Seems impossible that GE was 4 weeks ago - that means it's only 48 weeks until the next one! I hope you are all going to Alumnae Day at Camp tomorrow to see our own Kathy J lead the singing with her autoharp.
Canoeing is always a fun GE activity if the weather permits, and the weather gods smiled this year.
What's missing from these pictures, though, is the beautiful colors of the fall foliage - usually it's starting to turn by the end of September, but this year it was late!
Are you man enough to be a Girl Scout? That's a question a lot of people have been asking lately. As a veteran of two all-female educational establishments, I can tell you that having all female peers but a mixed coterie of male and female teachers was a perfect atmosphere for learning! Girl Scouts is no exception, and the male GS leaders I've known - cookie dads, camping specialists, knot-tiers, foodies, drivers, have really contributed something important to the girls who come in contact with them. Dads who will take care of their own children while other members of the family go off to do Girl Scouts count too! These guys don't count, though.
Despite their musculature, the mosquitoes and ticks will make short work of them - they obviously don't know enough to wear long pants and sleeves in the outdoors! This guy, though, knows lots about camping.
Lou's one of our GSEM camp trainers and the newest member of the Great Escape Committee. Join us in welcoming Lou to the croo!
Sorry, I just could not resist that line from one of my all-time favorite Monty Python sketches. But it's relevant because today's post is a thank you to the guy who is listed in my cell phone contacts as 'Wabasso Bruce.' Bruce has been the caretaker of Camp Wabasso for a while now, and I do admire his ingenious devices, such as the temperature controlled lights he puts in the windows of the lodge and Christa's house in the winter - the lights go on when the temperatures in the buildings go below 55 degrees. He noticed our attempts over the years to light up the path to the bathrooms from the dining hall well enough so that mature campers can navigate the rocks and exposed roots. Last year he rigged up these great lights, and this year he painted the obstacles white.
When I've been at Wabasso troop camping, Bruce always checks in with me by phone. If I say, "Mind if I call ya, Bruce" he says "sure!" So just a little comma makes my title legit. Thanks for all you do, Bruce!
Once again, we were lucky in our choice of weekend for Great Escape and were able to offer swimming and paddle boarding as part of our program. Our GSEM Outdoor and Camp Staff attended in force this year (my offhand count is that at least 9 full time or camp staffers were present either in the kitchen or on the waterfront/outdoors. I could have missed someone, though.) The water was still warm from our hot and dry summer, and swimming started with polar bears before breakfast and continued through stroke refinement sessions and stand-up paddleboarding. Herewith some photos of our lovely naiads!
Our thanks to staff members/instructors/lifeguards Mary Jane and Olivia!
We eat well at Great Escape, "I Gar-on-tee!" as Justin Wilson used to say. Our motto is "Gracious Living in the Out of Doors" after all. We have a crack team of cooks who plan and shop and cook all weekend long. Pancakes, sausage, bacon, french toast, porridge, yogurt, home fries, fruit, baked potatoes, salad, minestrone, corn chowder, 10 turkeys, stuffing, roasted vegetables, appetizers, fresh baked rolls, cookies, caramel and chocolate apples, peach and pear hand pies, blueberry cobbler and more made an appearance this year.
The turkeys were cooked outdoors, roasted to the peak of perfection under clean trash cans. I want to try this with my troop! Or for encampment, what a great idea that would be.
The cooks cater for gluten free diets, and are vigilant in avoiding allergens for those who inform them of dietary restrictions ahead of time. They are nice people, and snappy dressers. They do the dishes, too. What more could you ask for in a luxury weekend?
Every year, we begin Saturday of the Great Escape with a hearty breakfast and an opening ceremony. First, as Girl Scouts are wont to do, we raise and salute the flag, and recite our promise and law. This year's color guard were three sisters, enjoying a weekend together in a rustic cabin.
Then we strive to illuminate some theme of our work as Girl Scout Adults. The theme of this year's ceremony was acorns.
Since so many people attended this year, we huddled up so all could hear as the 'voluntold' readers did their parts, papers clutched firmly in hand
The text of the ceremony is posted on the website here. Steal it if you need it!
Then we gathered for a group photo - but so many of us couldn't fit in one photo!