Girl Scout Jean Fahr, age 64, passed away on August 27, following a battle with cancer. Jean, a former assistant chief executive officer overseeing program and properties at the legacy Girl Scout Council of Southeast Louisiana, was troop leader of Mariner Troop 592 and a positive adult role model to hundreds of Girl Scouts she met over 40+ years in Girl Scouting. She was the quintessential “green blooded” Girl Scout, earning the tremendous respect of countless adult volunteers, camp staff, and colleagues.
Jean was a seasonal camp staff member during college and began her professional career with the council in 1978 as a field manager/camp director. Camp was in decline until she took it over and completely turned things around to build a model program. She soon began the process to get the camp ACA accredited and the participation more than doubled under her guidance.
She built and expanded year round outdoor programs and adult training; partnered with national organizations, developed aquatic programs, and worked to get Camp Whispering Pines recognized as a certified long leaf forest and Camp Covington as a historic site. In the late 1980s she fought to see that the Tangipahoa River got cleaned up, the council halting all river recreation at CWP, and starting a letter-writing campaign to get state action.
She coordinated large Girl Scout birthday celebrations – with the Great Reunion in 1997 (85 years) and Lift Every Voice in 2002 (90 years) which included producing a 90th Birthday Commemorative Recording sung by Girl Scout alums – as well as conducting special council events which included an annual Arbor Day planting and Covington’s Diamond Jubilee in 2002 (75 years). She was the author and editor of the popular, outdoor cookbook, Pocket Stew, which has been published since 1987 for the 75th Girl Scout Birthday and continues to be used and sold to Girl Scouts via council shops across the United States, 31 years later.
She left the council’s staff in 2005, becoming executive director of the non-profit Parkway Partners, but remained active in Girl Scouting as a troop leader. She was recognized by the council with the Thanks Badge in 2012. She has touched the lives of many girls and shared her gifts and passion for Girl Scouts with the adults that she trained, mentored and inspired. She will be long remembered and missed by many. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and with all who mourn her passing.