Touch of Grey will, well, touch upon the rainbow that is life. Good music, good times, and good friends combine to make all the splendid colors. Touch of Grey will celebrate this beautiful rainbow.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Scouting Memories...

Are some of the sweetest memories of my life.

Coming from a long line of Girl Scouts, it was probably inevitable I would be one too. My mother, my grandmother - both were Girl Scouts. Mother got so involved in it when I was a Brownie, she decided to become a leader herself.

My favorite "stage" was the Junior stage. Mother herself said it was the funnest age for a girl, around 8 to 11 or so. I think she was right. I remember vivdly the camping trips, the crafts, the songs, day camp, building camp fires, learning new skills, cookie sales, working on badges.

And, oh, the badges! I do believe they have changed drastically from my time in scouting. No longer do Girl Scouts have to earn badges for home-economics-type activities, like sewing, cooking, etc. It's been a long time since I've looked at a Girl Scout handbook, but the last time I did, I saw badges in there I didn't even recognize. Environmental themes, for example, and technology-geared badges seemed to be the norm. I know times change, but for me, the principle of scouting never will. It encourages girls to be strong, to be academically and socially responsible, and to be ethical and upstanding citizens. It's mighty good to know some things never really change.

Our troop, #154, was part of the San Jacinto council, and we had probably 12 or so girls. With my mom, the leader, and her friend, our co-leader, we had excellent guidance and lots of laughs as well. One particular example of what NOT to do came when my mother tried to make pancakes in a cast-iron skillet that was way past its prime over a campfire. Needless to say, the pancakes stuck like crazy, and we ended up with pancake pieces, or, as we came to affectionately call them, "scrambled pancakes". We would laugh about that for a long time. One overnight camping trip, we had tents, the old canvas kind, that were already placed on the campsites. All we had to do was roll down the canvas when we were ready for "lights out" and go to bed. Simple, right? Well, we never really looked up at the top rafter before, had no reason to. Once we rolled down the canvas and really started looking at the inside of the tent with our flashlights and lanterns, it occurred to us gals that we would be spending the night with many daddy longleg spiders. Cue the screaming. Of course, when one girl screams, then the others will follow suit, then from one tent to the other. Before mother could even get out of her and her co-leader's tent to see what was going on, she was rushed by about 10 girls trying to get into her tent all at once. Nevermind there were spiders in her tent, too. We were safe with our leader! I think we all slept in one (small, very small) tent that night, but wound up laughing about it in the daylight the next day.

Thanks to Truth Ferret, my favorite little ferret, for bringing up such great memories. Scouting wasn't just an organization for learning, it was a place where a girl could really be a girl and gain the skills to become a woman.


Truth Ferret said...

I too was a Brownie and then "flew up" to be a scout. My memories hold times when I was taught to accept people with all their flaws. At the end of each meeting, we stood in a circle and held hands. There was a little girl with a very deformed hand and I remember that I was balking at the idea of holding her hand. I don't remember what I said or did, but I do remember the leader taking me aside and explaining to me that I would hold her hand as she was a scout just like me. Yep, I started looking at people different from then on. I wasn't any "prize package" myself, but I had to be taught to accept people, no matter what package they came in.

I learned to cook burgers over tin can campfires. Set up tents. Pull my wagon around the neighborhood to see the .$25 cookies. Draw and read a map, including the COMPASS ROSE.

My most memorable camping trip took place in November many years ago, when everyone's world changed. President Kennedy was killed and the United States changed for all time.

Girl Scouting was a safe, great place to be introduced to ideas that helped me become the person I am today.

Truth Ferret said...

Sorry...Sell cookies from my wagon, not see cookies.

Sugar Magnolia said...

Ferret - I am amazed. YOU are the one that created the Compass Rose? Wow. That is a beautiful piece of art. You had talents I didn't even know about. Do you still do art, drawings, etc. I admire anybody with such a creative mind. My mother was like that, such an artist. Meanwhile, I can't even draw a decent stick figure. I just never had that kind of talent.

That was the thing about Girl Scouts. A girl could surely find some area that really spoke to her and discover some things she didn't even know she was good at. I always liked the hikes because I loved nature and science and would always stop to examine things like mushrooms and whip out my handy guide to help identify them by genus and species. And that's basically what I do today, only on a microscopic level with bacteria and parasites. Such fun, playing detective.

Thanx for sharing your story. I am always astounded at the interesting stories people have to tell.

Truth Ferret said...

Sorry, Sugar, I learned to draw and read maps, to include reading and drawing a compass rose (not the beautiful one used on another post. I guess my English skills weren't clear about that. I did draw compass roses, but nothing in that quality. Wanted to clear that up.