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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Georgana Falb Foster papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1939-2002
Creator: Foster, Georgana Falb (1928-)
Extent: 2.80 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0435
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: A participant in the Camp Fire Girls between 1940 and 1954; materials include correspondence, scrapbooks and a memoir.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 5; one DVD [d168] and one CD [d169].

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 638) were donated by Georgana Foster in 2004. .

Preferred Citation: Georgana Falb Foster papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason

Georgana Mary Falb was born May 15, 1928 in Postville, Iowa to George Harry Falb and Myrtle Marie (Kerr) Falb. She grew up in the agricultural town of Elgin, Iowa. Her father was a postmaster and automobile dealer, as well as the mayor for fourteen years. Her mother taught physical education and home economics and coached the girls basketball team. Falb attended the Elgin public school, graduating in 1945 as valedictorian. In high school, Foster worked in the public library and a canning factory, as well as delivered newspapers.

Falb became active with the Camp Fire Girls in 1940 and served as a camp counselor for three years at Camp Hitaga in Walker, Iowa during the summers of 1945-1946 and 1953. In 1947 she was a camp counselor at Camp Hiwela in Wild Rose, Wisconsin. During 1954, Falb worked as a Field Secretary and Day Camp Director for the Iowana Council of Camp Fire Girls in Cedar Rapids.

Falb attended Upper Iowa University from 1945 to 1947 before transferring to the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa), where she received a B.A. in sociology in 1949. She earned a second B.A. in General Studies from the University of Massachusetts in 1989. The degree was a self-designed program and focused on South Asian studies, emphasizing popular art and worship of Hindu goddesses.

From 1949 to 1952 Falb worked as a short term missionary in India with the Women's Division of Christian Service of the Methodist Church. While there, she met her future husband, John Henry Foster. They wed on September 4, 1954 at the Providence, Rhode Island, Friends Meeting, a Quaker church. While her husband attended graduate school, Georgana Foster worked as a secretary/receptionist for the Family and Children's Service in Ithaca, New York from 1954 to 1957. After this, she was the Secretary to the Director of the Smith College Nursery School from 1957 to 1958. Other organizations that Foster volunteered for include the League of Women Voters of Amherst, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and the Leverett, Massachusetts, Town Historical Commission.

The Georgana Falb Foster papers date from 1939 to 2002 and measure 2.8 linear feet. The papers are arranged in three series: Biographical,Camp Fire Girls, and Artifacts. The bulk of the papers pertain to Foster's activities within the Camp Fire Girls from 1939 to 1954.

The Biographical series contains a biographical sketch of Foster. Also included in this series is a brief history of Foster's childhood home in Elgin, Iowa, as well as items relating to her time spent in India.

The Camp Fire Girls series contains correspondence from Georgana Falb, mostly to her family, while a camper and camp counselor at Camp Hitaga from 1940 to 1946, and seven scrapbooks documenting her time there. Also included within this series are a number of materials relating to social recreation activities and the history of Camp Hitaga. The series also contains correspondence from her time as a camp counselor at Camp Hiwela in Wild Rose, Wisconsin, as well as materials from Foster's association with the Iowana Council. The end of the series includes books about camp counseling and campcraft that were used by Georgana Falb Foster during her time with Camp Fire Girls. A memoir pertaining to her years connected with the Camp Fire Girls is also included.

The Artifacts series contains numerous items relating to Falb's involvement with the Camp Fire Girls, including a ceremonial gown and collar, award jewelry, camp T-shirts, and a beaded vest. Also included within the series are a sari uniform and three pins, all from India, pertaining to Falb's work there as a missionary from 1949 to 1952.
Falb Family papers (IWA):  Clippings mainly on girls basketball in the towns of Elgin and Clermont, Iowa compiled by Myrtle Kerr Falb and Georgana Falb Foster.

Browse by Series:

  • Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
  • Box 1:
  • Biographical information
  • Series 2: CAMP FIRE GIRLS
  • Box 1:
  • Camp Hitaga (Walker, Iowa): Memoir
  • Camp Hitaga (Walker, Iowa): Correspondence (folder 1) - 1940-1946
  • Camp Hitaga (Walker, Iowa): Correspondence (folder 2) - 1940-1946
  • Camp Hitaga (Walker, Iowa): Correspondence (folder 3) - 1940-1946
  • Camp Hitaga (Walker, Iowa): Correspondence (folder 4) - 1940-1946
  • Camp Hitaga (Walker, Iowa): Correspondence (folder 5) - 1940-1946
  • Camp Hitaga (Walker, Iowa): Correspondence (folder 6) - 1940-1946
  • Camp Hitaga (Walker, Iowa): Correspondence (folder 7) - 1940-1946
  • Camp Hitaga (Walker, Iowa): Scrapbook, Poems
  • Camp Hitaga (Walker, Iowa): Scrapbook, Requirement for Torch Bearer in Literature
  • Camp Hitaga (Walker, Iowa): Scrapbook - 1945
  • Box 2:
  • Camp Fire Scrapbook - 1939
  • "Scraps" - 1945
  • Box 6:
  • Requirement for Torch Bearer in Social Leadership
  • Wahanka Scrapbook (disbound)
  • Box 3:
  • Requirements for Camp Hitaga Rewards
  • Recreational activities: Dance and social recreation handbooks
  • Recreational activities: Folk dancing materials
  • Recreational activities: Joyful Singing song booklets
  • Recreational activities: Songbooks - 1945-1954
  • History: "From Bloomers to Blue Jeans: The Fifty Years of Camp Hitaga" - 1931-1981
  • History: 50th Anniversary materials
  • History: Brochure - 1989
  • History: Efforts to save Camp Hitaga - 1990s
  • History: Reopening - 1996-2002
  • 75 th Anniversary materials - 2006
  • 80th Anniversary materials - 2011
  • Fundraising and development correspondence - 2007-2012
  • Audiovisual
  • DVD [d168] - Camp Hitaga photographs - 1931-2006
  • CD [d169] - "Echoes of Hitaga" - 2005
  • Box 4:
  • Camp Hiwela (Wild Rose, Wisconsin)
  • Correspondence - 1947
  • "Boys' and Girls' Camps in Wisconsin" booklet - 1947
  • Iowana Council: Birthday Project
  • Iowana Council: Field director materials - 1954
  • Iowana Council: "Let's Light Another Candle" - Hawkeye Recreatory Notebook
  • Iowana Council: Leota C. Battin materials (Executive Director of Iowana Council of Camp Fire Girls)
  • Iowana Council: Noel Newell materials (Assistant Director of Iowana Council of Camp Fire Girls)
  • General
  • Camp Fire Girls professional opportunities
  • Leadership training materials - 1946-1948, 1954
  • Luther Gulick and Ernest Thompson Seton materials
  • The Torch newsletters - 1998-2000
  • The Twig newsletters - 2007, 2011
  • Handbooks: Book of the Camp Fire Girls - 1936
  • Handbooks: Camp counselor booklets - 1940, 1946, 1947
  • Box 5:
  • Handbooks: Campcraft ABC's by Catherine T. Hammett - 1941
  • Handbooks: Library of the Seven Crafts: The book of Ceremonials - 1930
  • Handbooks: The Outdoor Book by Wanda Taylor Linderman - 1947
  • Handbooks: The Junior Book of Camping and Woodcraft by Bernard S. Mason - 1943
  • Handbooks: Knots and Braids in Handcraft - 1941
  • Handbooks: General Leathercraft by Raymond Cherry - 1946
  • Handbooks: The Romance of Leather: A Brief History of Leather and a Description of Tanning - 1937
  • Handbooks: Potter's Primer by Jane Snead - 1943
  • Newspaper clippings on scouting - 2007, 2012-2013
  • Photographs
  • Series 3: ARTIFACTS
  • Box 7:
  • Camp Hitaga
  • Camp Hitaga: Award jewelry
  • Camp Hitaga: Award patches
  • Camp Hitaga: Camp Hitaga 50th Anniversary pencil
  • Camp Hitaga: county fair memento
  • Camp Hitaga: Camp Hitaga mug
  • Camp Hitaga: Candle holder
  • Camp Hitaga: Indian head pin with 'Indian' name holder
  • Camp Hitaga: Pocket knife