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Since 1926, Edith Macy Conference Center has served as a learning center for Girl Scout staff and volunteers. Edith Carpenter Macy, chair of the Girl Scout National Board of Directors from 1919 to 1925, was among the first of the organization's officials to foresee the tremendous influence trained leadership would have on the development of Girl Scouting. She dreamed of a permanent school, staffed and equipped to offer the highest possible quality of training and guidance to Girl Scout leaders.
Although she would not live to see it, her dream became reality when, following her untimely death in 1925, her husband, V. Everit Macy, donated land and offered to build as a living memorial to his wife the school she had envisioned.
In May 1926, the facility opened as Camp Edith Macy in time to host the fourth International Conference of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Over the years, members of the organization have called Macy a national training school, a training center, and a Girl Scout national center. Since its dedication in 1982, it is now officially Edith Macy Conference Center. The name changed in each instance to reflect the use of the site, from the early days when students lived and learned in camp-like settings to today's modern year-round conference facility that supports high-quality training.
Guests at Girl Scouts of the USA's Edith Macy Conference Center cannot help but feel a close tie with the past and the future. This site—rich in American Indian, Dutch, and English history—has symbolized the spirit of learning in Girl Scouting, embracing generations of Girl Scout adults in a continuity of professional development, purpose, ideals and friendship. See highlights from the past below.