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Three named Torchbearers at Girl Scout weekend

Torchbearers 2019
A firelight ceremony honored three women for their dedication to Girl Scout ideals on Sept. 8. (GSGWM photo)

Karyn Martin, Beth Brow and Pamela Gude honored with symbol of leadership and service

THETFORD, VT – Three women dedicated to the Girl Scout mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character were recognized for their leadership and service with Torchbearer Awards, presented by Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains at Farnsworth Weekend, a retreat for older Girl Scouts and adults.

Karyn Martin of Pelham, NH; Beth Brow of Londonderry, NH; and Pamela Gude of West Bolton, VT, were honored in an evening fireside ceremony at Camp Farnsworth in Thetford on Saturday, Sept. 8.

Karyn Martin received the Oak Torch, symbolizing one who is robust, courageous, strong, unrelenting, independent, sensible, who keeps their feet on the ground, and is a person of action. As the Assistant Director of Facilities and Outdoor Program at Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, Martin is closely involved with all things outdoors at the council. Her outdoor career has included a camp directorship in California, being a ropes course facilitator for Girl Scouts of the Gulf Coast and at Camp Oaks, guiding trips through the Everglades in Florida, and was the Director of Outdoor Programming at the former Spar and Spindle Council in Massachusetts, now Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusettes, before joining Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains.

At the ceremony, it was noted that Martin has shared basic outdoor skills such as fire building, outdoor cooking, knot tying, use of maps and compasses, games and nature appreciation. She has been part of the team facilitating advanced outdoor living skills including backpacking and winter camping.  She has supervised and instructed kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding, as well as being involved in horseback riding and astronomy experiences. She has a special interest in ropes courses and climbing courses, having 9,000 hours of documented belay time to her credit.

Beth Brow also received the Oak Torch, symbolizing one who is robust, courageous, strong, unrelenting, independent, sensible, who keeps their feet on the ground, and is a person of action.

Brow is a prime example of what embracing the outdoors should look like!  She is certified in basic and advanced outdoor living skills, as well as boating and canoeing, and shares her love of the outdoors with her Girl Scout Cadette troop. Her troop has now enjoyed several primitive camping trips and even winter camping. This year they are getting ready to hike on the Appalachian Trail in April 2020. In preparation for this adventure, they were the first Girl Scout troop to tour the Jetboil factory in Manchester, NH, to learn about personal backpacking stoves and to make one for each Girl Scout. They are saving cookie proceeds to buy backpacks and other needed hiking gear. Her troop has led a Daisy Hike to share skills, knowledge and excitement with our youngest Girl Scouts and help give confidence to their new leaders. She has also shared her outdoor knowledge with other adults at Farnsworth Weekend, leading workshops in the use of topographical maps.

Pamela Gude received the Cedar Torch, symbolizing one who is self-confident, knows how to adapt, and has a soft and willing heart with a willingness to help.

Gude began learning about camping as a young girl at Camp Twin Hills. All of the benefits of attending Girl Scout camp, all of the skills, and many memories have played an important part in the recent participation of this amazing adult.

Several years ago, she was invited to assist a mixed-level troop whose Brownies wanted to earn the Letterboxing Badge. Her extensive knowledge of orienteering, geocaching, and letterboxing led her to prepare an outdoor adventure at Ethan Allen Homestead, where the girls experienced the excitement of the hunt for the treasure, completing their badge later at Camp Farnsworth.

Her enjoyment of the involvement with this troop lead her to become an important part of the leadership of her troop in the Burlington area, always willing to work with girls of all ages. More recently she has volunteered at Twin Hills day camp, attending every day, and teaching all things outdoors:  whittling, knot tying, tarp shelter rigging, nature identification skills, camp songs and orienteering. Prior to the camp season, she volunteered to teach these skills to the counselors from all of our summer camps, to help them better share these skills with campers all across Green and White Mountains. She accompanied a trek from Camp Farnsworth to the Waterbury Reservoir, acting as a certified boating specialist. Last fall, she was part of the team facilitating a Basic Outdoor Living Skills class. Recently, Gude completed the Vermont Master Naturalist Program, focusing on the natural and human history of the Camp Twin Hills area.  She has designed a program for campers there this summer called Glaciers to Girl Scouts. 

Gude also received the Honor Pin during the weekend. It is one of the highest honors for volunteers, recognizing individuals who have contributed to meeting one or more of the council’s goals in membership growth and retention, fund development, or increased visibility in two or more geographic areas. She was also the September Volunteer of the Month for Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains.

Torchbearer ceremonies have been held in various parts of the United States to honor leadership and service in many ways. Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, the council serving girls in New Hampshire and Vermont, recognizes individuals who have a significant impact on our girls’ outdoor experiences. GSGWM's first Torchbearer ceremony took place at Tamarack Notch Girl Scout Camp in Rutland, VT, on July 30, 1960. The tradition continues today at Camp Farnsworth, where the council has welcomed new Torchbearers since 2009.

Torchbearers must have been registered, active adult Girl Scouts members for at least five years, are involved and committed to the ideals of Girl Scouting, and are involved with outdoor Girl Scout programming or Girl Scout training beyond the troop level for a minimum of three years.

About Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains: Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is recognized throughout New Hampshire and Vermont as a leading expert on girls. Our Girl Scout Leadership Experience is a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with proven results. It is based on time-tested methods and research-backed programming that helps girls take the lead—in their own lives and in the world. Through our exciting and challenging programs, Girl Scouts not only participate but also take the lead in a range of activities—from kayaking, archery, and camping, to coding, robotics, financial literacy training, and beyond! Serving more than 10,000 girls throughout New Hampshire and Vermont, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. Visit