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Girl Scouts Remember Estelle Yates

Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest mourns the loss of Estelle H. Yates, who departed September 16, 2013. Services begin at 10:30 AM Friday, Sept. 27, at First United Methodist Church in Artesia, NM.  Honorary pallbearers will be her grandchildren.

Estelle was born on April 10, 1918, to Clarence S. and Catherine Hefler in Boston, Mass.  She attended Girls Latin School in Boston, where she received an education in Latin, English, history, mathematics and chemistry.  She went on to Chamberlain School to study interior decorating and design.  She met her husband, S. P. Yates on a blind date to the Boston Art Museum in 1939.  They married in Boston on March 3, 1940. Click here for more information.

Estelle was an avid supporter of Girl Scouting and took a very active role in the lives of Girl Scouts in New Mexico. She volunteered as a local Girl Scout troop leader for many years and served nine years on the National Girl Scouts Board of Directors. Thanks to her generous contributions, Estelle ensured that hundreds of Girl Scouts had the opportunity to enjoy the Santa Fe Opera over the years. Her prescence is so strongly known within the Girl Scouts of Desert Southwest that the Estelle Yates Award was created for volunter excellence in the Central Region of our council. This award is given to volunteers who go above and beyond serving the girls in their troop to positively impact Girl Scouts and their community.

She is preceded in death by her husband, S. P. Yates, on August 1, 2008, five brothers and sisters, and numerous other friends and relations. She is survived by her children, Peyton, wife Linda, of Artesia, Mary Davis, husband Ted, of England, and Richard of Santa Fe; daughters-in-law Judy Yates of Colorado Springs, CO, and Brenda Yates of Santa Fe; sister Virginia Seitz of Albuquerque; grandchildren, Jennifer Peterson, husband Dale, of Longmont, CO, Mary Beth Yates of Farmington, NM, Hanson Yates, wife Christine, of Houston, TX, Claire Lhoyd-Owen, husband Rupert, of England, Peyton Davis, wife Helen, of England, Courtney Yates of Sewickley, PA, Kelsy Yates, husband Kiri Humphrey, of Brooklyn, NY, and Porter Yates of Boulder, CO; nine great-grandchildren; and a large community of extended family and friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to Girl Scouts through Paypal or by visiting your local Girl Scout office.


New Mexico Gold Award Winner Serina Pack Meets President Obama


Girl Scouts of the USA National President Connie L. Lindsey, Chief Executive Officer Anna Maria Chavez, and eight Girl Scout Gold Award recipients from across the country presented President Barack Obama today with the Girl Scouts Annual Report and met with him on the pressing issues affecting girls. Among the Gold Award recipients was area Girl Scout Serina Pack of Cliff, NM. Serina is a member of the Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest which serves Southern New Mexico and West Texas.


Serina Pack, a High School Senior from Cliff, New Mexico, is an honor student interested in addressing societal concerns relating to children’s literacy programs and the environment. She plans to study Environmental Sustainability and Psychology with the long-term goal of completing her PhD. For her Girl Scouts Gold Award take action project, Serina created CLIMB, a literacy program in elementary schools and the APPLE Foundation. APPLE is an acronym for “A Plan to Promote Literacy Everywhere!” Its purpose: Motivate and inspire children to be good readers and encourage teens to become mentors and take up the cause to address the low literacy levels in our country. More than 5000 used books, 1500 reading workbooks, and 2000 new books, with estimated value of over $15,000, have been collected and distributed in southwestern United States and Mexico.


“Our Girl Scout Gold Award recipients who met the president today are the embodiment of girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place,” said Chavez. “It’s critical we continue to inform our national leaders on the urgent needs of all girls across the country, and stress that together, we can get all girls to realize their full potential.”

In addition to the meeting with President Obama, the Girl Scouts also met with senior staff at the White House about their Gold Award projects.


Congratulations to all of our winners in our SWAPS Contest at the 100th Anniversary Celebration in Las Cruces on March 10th. We had over 125 different SWAPS submitted for the contest. Guests at the event were given three different categories to choose from: Most Creative, People's Choice, and Greenest (Most Eco-Concious)

Here are our winners!

MOST CREATIVE- SWAP #39  Rebecca Torres, Troop #113



PEOPLE’S CHOICE- SWAP #50   Troop #258 “Hoppy to Celebrate 10 Years”


GREENEST (MOST ECO-CONSCIOUS)- SWAP #52  Troop # 258 “Speaks for the Trees”




Savannah Harris with Renee Prince, Product Sales Director



A big congratulations to Savannah Harris from Troop 68258 in Truth or Consequences, NM, our top Fall Product seller from the 2011 season! Savannah sold a whopping 236 items and won herself the top recognition, a brand-new e-reader!

Thank you to all the girls who participated in our Fall Product program, we hope to see you again later this year.



"Daffy" Tabor, you will be missed!

On November 4, 2011, Daffy Tabor took up residence in heaven to lead the angels in song.  She celebrated her 79th birthday at the Hospice House in Odessa among friends and family.  Daffy was born on November 4, 1932 in Eden, Texas to Frankie Lee Heairren and Charles Edwin Tabor. Ed passed away when Daffy was about four years old, and Frankie Lee then remarried Orbie Lee Heairren. Daffy attended Midland High School and graduated from Baylor University in 1955 with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Education.  While at Baylor University on scholarship, Daffy received the honor of Most Representative Girl.

After graduating from Baylor, Daffy applied to and was selected as Midland's Ambassador to the Experiment in International Living program.  Daffy spent a summer living in Turkey and returned to the area to share her experiences with local youth.  After teaching third grade for a year in Midland, Daffy began working for Permian Basin Girl Scouts as the District Director.  Daffy's work with the Girl Scouts began a life full of service and leadership.  During her years with Permian Basin Girl Scouts, she directed numerous programs, trained troop leaders and Girl Scouts, and directed the summer programs at Mitre Peak Girl Scout Camp outside of Ft. Davis, Texas. 

While Daffy was serving as Camp Director, Girl Scout National Headquarters (GSUSA) selected Mitre Peak to produce a film introducing the Cadet level of scouting. The GSUSA Program Director was so impressed with Daffy's efforts that she asked her to fly to New York for an interview.  Daffy was immediately hired as a Camping Specialist in the Program Department at GSUSA.  She moved to New York City and after her stint as a Program Director, she was recruited by the administration to lead the Pied Piper Project at national headquarters.  In this post, Daffy traveled all over the United States performing alongside Debbie Reynolds (the celebrity spokesperson for the Girl Scouts' and the Piper Project) at rallies, workshops, and major events (1963-1970).


In 1973, Daffy moved to Scottsdale, Arizona to enter private business.  After a short stint in the corporate world, Daffy returned to her true calling - Girl Scouting - when she went to work for the Cactus-Pine Girl Scout Council as Community Relations Director handling all marketing and publishing (1973-1979).  When the council reorganized, Daffy relocated to Phoenix where she once again found her niche working with kids.  There, Daffy instituted an informal outreach program with the neighborhood children.  The Phoenix newspaper dubbed this service to youth as "The Porch Kids."  Daffy also worked for the Arizona Museum of History where her impact on children was further extended through her traveling trunk shows which provided engaging, hands-on learning experiences.

Family bonds were important to Daffy.  She had a very close relationship with her sisters LaMoyne Bass (deceased), Agatha Culpepper, and VonDean Lawson.  In 2001, Daffy moved to Andrews, Texas to be closer to her sisters.  Daffy has touched so many lives and has been a powerful influence on young people across the nation, including her nieces and nephews: Vance & Margo Milleret-Bass, Michael "Cullie" & Robyn Culpepper, Gregg & Donna Bass, Gloria & Tom LeBleu, Scott & Kim Bass, Jennifer & Phillip Coleman, Reed Bass, Sandy Culpepper, Linda & Brad Avery, 18 great nieces and nephews, and 10 great-great nieces and nephews.

Daffy, we thank you for all that you accomplished and the love and wisdom you shared with us during your time. Rest in peace.


Troop 242 Gives Us a Taste of New Mexico!


Girls Scouts from Troop 242 with Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima at the Annual Meeting

Troop 242 as part of their Girl Scout Silver Award, have created an all-new badge program that introduces people from aroudn the world to the majesty of New Mexico! Entitled the "New Mexico Patch Program," Troop 242 have compiled a booklet that delves deep into the rich history of New Mexico and famous citizens of the state. History is not all you will find, the Program also includes a number of fun games, English-to-Spanish translations, and tasty recipes. Once a Girl Scout has completed the book, they have the opportunity to procure their own patch and show off their New Mexico pride!


Click Here to download the New Mexico Patch Program!


A big congratulations to goers out to Mark Clevenger, of Midland Texas. Mark is the winner of the our 2011 competition to win a YEARLONG SUPPLY OF COOKIES. Participants were eligible to enter the raffle if they purchased six(6) or more boxes of Girl Scout cookies at one time. The response was so massive, we had a total of XX tickets for our drawing. An extra special congratulations also goes out to Hailey Lowrance of Girl Scout Troop #27049. For her sales, Hailey will receive her very own limited edition Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest Hoodie!

 Thank you to everyone who participated!

Check out these great photos from our drawing!
Renee Prince, Product Sales Director and Diane Flanagan, Chief Executive Office, hold up the winning ticket as our El Paso council staff shows their support.
That is XX tickets crammed into our selection bag!