Through the Waverly Community House clubs and classes, we have tried to show something of what community living means to the children and young people looking up to us. In each group, the individual must learn to give and take, to share and cooperate, and to enrich and become enriched. (Gertrude Coursen, Annual Meeting 1929)
To honor Mother’s Day this past weekend, we thought we would highlight the Waverly Mother’s Club which was affiliated with and operated out of the Waverly Community House. The Waverly Mother’s Club initially began as the Girl Scout Mother’s Club; it was organized in July of 1928 by Mrs. James Linen, Girl Scout Committee Chair. Initially, the group’s objective was to assist the Girl Scout Committee and to generate further interest in the organization, while also promoting activity involvement within the community. However, in December of that year, the club evolved into the Waverly Mother’s Club with the intention of including all community mothers, not ones exclusively affiliated with Girl Scouts. The need and demand for such an organization was also substantial within the local area and many women were eager to join. Meetings for the club took place at the Waverly Community House and soon the group began spending most of its time arranging activities and outings to depart and arrive from the building. Comm employees Gertrude Coursen and Mildred Jenkins became involved with the club as well and often assisted in the scheduling of group talks and discussions revolving around such topics as: child welfare, psychology, economics, and community health conditions. These events were utilized as educational tools by club members who were always eager to learn how to become better involved in their community.
The Waverly Mother’s Club also assisted in various Comm related events; perhaps their most substantial contribution came from their involvement in coordinating what was dubbed as the “Food Comm.” This group assembled annually and solicited help for the kitchen and cafeteria during the Waverly Annual Fair. They also organized various luncheons and banquets which took place at the Comm as well.
The Mother’s Club was also dedicated to promoting and participating in recreational activities as an extension of the Waverly Community House’s mission statement. Such activities included: hiking, swimming, and camping trips conducted throughout the summer season. In assisting these excursions, Mrs. Paul Belin often facilitated the providing of community automobiles to the women for transportation.
Unfortunately, the club later disbanded after World War II, however their community involvement and dedication was not forgotten. Their efforts reflected heavily upon the Waverly Community House’s mission statement to educate through recreation. It also promoted a significant sense of community and camaraderie among women in the area that is still felt today.
Waverly Mother’s Club mission statement: “The objective of the Waverly Mother’s Club is to unite the influence and interests of the mothers of Waverly and to promote training for children and parents, and to also aid in the extension of village improvements.”