Page 1

Fay Gunn in uniform
Fay's Page:

My Life in Girl Scouts

Page 1

Fay camp counselor
We are building this page to honor my husband's Aunt Fay, born in 1909, who was one of the first two Golden Eaglets from Mississippi in 1929. She was leader of Troop #2 in Grenada, MS. Since there is so much interest instead of sending out a newsletter, we are building this into our website for everyone interested in scouting to see. We will be adding more material periodically to this page as we have time. This is just a start. We will be putting up pictures of her badges and Golden Eaglet. If any of you have historic material especially photographs you want to share, email them to me,, and we will try to add them to this section. This page was inspired by the Girl Scout Museum of Tanasi Council in Knoxville, TN, that has a page on our site.

- Sherrie Carris

Girl Scout Convention 1929
I don't know what convention this was except that it was held in Slidell, LA, in 1929. We think we have three identified including Fay (2nd in from the right on the first row). The lady the sixth in from the left on the back row I think is Edna Jackson the other first Golden Eaglet from MS. My guess is the lady on the first row far right is Corinne Chisholm (see clipping right below). Can anybody identify any of the others, or correct me if my guesses are wrong?
Jo (Josephine) Fay Gunn was born January 2, 1909, in Helena, Arkansas. She grew up in Grenada, MS, graduated from Grenada High School as salutatorian. She graduated from college in 1930. Went to the Macy Training center and was employed as Girl Scout Executive Director in Missouri (Heart of Missouri Girl Scout Council in Jefferson City Missouri). She married Robert Ricketts (an Eagle Scout himself) in 1936. She then worked in the Chicago area and then went to the National Office in NY. Fay stayed in the Girl Scout National Office until she retired from National in July of 1973.

Bob retired as Dean of School of Education at Patterson State College. He died in NJ in 1982. Fay moved to Dallas,TX and died in 1992.

Fay was a very organized high energy person. When she was going to attend the Girl Scout National Convention in 1972 in Dallas, she was able to tell Tom's parents, who lived in Dallas, where the best Mexican resturants were. Fay and Bob loved to play golf and the family passion for bridge. After they both retired, they would winter in Florida so they could play golf year round. Their condo in NJ was on a golf course. I remember Fay taking our daughter for a ride in their golf cart. They had season tickets for years to go to the Metropolitan Opera (on Sunday). They were great hosts and never missed any big family event.

Hopefully, some who see this page remember Fay and can tell us more about her GS career and her life in general. We lived quite a distance from Fay and Robert and saw them at most once a year.

Both Robert and Fay had a small suitcase with their personal memorabilia which is the source for the material we are posting.

The director of the Girl Scout Museum of the Tanasi Coucil, Joyce Maienschein, suggests that anyone who has old GS newspaper clippings call their GS council to see if they are archiving council history and would like to have the material instead of it being perhaps tossed out.
Miss Chislom was the first Director of the Atlanta Girl Scout Council in 1921

Document List:

New: posted May 18, 2011!
scan of Fay's original Golden Eaglet recipient card

Thanks to Yevgeniya Gribov
Archivist, National Historic Preservation Center
Girl Scouts of the USA

New 4-25-08
(The End - We think! We do have numerous letters from Fay and Robert to each other while she was traveling for GSUSA. Her job was organizing smaller councils into larger councils. Many of the letters were written on the stationery from the particular hotel she was staying at the time. It is obvious she traveled a great deal for National. There were no GS documents from those travels in her memorabilia case. Her letters show she missed working directly with the girls. Based on articles and letters she kept up to the time of her retirement from National in 1973, Camp Pin Oaks continued to be very special to her. If we find something more of interest, we will add it.)

Girl Scout Related Material

Personal pictures and newspaper articles.

New 4-17-08

These documents and articles give some background into Fay Gunn (Ricketts) who became one of the first two Golden Eaglets in Mississippi, went on to become the first director of Camp Pin Oak in Missouri, and later worked for National. She was obviously a very outgoing, high energy, well liked, confident young woman who had a very successful high school and college life in and out of Girl Scouts.

1. Fay's autobiography from birth to sometime in 1959 We have copied it verbatim since the original Sherrie found was on very thin typing paper and obviously a draft copy. No mention of what it might have been for. It contains personal as well as professional info written in an outline style. The formatting is ours to make it easier to read.

2. Letter of Commedation 1928 We believe this may have been presented with, or preceded the awarding of the Medal of Merit (for more info see Fay page 2) shown on her left uniform pocket. Correct us if we are wrong. It was necessary to earn this medal to qualify for the Golden Eaglet.

3. Fay and Edna Jackson's 1929 Golden Eaglet confirmation letter from National It was very interesting for us to see all the names of the board members. After doing some research on Everit Macy is the person who donated the land to the Edith Macy training center for GS in NYC. Edith Macy, his wife, was the Chairman of the Board of director for GS from 1919 to 1925. Mrs. Herbert Hoover was actively involved in Girl Scouting. Our local connection on the board comes from Mrs. W. E. Ijams from Knoxville. The Ijams family founded the Ijams nature center.

4. We are interested in learning more about the Order of the Golden Eaglets. Can anyone supply more background? We have a few other Golden Eaglet letters.

May 8, 1929 letter from the Field Cooperative Association


May 23, 1930 letter from Order of Golden Eaglets planning for Savannah summer camp.

July 15, 1930 letter from Order of Golden Eaglets as August camp date nears.

The Dismals (camp in Alabama run by the Golden Eaglets). This is a fragment of an article from a magazine is our guess. The information that does show gives an interesting picture of this camp and what a "Dismalite" is. We believe it was given, loaned, or arranged for by Corrine Chisholm, the regional GS executive pictured above.

I really enjoy your emails on your aunt. I am a history buff and have done geneology work on my family for many years. I was intrigued with the newspaper article on The Dismals and remembered hearing of it from my grandparents or someone in the past. Here is the address to the park website which is very interesting. If you contact them directly, you may can share information!

Kathy Marino
Office Manager
Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama, Birmingham Service Center

5. Edith Macy Training Camp

6. The move to Jefferson City, MO, to become the local director of the Jefferson City Council in 1930: Jefferson City newspaper article.

7. Camps

  • (Same article under Golden Eaglets section #4) The Dismals (camp in Alabama run by the Golden Eaglets). This is a fragment of an article from a magazine is our guess. The information that does show gives an interesting picture of this camp. We believe it was given, loaned, or arranged for by Corrine Chisholm, the regional GS executive pictured above.
  • Timberland Camp Brochure: Fay left no information to go with the brochure. Since it was 1936, it is our guess that this was refresher training course before she began her time as the director of the new Camp Pin Oak which opened in 1936. All we know is that she thought enough of Timberland to keep in her special important memorabilia suitcase.
    1. Cover
    2. Map inside cover (I rotated it to be easier to read)
    3. Explanation of camp
  • Camp Pin Oaks, Kaiser, MO, Jefferson City Council, June 1936. Fay was involved in the design of Pin Oaks in 1935. **( 4-18-08) Missouri Parks Department has sent us this link for information on the Girl Scout Camp Pin Oak Reunion:
    1. Founding of Camp Pin Oaks with Fay as its first director - Page 1 (newpaper article).
    2. Page 2
    3. Page 3
  • Camp brochure: graphically very well designed brochure that gives all the information on just one piece of paper that has a flap with stylized activity pictures that opens up to give the details.
    1. Outside
    2. Inside with flap down
    3. Inside with flap up
    4. Photos of staff and the Colors in front of the main lodge.
    5. Photos of girls in various activities - 1
    6. Photos of girls in various activities - 2
    7. Photos of girls in various activities - 3
  • "I AM PETAH" This was Fay's camp name which meant "Big Chief". The following documents are from three decades all honoring "Petah" and give some insight into the type of camp director she was and the mood of the camp during her tenure.
    1. The 50's
      1. Scout's Own, page 1
      2. Page 2
      3. "Letter to Petah", page 1
      4. Page 2
    2. The 60's
      1. Scout's Own, "The Legend of Petah" page 1
      2. Page 2
    3. The 70's
      1. Scout's Own, page 1
      2. Page 2
    4. Songs
      1. Page 1
      2. Page 2
      3. Page 3
      4. Page 4
    5. 1973 Invitation from Pin Oak to Fay "Petah" to attend ceremonies.
      1. Page 1
      2. Page 2
      3. Fay's reply

8. "SNOOP & SCOOPS" Dec. 1972 Heart of Missouri Scout Council newsletter. Shows Fay at National GS conference and announcement that pants suit accepted as part of the official GS uniform.

Support Your Local Galleries and Museums! They Are Economic Engines for Your Community.

Subscribe to Our Free Weekly Email Newsletter!

Copyright 2013 Art Museum