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GSNEO History

GSNEO History


Girl Scouts have been a part of Northeast Ohio since 1912.  Local troops and councils formed and merged over the years. In 2007 five councils across 18 counties merged to form Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (GSNEO).

GSNEO was formed on October 1, 2007.


Want to learn about the history of each legacy council? Click on the tabs below.  


Girl Scouts of Lake Erie Council (Cleveland, Ohio)
1920's camp 2c


A group of girls in Bay Village, Ohio organized what was probably the first Girl Guide troop


The first Cleveland troop, known as the Pansy Patrol was organized.


The Cleveland Girls' Council was organized, encompassing Girl Scouts, Campfire Girls, Girl Reserves, Girls' City Club and other Cleveland groups


The Cleveland Girls' Council received its charter to become the Cleveland Girl Scout Council.


The Cleveland and Lake County Girl Scout Councils merged to form Lake Erie Girl Scout Council, covering Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties.


Council purchased additional Lake County property and named the new site Camp Cheraga. The camp was later renamed in honor of Mary and Frank Lejnar.


The millhouse, a part of Camp Crowell-Hilaka property, was made into a Museum of the History of Girl Scouting in Cleveland, and is on the National Registry of Historic Buildings.


First airing of "Brownie Smiles" which was a weekly television show featuring 12 Brownies who met in the ViaCom Studios at Severance Center Mall.


Camp Margaret Bates in Macedonia was sold.


Girl Scouts of Lake Erie Council merged with four other Northeast councils to form Girl Scouts of North East Ohio.

Girl Scouts Lake to River Council (Niles, Ohio)
1920's camp a


Mrs. Kurt Forsythe-1st President. Council formed by merger of Massasauga, Warren, Youngstown, and Niles Councils. Events included Dolly Derby and Round 1965.


Girl Scouts of North East Ohio formed through merger of Erie Shores, Great Trail, Lake to River, Lake Erie and Western Reserve.

Girl Scouts of Erie Shores Council (Lorain, Ohio)
1920's camp 2a

Erie Shores was born from GSUSA's Project 13, which was called the Green Umbrella. It's intent was to merge small councils and build greater capacity. After two years of dedicated work, Black River Girl Scout Council and Western Gate Girl Scout Council joined together and formed Girl Scouts of Erie Shores. Tiffin Girl Scout Council was later added to the family in 1968, and by 1979, ground was broken for the Lorain area council headquarters, the Council Service Center on South Broadway Avenue.

Since it's formation, Erie Shores has undergone many changes and some of the most important events are highlighted below.


First troop formed in Sandusky, Ohio with a membership of (4) girls.


First troop formed in Fremont, Ohio.


Bellvue Girl Scout Council formed, but disbanded in 1925. The First troop was formed in Lorain, Ohio.


Oberlin Girl Scout Council organized (first council chartered in Lorain County).


Elyria Girl Scout Council organized. Lorain Girl Scout Council chartered.


Willard Girl Scout Council was organized. Bellvue became a Local Council and Tiffin Girl Scout Council was chartered.


Elyria Girl Scout Council was chartered.


Black River Girl Scout Council was organized. Chartered in 1954.


Oberlin and Lorain merged into Black River Girl Scout Council.


Western Gate Girl Scout Council was formed. First office of Western Gate in Norwalk.


Purchased Camp Timberlane property. Columbia Township joined Black River Girl Scout Council. Williard and Sandusky Girl Scout Council joined Western Gate Girl Scout Council.


First primitive camp at Camp Timberlane. Sandusky Council merged with Western Gate Council.


First established camp at Camp Timberlane. First handicapped troop organized.


Erie Shores Girl Scout Council chartered office in Oberlin. Western Gate and Black River merged into Erie Shores Girl Scout Council.


Tiffin Girl Scout Council merged with Erie Shores.


Fire at Maplegrove.


Maplegrove replaced by Green Meadows cabin (named by Troop in Grafton).


Ground breaking for new Council Service Center on South Broadway in March. Open House held in October.


Fire at Camp Timberlane destroyed Pinecrest cabin.


Pinecrest cabin rebuilt and rededicated.


Erie Shores Girl Scout Council changed name to Girl Scouts of Erie Shores Girl Scout Council.


Camp Timberlane was remodeled. Lakeview Cabin becomes new Welcome Center. Replaced Tall Timbers tent unit with year-round structure; remodeled Stocker Lodge; new roads and parking implemented.


Girl Scouts of North East Ohio formed through merger of Erie Shores, Great Trail, Lake to River, Lake Erie and Western Reserve.

Girl Scouts of the Western Reserve, Inc. (Akron, Ohio)
1920's 3

In the beginning from 1918 until 1938 Girl Scouts of the Western Reserve had many titles, from Akron Area Scouts to Summit City Council of the Girl Scouts. By 1962, Medina, Portage, Summit and Northern Wayne Counties consolidated to become Western Reserve Girl Scout Council. You will discover Girl Scout history and the evolution of Girls Scouts of the Western Reserve as it happened in Greater Akron.

In fact, did you know that Franz Schumacher (founder of Quaker Oats Company) in 1840 built the Victorian-style house that was located at 108 Fir Hill. This building was known as the "Cookie House" because it was bought and maintained with cookie sale profits. The street got its name from the fir trees. The property later became a part of the University of Akron.


Akron Area Girl Scout organization was formed and Troops #1-#6 were organized.


The Akron Area Girl Scout council's first headquarters was located in the Metropolitan Building in downtown Akron.


Council chartered as Summit County Council of the Girl Scouts, and Girl Scouts camped at Akron Mayor's, F.S. Myers, Rex Lake.


Moved to new and larger headquarters located at 114 E. Market Street (C.W. Seiberling home).


Camped at Comet Dam, when it flooded, the girls helped collect farm animals. First known Girl Scout troops in Barberton.


Camp was held at Camp Chanote until Mrs. Laursen presented the Girl Scouts permanent use of the Laursen Estate as Day Camp in 1932.


Cookies baked by girls and sold for $.25 per dozen.


The Guth Building caught fire. Headquarters temporarily moved to Yager's Department Store.


Council renamed to Akron Area Council Girl Scouts, and five day camps were started which included Perkins Park, Gorge, and Forest Lodge.


The Bankers Building, 191 S. Main St., became the headquarters. Akron's first 7750 dozen cookies sales netted $480.


Camp Ledgewood opened, campers were given blimp rides by Goodyear, and girls attended Day Camp.


Troops #7- #10 were started at Grant, Lincoln and Broad Schools.


"Cookie House" (the house bought with cookie money) 108 Fir Hill became the new headquarters.


Jessie Mae Fageol Campground was presented to the Ravenna Girl Scout Association.


Western Reserve Council is formed to combine Summit, Portage, Medina and Northern Wayne Counties.


Senior Girl Scouts held an all night Cookie "Bake-in" at Low Lodge. Cookies were mailed to solders in Vietnam.


Girl Scout Gold Award established as highest award. First Gold Award in WRGSC earned by girls.


Camp Ledgewood celebrates its 50th anniversary with a party at camp. Cadettes and Seniors buried a time capsule to be opened in 2031 at the foot of Camp Ledgewood's main flag pole during the Cadette/Senior Roundup.


345 White Pond Drive becomes the Headquarters.


Name changed to Girl Scouts of the Western Reserve, Inc.


Western Reserve Council 40th Anniversary. Ledgewood 70th Anniversary Open House Celebration: May-Peace Pole dedication. 72 girls received their Silver Award.


Girl Scouts of North East Ohio formed through merger of Erie Shores, Great Trail, Lake to River, Lake Erie and Western Reserve.

Great Trail Girl Scout Council (North Canton, Ohio)

Great Trail Council began in 1924 when the Canton Council was first chartered. Prior to the first area charter, many single troops were formed in communities across Carroll, Tuscarawas, Stark and segments of Wayne, Mahoning and Columbiana counties.

Since 1917, Girl Scouts across this region have served their communities in many ways from Victory gardens during WWII to participating in large recruitment efforts in the Canton area.

The Canton area Girl Scouts opened their first camp, named The Oaks and then changed to Camp Sandoneida in 1924, located by Oneida and Malvern. This wooded 20-acre tract of land provided Girl Scouts a primitive camping experience. The number of Girl Scouts camping at Camp Sandoneida soon outgrew the capacity for this camp. In June 1948, almost 68 acres of land by an old Indian trail and overlooking the Sandy Valley was gifted to the Girl Scouts by the Metropolitan Paving Brick Company. Great Trail Camp was opened and saw its first season of Girl Scouts in 1953.


First troop began in Massillon.


Lone troops formed in Orrville, Canton, Minerva, Uhrichville, North Canton, New Philadelphia, Bolivar, Navarre, Dennison, Dover, Alliance, Louisville, Hartville and Salem.


First Charter received for Canton Council of Girl Scouts. First Commissioner of Canton Council was Mrs. H.H. Timken, Sr. First established resident camp - Camp Sandoneida


First cookie sale


Canton Council merges with Tuscarawas and Carroll county to become chartered as Great Trail Council.


First Council Round-up at Stark County Fairgrounds


Girl Scouts of North East Ohio formed through merger of Erie Shores, Great Trail, Lake to River, Lake Erie and Western Reserve.

The History/Archives Committee of GSNEO welcomes all Girl Scout items for donation. You can send or bring donations into any of the GSNEO Service Centers with the attached form.

Service Center Locations are as follows:
Macedonia - 8450 S. Bedford Road, Macedonia 44056
Lorain - 6111 S. Broadway Avenue, Lorain 44053
Youngstown - 8580 South Avenue, Youngstown 44514
North Canton - 1010 Applegrove Street NW, North Canton 44720
The items will be accessioned and put in their correct areas. You will be asked to sign a gift agreement.
We thank you for helping keep our Girl Scout traditions alive.

Museum Tours - If you or your troop would like to have a tour of the Macedonia Girl Scout Museum, contact Linda West-McBride at To visit Memory Hall in North Canton, contact Jan Hart at