Mildred Wirt's Girl Scout Books   

Mildred Wirt's Girl Scouts Series

The Girl Scouts Series was authored by Mildred A. Wirt and published by Cupples and Leon from 1953 to 1957.  The books contain a sprinkling of Girl Scout lore and often mention how a Girl Scout is to be helpful and cheerful regardless of circumstance.

The main character is thirteen-year-old Judy Grant, who joins the Beaver Patrol in the first volume.  Judy exemplifies all of the qualities that a Girl Scout should have and is also very good at discovering mysteries.  During the first book Judy faces criticism from one of the other girls, Beverly Chester, who is the Patrol Leader.  Beverly resents Judy's presence and feels that Judy is upstaging her.  Beverly resigns as Patrol Leader at the end of the first book but does remain a member.  Beverly continues to display a bad attitude at times during the next two books and usually regrets her statements at a later time.

Of interest, The Girl Scouts at Singing Sands has a character named George Franey, which is very similar to the name George Fayne, a character in the Nancy Drew series.  Also of interest, The Girl Scouts at Mystery Mansion contains some plot elements which are similar to Mildred Wirt's third Madge Sterling book, The Secret of the Sundial.  In both stories, the girls help clean up an old mansion which has hidden treasure on the property.  Additionally, both mansions were vacated by the owner after the owner became distressed about the behavior of her son.

The first printing of The Girls Scouts at Singing Sands begins "Twilight was creeping up Old Baldy Mountain..." and later printings change the name of the mountain to Singing Sands.  I can only speculate that perhaps the second book was originally to be titled The Girl Scouts at Old Baldy, and the publisher decided that Singing Sands would sound better.

  #1 The Girl Scouts at Penguin Pass (or Trail of the Snowman)      1953
As a newly-inducted member of the Intermediate Scout Troop of Fairfield, Judy Grant travels to Maple Leaf Lodge with the other Girl Scouts for a fun week of skiing at Penguin Pass.  From the very beginning, the trip appears jinxed.  The Scouts face bad weather, ice roads, and—Caleb Shively.  The caretaker is not only inhospitable, he openly demands that they leave the lodge at once!

The Scouts remain as they have permission from the owner, but not without misgiving.  The caretaker remains unfriendly and aloof, refusing to help with any of the chores.  Judy scents a mystery when she sees Shively journeying out into the cold night for no apparent reason.  After objects begin disappearing, Judy wonders if Shively could be a thief.

The Girl Scouts at Penguin Pass
The problem is that the Boy Scouts have high regard for Mr. Shively.  Why does he hate the Girl Scouts?  The girls discover that the answer lies at Penguin Pass, and they face many dangers before they finally learn the solution to the mystery.
  #2 The Girl Scouts at Singing Sands                                  1955
The Beaver Patrol arrives at the Pine Cone Girl Scout Camp to learn that a mix-up has caused them to temporarily lose their tent, resulting in cramped quarters in a smaller tent.  The Scouts soon find a solution to their problem after Judy Grant receives a letter from her Aunt Mattie, who wants Judy to find her a place to stay.  The girls rent Calico Cottage at a low price and decide to stay in it until Aunt Mattie arrives.

The girls soon find that the low price was too good to be true when they discover that the cottage is haunted!  At night, the girls hear thumps from the basement and the sound of a flute.  The girls investigate the basement but find no clue to what has caused the noises.  Even stranger, the basement has an unusual odor and drafts of air that come from an unknown source.

The Girl Scouts at Singing Sands
Judy is deeply concerned that the noises will frighten Aunt Mattie when she arrives.  As the girls investigate the mystery of Calico Cottage, they run into smugglers and find themselves in danger.  The apprehension of the smugglers and the solution to the mystery at Calico Cottage provide many suspense-filled moments for the Beaver Patrol.
  #3 The Girl Scouts at Mystery Mansion                              1957
The members of the Beaver Patrol suffer a serious loss when their camp money is stolen.  Faced with the necessity of earning the camp fee over again or else be unable to attend camp, the Patrol undertakes to clean up the unoccupied Holiday mansion so it can be rented.  The Patrol hopes to at least partially earn back the stolen money.

The girls hope to spend one night at the mansion, but muffled sounds coming from behind a locked door and smoke rising from a chimney when no one has built a fire threaten their plans.  With an unknown prowler on the premises, the Patrol members may be forced to abandon their slumber party plans.  Adding to the mystery, mute evidence indicates that the house was abandoned in great haste by the owner, and the real estate agent has no idea what happened to the owner. 

The Girl Scouts at Mystery Mansion
The girls become excited when Tina unearths an old gold coin in the woods adjoining the house, and theorize how the gold coin came to be in the woods.  The girls embark on an exciting treasure hunt and experience many moments of suspense before Mystery Mansion reveals all of its secrets.
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