Being new to Colorado Springs, one of the first features I noticed when arriving in town was the Girl Scout 1959 Roundup sign on Interstate 25 between Briargate and Interquest Parkway. Having been a Girl Scout, passing the sign and the building nearby reminded me of all the good memories I have of scouting and I wondered about the history of the building and the site. Recently, however, my drive home was marred by the sight of a flat space where the building used to stand. Could you please give me some history on the site and the reasoning behind the demolition of the building?
- Dawn Griffin
ANSWER: We’ll brighten your day. The Girl Scout sign and the building were adjacent but had no connection. The little white structure, which had been vandalized, was an abandoned telephone repeater station that belonged to Qwest. The buildings were used when telephone signals needed to be repeated to get across open areas and long distances.This land belongs to the Air Force Academy and Sandy Taylor at Girl Scouts Wagon Wheel Council said paperwork was recently completed to keep the Girl Scout sign in its familiar spot. The sign is still there.
Now about the history. For 10 days in July 1959, the 800 then-empty acres (mostly ranchland) in this area were home to hundreds of tents and an estimated 10,000 Girl Scouts and adult leaders during “A Mile High — A World Wide,” the National Senior Girl Scout Roundup. President Dwight D. Eisenhower had authorized the Department of Defense to make available unused Air Force Academy land and equipment and the Colorado Springs City Council authorized a water tap for the facility.
A year later, the Boy Scouts of America celebrated its 50th anniversary with an international jamboree on empty land where Chapel Hills Mall is today. More than 56,000 scouts and leaders attended. Today, there are streets in that area named — you guessed it — Jamboree Drive and Jamboree Circle.