Monday, February 22, 2016

World Thinking Day and My Scouting Life

You can sell a lot of cookies to hungry high schoolers!
Today February 22, 2016 is World Thinking Day celebrated by Scouts and Scouters around the world to commorate the joint birthday of Lord and Lady Baden Powell the founders of the Scouting movement.
My scouting life began with Brownies in second grade.  The meetings were held after school and I think in a school cafeteria.  In 4th grade I became a regular Girl Scout and wore the green dress with long sleeves.  If I remember correctly, badges earned were worn on the sleeve. In 7th grade I graduated to the Junior Scout level and the uniform changed to a green gaberdeen skirt and white blouse.  A badge sash, worn diagonally, displayed our badges and by then we had quite a collection.

I went to camp several summers and learned to cook over a camp fire, made a buddy burner using a tuna can, strip of corrugated cardboard coiled inside the can and coated in melted parafin.  A large can similar to a large juice or coffee can was placed over the tuna can as a cook top.  We learned to cook food in foil packets.  Digging a latrine was an adventure but most of us preferred to avoid using it.

Fast forward about 18 years and our son wanted to join Cub Scouts.  At the meeting the Cub Master said they really needed an assistant in order to admit new scouts.  So my husband volunteered as an assistant and I took on a den (group of 1st year Cubs).  The den meetings were held at our house and all of the boys could walk to and from the meetings.

At that time Girl Scouting was not available where we lived so some friends and I helped it get started.  After we were chartered, I took on a Brownie troop as well as theCub Den. My daughter wasn't really old enough to be official but she was a Brownie from kindergarden until 3rd grade. (maybe she was the first ever Daisy) My brownies did a lot of Cub Scout things since I felt the support and training was lots better at the Cub Scout side of the equation.  Pack-O-Fun anyone?

My kids stayed in Scouts for a long time.  My son became an Eagle Scout and my daughter styed in Girl Scouts into High School.  They went to day camps and resident camps, marched in paradesand sold Calendars, Cookies, and Popcorn. They learned to cook and sew and most of all we watched them become confident young adults.

Fast forward to 2005 when I began living with my daughter and her family at Fort Knox, Ky.  My daughter was a co-leader for her older daughter's Brownie troop.  She was also a helper for her son's Cub Scout den. I was quickly added as a helper and helped plan crafts and meetings.  There was a very strong Scouting community on the base and the Scouting Community even had a building to call their own for all the meetings.  There were even lockers to store supplies so that they didn't have to be taken back and forth all the time.

In 2008 our move to Texas involved, once again, finding a troop for one Boy Scout, one Brownie Girl Scout, and one Daisy Girl Scout.  As always there were never enough leaders so I went to the Daisy meetings, my daughter went to the Brownie meetings and also to the Boy Scout meetings.  Later the Girl Scout/Brownie meetings merged since there were several families with sisters at different levels and it was easier to have one meeting.  We continued to do all the traditional Scout stuff and there were program changes over the years but Scouting is still the same leader molder. My last camp out was in 2012 when we slept on the floor in a 1940s building  and the temp was 19 deg.  We kept the fire going all night long.

My grandson is an Eagle Scout and both of my granddaughters are working on their Gold Awards.

One of my brothers received his Eagle Scout Rank and his daughter is currently Scout Master for her 3 sons.

It is interesting that those of us who were Scouts and 2nd and 3rd generation Scouts.  As a former Scout leader, I understand why it is associated with National Margarita Day