Betsy McCall Finds a Place In The Woods - McCall's. September 1973
Original copy as appeared in the September 1973 issue of McCall's
The minute our new Girl Scout uniforms arrived a gang of us, icluding Sukey, Dru and Jennifer, put them on. "This is an occasion for a celebration," Mommy said. So off we drove in the station wagon to find a place she knew in her Scouting days. We stopped just past the abandoned railroad tracks, at a tall tangle of weeds and brush. It was a mess, really, but Mommy found an opening in it and led us through. Suddenly the hot, dusty road was gone. We were in a grove, a small woods that slanted downhill. There were clean white birches...oaks...bushy sassafras trees waving their mittened leaves. "How cool and moist it feels," Dru said. "Nature's air conditioning," Mommy said. "Green leaves clean and moisten the air. That's why it's always cool in the woods. Shut your eyes, everybody. Listen, and tell me all the sounds you hear." Insects droning and clicking. Birds' wings beating the air. Leaves fluttering. Frogs. "I hear a river," I cried. Mommy said "Impossible," then: "So do I! I remember just the tiniest thread of a stream." Well, it's not a thread now, but a busy, burbling brook rushing over rocks past a willow tree! Whose land was this, we wanted to know, and what was it called? "It's just a place apart," she said gently, "and it belongs to nobody except the creatures in it. And the people who will love it and cherish it."
McCall's was one of the infamous "Seven Sisters" group of women's magazines. Known in its early days as a sewing pattern publisher, it evolved to becoming a woman's general interest magazine. Betsy McCall paper dolls would first appear in the '50s and would be a feature until the mid '90s, which would encourage mothers and daughters to read and play together. Another note, this was the same Girl Scout uniform I had when I was in the Juniors.