A Cedar Falls Girl Scout sister and mentor to many.
Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois lost a true Girl Scout sister January 24, 2013, Darline Short was a Girl Scout through and through and continued to make the world a better place no matter where she was or who she was with. Darline’s long-time friend, Linda Kennedy shared the eulogy she wrote for Darline to share her story of service to the Cedar Falls Girl Scouts and other organizations.
I first met Darline after moving to Cedar Falls in 1964.
Her oldest daughter, Kathy, was the first person to welcome me as a new 9th grade student at Peet Junior High.
Darline wasn’t a Girl Scout as a child, but joined Scouts because of her daughters, Kathy, Kelly, and Kayann.
She was involved in Girl Scouts in some fashion for the past 54 years.
I got to know her the best when my oldest daughter joined Girl Scouts as a Junior in 1982. She was part of the Leadership Team for a multi-grade group from Lincoln Elementary. Darline became my mentor and my friend.
She held many volunteer positions over the years –
- On the Troop Level – she was an Assistant Leader and Troop Leader for Girl Scout Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes and Seniors.
- On the Service Unit Level – she held the positions of Junior Consultant, Cadette Consultant, Troop Organizer, Neighborhood Chairperson, QSP Chair, Neighborhood Vesper Committee, Brownie Revel, Day Camp Unit Leader, Day Camp Tag-a-longs (caring for children of Leaders), and Chair of the 75th Anniversary Service Unit Committee.
- On the Council Level – she served on the Summer Program Task Force, Girl/Adult Assistance Program Task Force, Master Trainer for new Leaders and Outdoor Troop Camping (outdoor training was her passion) and Council Wide Training Events, Product Sale Committee (her favorite was the fall sale), Recognition Task Force. Darline was a Council Delegate for many years.
- On the National Level – she was a delegate at two Girl Scout National Conventions.
She was recognized by her peers for her dedication many times over, receiving the Outstanding Leader, Outstanding Volunteer, Honor Pin, culminating with the Thanks Badge in 1984, and Thanks Badge II in 1990. A new award was created by our Service Unit to honor her continued service – we called it the “Golden Link” Award, because she bridged the generations with her decades of experience.
In 1996, Darline was one of the founding members of Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois’ Juliette Low Society, a group of retired Girl Scout women, who gather to stay connected to their “sisters” in Girl Scouting. She received their Hidden Heroine Award, which honored her service to Girl Scouts and our community.
About 10 years ago, she joined “Troop LOL”, a group of adult Girl Scout women who love to travel. She was the oldest member, but that never kept her from having fun. During our trip to Savannah, GA, Darline was the first to remove her shoes and walk on the beach at Tybee Island, and when we traveled to Washington DC, she kissed FDR!
Her most recent Girl Scout project was helping decorate the Girl Scout Tree for the Christmas Tree Walk. She willing cut, pasted, and offered numerous items to be used as part of the decorations.
Darline had a huge impact on my life; she was my mentor in Girl Scouting. I never would have become a Girl Scout leader or the person I am today if it hadn’t been for her.
Additionally, Darline has been involved in the American Legion Auxiliary, First United Methodist Church, i.e., Bible Studies, Sunday School (student and teacher), Vacation Bible School, various Committees, Task Forces, and Boards, Community Meals, Girl Scout Liaison, and Grief Support Group, to name a few.
Her passion for helping in a variety of ways provided her with opportunities to serve the citizens of Cedar Falls, too. Darline served on the Urban Ministry Board, Prairie Park Housing Board, Cedar Falls Housing Commission, Western Home Auxillary, Western Home Store, and the County Election Board.
She loved her family, her church, her neighbors, and her many friends. Darline loved to give, often creating little things to give away to a group she was meeting with, or somewhere she was going. She loved making people smile, wearing interesting headbands, hats and colorful wigs to denote special holidays or just for the fun of it. During the time her husband, Robert, went to dialysis, she lifted the spirits of many when she’d don one of her special headpieces.
Darline gave from her heart, and by doing so, she touched the hearts of many!
Please share your memories of Darline in the comments for all of us to share.