15 February 1950
Alvin Steinkopf, AP Foreign Staff
“Glorified vagabonds” is what London affectionately called five young Pacific Coast girls who have arrived here on a tour that has taken them through a dozen European countries.
One of the purposes of the group was to see what happened to food and clothing parcels sent to needy Europeans from the Four Winds Camp for girls at Deer Harbor, Orcas Island, WA.
“The glorified vagabonds” moved around as the spirit prompted––and in style. The girls and their three chaperones traveled in two automobiles roomy enough so eight could sleep in them, if necessary. It wasn’t necessary. All of the sleeping was done in hotels.
Chaperone-in-chief is Miss Ruth A. Brown of Seattle, director and owner of the Four Winds Camp. Other chaperones are Mrs. Charles Zook Sutton, of Piedmont, CA, and Mrs. Hamilton Roberts of Stockton, CA
The girls are Eleanor Harris, 21 yrs, of Berkeley, CA; Jane Graham, 20, of Vancouver, BC; Michaela Moran, 20, of San Francisco, CA; Tomolla Lipps, 24, of Los Angeles, CA; and Margaret Cranston, of Boise, ID.
Their tour, which began in France at Le Havre in September, took them through France, Belgium, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, West Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy.
In each city they visited they looked up persons to whom they had sent parcels.
“They thought we were Santa Claus,” Miss Lipps said.
“In one place in Germany they thought we were Marshall Aid,” Miss Cranston added.
“We were whistled at and oo-la-la-ed in all languages", Miss Brown said, “But no one was fresh.”
The cars have covered 21,000 miles. The only trouble was a puncture caused by a nail.
The girl’s program included intensive sightseeing, some study, and wide-eyed observance of the complicated European scene.
Some of their impressions were:
Germany is dreadfully smashed, but its Western regions, at least, are beginning to hum.
European men are gallant, slick, some are handsome––but they don’t seem to be as dependable as the American boys.
British food is "much better than we expected, and the people seem so robust.”
English fashion––also, “better than we expected.”
Above text from The Seattle Times, 15 February 1950
|Ruth A. Brown, (1894-1976)|
Camp Director, Four Winds-Westward Ho Camp,
Deer Harbor, Orcas Island, WA.
Original photo dated 1935, from the archives of the S. P. H. S.
Ruth Brown served as executive director of the Camp Fire Girls in Seattle from 1921 to 1926.
In 1927 she organized the Four Winds Camp in Deer Harbor, Orcas Island, WA, which she owned and directed until she retired in 1966. In 1935 she organized Westward Ho for boys, which operated in connection with Four Winds.
Both camps were given to the Four Winds Foundation in 1968 by Miss Brown, who served as honorary board chairman of the foundation and Mr. Edgar F. Kaiser as Chairman. The beautiful camp, known for its sailing, kayaking, and canoeing education is the largest operating in the San Juan Islands. Situated on over 1,000 acres, there are riding trails for beginners and advanced. Four Winds Camp is still operating into the next century with creative, responsible staff. During camp sessions the technology world is put aside in order for the young people 7 through 18 years of age, to enjoy each other and the artistic, comfortable surroundings. There are hiking trips to Mount Baker and schooner trips on the Sound.
The newspaper article above highlights the special opportunities Miss Brown provided, leading several young women on a cultural experience through Europe.