AUGUST 24, 1940
HYDE PARK, Friday—I spent three hours this afternoon at the Girl Scout camp in Westchester County, New York. Since they were unable to assemble girls from all over the world, as they usually do, they assembled girls from most of the countries in this hemisphere. The most striking thing was the sense of complete understanding and friendliness which existed between the girls from the United States, who were hostesses, and the girls from other countries, who were guests but who told me: "It is just home."
At supper I sat at a different place with each course and thereby managed to be with almost all the delegates from different lands. The average age is about seventeen. Most of them spoke English except a young girl from Guatemala, and she had already picked up a few words. I amused to have the girls from Brazil tell me that the movies helped perfect their English, for the schools give them two years of English and take the girls once a week to the American movies.
There was a charming flag ceremony and singing, varied by the Brazilian girl playing her guitar while all sang to her accompaniment.
A young Mexican girl, with a friend, danced a Mexican dance in a costume made by her mother. The skirt was covered with innumerable paillettes of variegated colors, a piece of work which must have taken endless days to accomplish and which was very lovely. The girl from Panama showed a charming costume and two girls from the Argentine did a native dance in a country costume.
We visited the various camps and I was especially pleased to note the ingenuity by which the advanced campers made themselves comfortable in tents without any floors. In one camp they cooked entirely in the open with no tent over their heads. We ended the evening at the open air theatre with a campfire burning brightly on a high rock and all the girls wrapped in blankets, for these August nights are cold and some of them told me they had borrowed as many blankets as they could find to sleep under.
I have in my mail a query from a woman who wants to know if, instead of telegraphing Congressmen and Senators, when she wants to register an opinion on any subject, it would not do as well to send a postcard. I think if you can possibly afford it, a letter will probably receive more consideration, but I do think it important that you register your opinions on subjects of importance to all the people. After all, that is democracy in action, isn't it?