Camp Kiwanis Memorial honors the late Muriel ‘Scottie’ Lafond – Lowell Sun
TYNGSBORO – Girl Scouts of all ages celebrated the time of the late Muriel “Scottie” Lafond as director of Camp Kiwanis on the shores of Long Pond, dedicating a bench in her honor.
Scottie’s Bench overlooks the pond where many girls learned to swim and sits at the end of an accessible trail that opened in July. Lafond was Camp Director from 1978 to 1994 and acquired the nickname “Scottie” because a Scottish Terrier was always by his side.
Paula Sweeney, program director during Lafond’s tenure, opened the dedication ceremony by asking Girl Scout Troop 68085 to host a flag ceremony. Sedona Fedderson carried the flag. She was accompanied by Malhayla Hughes, Lilian Wood, Sandra Jacob, Katelyn Fugazzotto, Trinidy Silva and Jenna Trischitta.
“Camp wasn’t just a summer job for Scottie,” Sweeney said.
Joan Desgroseilliers, another former program director, recalls that Lafond worked most of the year putting together a team that would present a program that campers have remembered for decades.
She hired and trained staff, according to Desgroseilliers. She also attended neighborhood meetings and open houses to promote the camp.
Her son, Jay Lafond of Hudson, NH, remembers his mother talking about the rewards of hard work. She loved helping “little girls to grow up to be great human beings,” he said.
Lafond said he worked at the camp as a teenager. To do this, he had to become a member of the Girl Scouts to qualify for workers’ insurance and compensation. It wasn’t something he shared with friends at the time.
He remembered his mother making sure he was busy and stayed out of trouble. And he said she would be very happy to know that she will be remembered for the difference she made in girls’ lives.
Ron Keohane, now Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said Lafond “was passionate about this place and it is a pleasure to remember her”.
Tyngsboro acquired the Camp Kiwanis land nearly 20 years ago, but did nothing until residents began clearing trails on land overrun with shrubs and weeds. The Girl Scouts helped with some of the cleanup work.
Eventually, the town got grants from the state and the Tyngsboro Community Preservation Committee, and two years ago began building an ADA-compliant trail and parking lot to encourage hiking along trails.
Saturday’s groundbreaking ceremony coincided with the third annual Tyngsboro Trekking Day, an event sponsored by Girl Scouts.
Sweeney said the Girl Scouts set $ 3,000 as a fundraising goal for the bench, but raised a lot more than that. The additional funds were donated to the Eastern Massachusetts Scout Council.