Posted tagged ‘overnights’

“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”

July 30, 2015

If I could go back in time, I don’t know exactly when I’d choose. Lots of places in time were wonderful for me. When I was eleven comes to mind. The teenage years weren’t even on the horizon yet. Boys were around but had no real importance in my life. I loved school. Riding my bike all over my little world took up many a Saturday in the summer. In the winter was the matinée. I was a girl scout still and did fun overnights at the camp in town near the zoo. I remember the cots there were the old canvas ones tricky to open. We made camp fire stew for dinner. We hiked on the trails through the pine forest which smelled like Christmas. Life was easy when I was eleven.

I might give thirteen another look. We were the big wigs in school, the eighth graders. I was finally a teenager though nothing miraculous happened. Boys were barely interesting but were definitely seeping into my consciousness. The future was rearing its ugly head. I had to pick a high school. My friend and I colluded and were accepted into the same school. That was cause for jubilation. I had the best fun inthat eighth grade. The nun was crazy, not harmful crazy but old age crazy. We got away with everything. I, who seldom crossed the line, spent most of my eighth grade over the line setting a trend for the rest of my life. The line became arbitrary. Life was fun when I was thirteen.

I think I’d be twenty-one again. I’d get to vote for the first time and legally drink for a change. That was my senior year in college. During second semester, every Friday, we had a happy hour beginning at noon, a couple of hours before our last class of the day, and ending in the late afternoon at a bar owned by a friend’s family. It was always elbow to elbow with people, most of them my classmates. We were enjoying our last times together after four years of closeness. That was also the year I was whacked in the head with a sign which said in capital letters DECIDE. I had to plan my future. That was a bit scary so I hedged my bets. I applied to law school, interviewed for a teaching job and applied to Peace Corps, my first and only choice. The rest were back-ups just in case. All three came through, but I accepted Peace Corps, something I had wanted for so long. I remember the day the mailman brought my special delivery acceptance letter. It was in January. I was elated. Life was scary and life was crazy when I was twenty-one.

“Scouting rises within you and inspires you to put forth your best.”

May 23, 2014

The house is far chillier than outside so I felt a bit silly wearing a sweatshirt in the morning warmth when I went to get the papers, but my house was only 65˚.

In the second grade I became a brownie. Lots of my friends became brownies too and we could wear our brownie uniforms to school instead of our regular uniforms if we had a troop meeting. I had the regular brownie dress and beanie, but I also had a brown purse which attached to the belt and had the brownie symbol on it. It had been a stocking stuffer one Christmas. I was proud to be a brownie but was thrilled on fly up day, the day I became a girl scout. We had prepared by learning scout songs, the pledge and everything girl scout. Our parents were invited to the ceremony. There were candles on the table and pins in rows. Candles always seem to make any ceremony a rite like in church. I remember our brownie leader made a speech and each of us was called in turn to the front where the girl scout pin was placed on our collars. After we all had received them, we stood as a group and said the girl scout pledge as scouts for the first time. Now our uniforms were green.

Jordan Marsh had a section where you could buy boy and girl scout clothes and paraphernalia. My mother and I went, and we bought my sash and my girl scout green tam. On the sash went the name of my town and our troop number as well as all the badges we earned. The Girl Scout Handbook listed what we had to do to earn those badges. I earned many. It wasn’t difficult.

Lots of us were scouts and most of us earned our ten-year pins. We were always proud to wear our uniforms. I remember wonderful overnights at the scout lodge in my town. It had a huge fireplace, and we slept on wooden cots which weren’t all that easy to put together. We ate hobo stew. We explored the woods on scavenger hunts for certain leaves and plants. We sang taps as the flag was lowered and folded.

I know a couple of scouts. I buy mint cookies from them every year. These scouts do so many different things than we had done, and they have a multitude of choices for uniforms, but they all still have sashes for their badges and they recite the Girl Scout Pledge. It seems we are connected.

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