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Dutton's Dirty Diggers

Dutton with the girls teaching them about the importance of pottery from archaeological sites in establishing chronologies, 1953.

“In five years’ time the Diggers have grown into a notable family. Of course we really were not diggers, but since our primary interest was in the diggings of archaeologists in the Southwest past and present, that soon became a name which the members of the Senior Girl Scout archaeological mobile camps chose for themselves. In fact, so often dusty and dirty from hours of travel and hiking, and with water not always too plentiful, they went even farther and called themselves Dutton’s Dirty Diggers. From 1947 on, our expeditions have been the “digs,” and each year the digger family increased” – Excerpt from “Following Bert: Bertha Dutton and the Senior Girl Scout Archaeological Mobile Camps in the Southwest, 1947 – 1957” 


Dr. Catherine (Kay) Fowler - local Girl Scout Alumna and Anthropology Professor Emerita at the University of Nevada, Reno. Well, she knows a thing or two about getting her hands dirty.


Dr. Fowler’s early interest in anthropology developed when she visited archaeological sites and Pueblo ruins with her Girl Scout sisters from across the United States for summer “digs” as a teenager. “Following Bert” is a project in progress telling the story of how Troop Leader Bertha Dutton inspired hundreds of Girl Scouts to establish careers and successes most young women in the 1940s and 1950s would never have imagined. This book is being authored by Dr. Fowler with contributions from fellow “diggers” Diane Bird, Jo Tice Bloom, Susan S. Martin and Mary Anne Stein.


All photos and excerpts are copyrighted, and may not be reproduced or published without prior written consent.


If you would like to share your own Girl Scout story or photos, please contact us today! Amber Aiton: / 775-322-0642 ext.1232