls and then saving the blue jays in Alabama when the state sprayed DDT and almost killed the entire Blue Jay population in the 60s.  Holy snap!!  Oh!  She found a vintage book about Camp Fire Girls.  THATS how it all began.  Well..that and the geese.

I’m an Atlanta native (don’t hate!) and do not recall anything about camp fire girls.  Born on the 4th of July in 1965 we had Brownies and Girls Scouts both of which I completely loved.   The uniforms were awesome.  Tassels that go around the top of your socks.  Sashes to proudly display your badges.  And then then camping! Oh yes….  pure heaven.  I would have completely LIVED in my camp fire girl uniform if we had the option to join the camp fire girls.

I learned that Debbie’s childhood friend’s grandmother was the actual person who saved the blue jays in Alabama and brought the population back! Thank you sweet grandmother!!!  I was trying to scribble down notes when the idea about sharing this on our website came to me.  I love epiphanies.  I believe she said Trish Oden was her friend who was a year older than Debbie.  they were the 2nd group of Blue Jays which is the younger group of girls for the Camp Fire girls.  I’ve been searching google for vintage photos and will think about this for months now.  How I missed out on being able to wear an Indian girl uniform.  Just darn.  It’s never too late.

THEN…. she shared with me the Spring and Fall migration on Dauphin Island.  I’m all about birding —  the Alabama Ornithology Society  hosts these events and gives great information on being there for the migrations.  I’m all over this completely!!!  I told W at breakfast about this and we are SOOOOOOO going.  It’s on my calendar now.  Completely.   W (that’s what I call my husband who is a local atty here in the ham) just told me about a man who is a local expert (recently passed away in 2016) Bob Sargent – who caught and banded the Hummingbirds to track their movements.  A funnel of Hummingbirds (google that one) and then the fact that Hummingbirds catch rides on the back of Geese on their migrations!!  I’m in heaven all day thinking about Hummingbirds riding geese.  You can’t make this stuff up folks.  Completely loving this.

The Camp Fire girls is now just Camp Fire Alabama meaning it’s boys and girls now.   And that’s OK.  Although… there’s something wonderful when you’re young to be just around the girls…. at camp….. with a fire…. dreaming and plotting and planning your life away.

Thank you Debbie for such a treasure of a story!!!

Camp Fire Alabama 


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