Girl Scout Troop#77 - Brookline Sharpshooters

Girl Scout Troop#77 Sharpshooters - 1942
A photo from the February 1, 1942 Sun-Telegraph showing Girl Scout Troop#77 sharpshooters Patsy Jean Moss,
Team Captain Jane Linder, Marilyn Galvin, Rosemary Shenkel and Patsy Shenkel.

Brookline's Girl Scout Troop#77 was formed in 1940 and hosted by the Episcopal Church of the Advent, located on Pioneer Avenue. The scout leader was Mrs. Florence Galvin and the troop consisted of twenty girls ages 12 through 18. Other assistant leaders were Mrs. Edna Shenkel and Mrs. Lucille Pfeiffer.

Along with the many diverse scouting related activities in which the troop participated, including camping trips to South Park, the girls also formed a sharpshooting team that participated in the American Legion Junior Rifle League. The rifle program was sponsored by the American Legion and approved by both the National Rifle Association and the United States War Department, which provided rifles and ammunition.

Girl Scout Troop#77 Sharpshooters - 1940
This December 31, 1940 Sun-Telegraph photo shows Troop #77 sharpshooters at the American Legion Hall. Shown here are
Virginia Linder, Barbara Blakely, Marilyn Galvin, Wilma Masters, Virginia Morrell and Rosemary Shenkel.

Known as "Brookline's Annie Oakleys," and trained by Edward Wilhelm, the rifle team from Troop#77 compiled a remarkable record of achievement, consistently finished among the top sharpshooters in the Pittsburgh area, and were recognized for their talents by the National Rifle Association. The girls trained once a week at the No. 1 Police Station shooting range.

The Brookline girls were also very active during the early war years holding benefit dances to raise money for special charities such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and the March of Dimes. The ladies would knit and sew for the Red Cross and make holiday favors for the Veteran's Hospital. All of the girls were instructed in Red Cross home nursing and first aid.

Girl Scout Troop#77 Sharpshooters - 1941
In this December 21, 1941 Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph photo Rosemary and Patsy Shenkel receive
National Rifle Association medals from Troop #77 Scout Leader Mrs. Florence Galvin.

One of their most successful projects was preparing gift packages for servicemen that were distributed at the USO lounge on Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh. Each package contained three postal cards, three candy bars, cigarettes and chewing gum. The troop received mention in the February 3, 1943 Sun-Telegraph along with many appreciative letters from soldiers who received these packages.

One of those letters read:

"I am a soldier in the Air Corps. I just arrived in Chicago from my home in Nutley, New Jersey, where I have been on a ten-day furlough. On my way home my train stopped in Pittsburgh for an hour, and I stopped at the USO there. I was given a package made up by you. I am dropping this letter to thank you for this swell gift. It made a soldier very happy, because I had no money to buy anything, and was glad to get the candy and cigarettes. Keep up your good work, and thank you girls. Signed - Private A. S.

No more is known at this time about Brookline's Girl Scout Troop#77 from the Episcopal Church of the Advent. There is no further mention of the troop after the February 1943 article. If anyone has any further information to share please contact us via our guestbook or our Brookline Connection facebook page.

Memorial Day Parade - GS Troop #77 - 1942
The girls of Troop #77 march in the 1942 Memorial Day Parade along Brookline Boulevard.

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