Resident Profile: Dee Friesen

dfriesenDee Friesen received an award from the Girl Scouts of America, April 5th at the Amend Girl Scout Center, 1200 Burlingame Rd., in Emporia, Kansas. Dee has been a Volunteer for the Girl Scouts for 60 years, “When I first started, in 1953, there was a real need for leadership. Of all the groups and associations I have been a member of during my lifetime, Girl Scouts would be at the top of my list.” Dee said her husband, Max Friesen, also a registered Girl Scout, made her contributions possible by taking her everywhere she needed to go. “Max was right by my side every minute;” said Dee, “I couldnÕt have done it without him.”

“Girls are so diverse,” said Dee, “Some of them are so docile, desiring to please, while others have their backs to the wall and fight you every inch of the way. One of my favorite Girl Scout memories was making jelly in the woods out of wild grapesÑboy, I never saw girls have a better time than that. I was also Cookie Chairman for many years, and we had a local pantry in our house.

“I also loved helping the girls with their badges. We set a goal for everyone to go to an international gathering that was not too expensive: Cabana at Cuernavaca, Mexico (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts). It was so beautiful to see all these blonde-headed girls surrounded by these absolutely captivated dark-hair, dark-eyed boys. I remember waking up in the morning as the mountain poked through the mist in a grand and glorious fashion. Nothing could break the moodÑnot even the scorpions we saw on the walls of some of the garden rooms we visited.”

When asked what she would tell a new Girl Scout just starting out, Dee said, “I would tell her this is an experience not to be missed. I am wheel-chair bound and I still feel like dropping everything, hopping on a bus and going in a second. I would admonish the new scout to enjoy her experience; to take advantage of the wonderful leadership provided who will help her earn badges. I found that I encouraged all sorts of girls as well as my own during the years I volunteered.” When asked if she had any regrets, Dee said, “I have no bad memories about Girl Scouts, only good ones. If I could sign up to do it all over again, I most certainly would.