Sweet Remembrances

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Girl Scout week is upon us, and no one has even knocked on my door to sell me Samoas or Tagalongs or Thin Mints. How can this be? In years past I bought at my office from moms and dads doing their daughters’ bidding, from my friends’ children and even from the adorable scouts who used to set up in front of the local supermarket.

Truth be told, as soon as I got those cookies, I gave them away because I could easily go through a box of Samoas on my own in as much time as it will take me to complete this blog. And this year, according to the site of the Girl Scouts of Northern California, a serving of any of their dozen or so variety is trans-fat free. All the more temptation.

I would not have known that it is Girl Scout Week were it not for an email from a friend who said that she just donated scout stuff to the Living History Committee, which now has the detritus she has been to sentimental to part with since 1962!

“ In 1962 I went to Girl Scout Roundup in Vermont as a representative of the Mid-Island Council, as it was called then.  Camped with 10,000 others for 2 weeks and we had lots of fun.” Hmmm, my memory of a weekend at girl scout camp was getting assigned along with my friend Rosemary to potato-peeling duty, a mission we had to accomplish with dull peelers and freezing hands.

I also remember how proud I was when I first wore my Brownie uniform, how thrilling it was to “fly up” to the Intermediate’s many-buttoned (loved it) green (how could anyone pick that color?) uniform. I remember how patient Jane and Carroll’s mom was in the face of our troop’s silliness, our unwillingness to really listen, our basic need to be done with school when the day was over.

And to this day, I can remember how conflicted I was about quitting as elementary school was coming to an end. Somehow, I knew in my child’s mind that scouting provided something important that I would have to find somewhere else if I quit . . . that I would be giving something up . . .that I would be flying in the face of the loyalty and stick-to-it values I had learned.

Middle school, however, was coming toward me at light speed, and with it a call to sports and teenage stuff and “hanging out.” My scout tenure was done, but short as it was, it was long enough for me to know how much the programs offer those who remain.

These many years later, I don’t have to Google it to remember the wise words of the song we sang at the end of each meeting:

Make new friends, but keep the old,

One is silver and the other is gold.

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