Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kathie Ann Martin | 1953-2008

Girl Scout day camp was her labor of love

RIVERVIEW — Every summer for two decades, hundreds of local Girl Scouts frolicked at the camp that Kathie Ann Martin ran.

Ms. Martin decided two years ago to step down as the day camp director at Camp Dorothy Thomas. The day camp didn't survive her departure.

"When Kathie said it was time to quit, we all quit with her," said her longtime friend Leanne Huff, one of the many volunteers who helped Ms. Martin run the day camp. "After that, nobody stepped forward to do it. People said they would step forward, but nobody did."

Ms. Martin, 55, died July 6 after a short bout with pneumonia and pulmonary fibrosis.

She had spent more than 30 years involved with the Girl Scouts, starting in her youth in Miami and continuing through her years of volunteer service with the day camp and other programs.

For the Scouts, the camp was just one week out of their summer. Few of them realized that Ms. Martin worked all year planning and organizing the Riverview camp, which grew from a handful of participants in the early years to become one of the area's most popular Girl Scout events.

But her work with the Girl Scouts was just one facet of her seemingly tireless volunteer work in the Riverview area. She was the president of the PTA at the school her three children attended, and for several years taught Sunday school at Riverview First United Methodist Church.

She loved the volunteering, she loved the Girl Scouts and she loved working with kids. But her husband said almost all her volunteer work grew out of her dedication to her own children and from her desire to be a great mother.

"We knew that for our children to progress the way we wanted them to, we had to be involved in their lives," Russ Martin said.

"And the best way for us to do that, without being overbearing about it, was through their school and their after-school activities."

Her devotion to her family didn't go unnoticed by her children. "She always put us first," said her daughter, Dawn Thomas.

"She was always busy with volunteering, but we knew her focus was on us. She was always part of whatever we were involved in, whether it was Girl Scouts or sports or whatever, she was always there."

But she kept up her volunteer work with the Girl Scouts long after her own kids were grown. And, in fact, her daughters would usually come and volunteer their own time at day camp every year.

Her efforts with Girl Scouts earned her the Thanks Badge, the highest honor the organization gives to its volunteers.

"Under her leadership, the day camp grew from a small number of girls participating to camp-wide activity," the citation for the award read.

"Kathie always planned an exciting and challenging program for the girls. It was this program of horseback riding, swimming, crafts, games and many more activities that kept the girls coming back year after year."

Besides her husband and her daughter Dawn, Ms, Martin is survived by her son Matthew, her daughter Kimberly Des Lauriers and two grandsons.

Marty Clear can be reached at mclear@tampabay.rr.com.

Girl Scout day camp was her labor of love 07/17/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 4:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Shooting sends man to hospital in St. Pete

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — Police were investigating a shooting that occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday and sent a man to the hospital.

  2. Police: Man tries to lure child with puppy in Polk County

    Crime

    Times staff

    HAINES CITY — A man was arrested Sunday after he tried to entice a young girl into his camper to view a puppy, according to police.

    Dale Collins, 63, faces a charge of luring or enticing a child under the age of 12. [Photo courtesy of the Polk County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Editorial: Coming together to reduce car thefts

    Editorials

    The simple, knee-jerk response to the juvenile car theft epidemic in Pinellas County would be to crack down on offenders with an increased police presence and stiffer sentences. Thankfully, local community leaders did not stop there. As detailed in a recent Tampa Bay Times follow-up to its 
As detailed in a recent Tampa Bay Times follow-up to its "Hot Wheels" investigation into youth car thefts, a variety of ideas from multiple directions increases the odds of actually solving the cause and not just treating the symptoms.

  4. Editorial: Floridians' health care now at risk in Washington

    Editorials

    The health care for millions of Floridians is now at risk. The U.S. Senate's dramatic vote Tuesday to begin debate on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act with no idea what will happen is a dangerous gamble with American lives and the national economy. Barring an unexpected bipartisan compromise, a handful of …

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., dramatically returned to the Senate for the first time since his brain cancer was diagnosed and cast the key vote that enabled Vice President Mike Pence to break the 50-50 tie and allow the health care debate to proceed.
  5. Former Marine from Florida dies fighting for Kurdish militia

    ORLANDO — A former Marine who secretly traveled to Syria earlier this year to battle the Islamic State was killed while fighting for a Kurdish militia, his father said Tuesday.

    David Taylor, with his father David Taylor Sr., was killed earlier this month in Syria while fighting for a Kurdish militia.