September 25 - 27, 2020. Registration will open in spring!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Resolution or Goal? 2014 Great Escape and Contest!

Do you make resolutions at the beginning of a new year? Or like me, do you prefer set goals?

Do you revel in a new blank calendar and take pleasure in filling in all the fun things you have planned?  Is there a wedding of a loved one coming up?  Is a new baby due?  A significant birthday in your future?

How about making it a resolution to attend the Great Escape this year!  The date is September 26 - 28, 2014 at Camp Wabasso in New Hampshire.  Last year we had attendees from Girl Scouts Eastern Mass, Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts, Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, and Girl Scouts of Central Florida. 

The committee is setting a goal of having at least one more council represented this year.  If you are a member of a GS council other than Eastern Mass, leave a comment (here or on Facebook at  and we'll pick one person at random to win one of our Great Escape tote bags!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Workshops 2014 - Suggest Something!

We'll be working on ideas for workshops starting at the beginning of January.  If you have ideas or requests, why not leave a comment?

Here are some pictures of things people made in last year's "Upcycling Plastic Bags" and "Me-time Crafts" workshops.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

And then I made....

Now that I've been going to Great Escape, I have more confidence in myself as a creative, even an artistic person.  Whether I have learned a skill at GE itself, or learned something new in order to present it at a GE workshop, the satisfaction of being able to make something out of nothing - almost nothing - has been a reason, for me, to keep the weekend of GE free from other engagements so I can go and learn and do.

In that spirit, here's something I made the other day.  A leaf torn from a book, a bit of paper bag, a piece of scrapbook paper, some raffia that another GS leader passed on and a candle from the dollar store becomes a Christmas present for a beloved friend, the director of my handbell choir.  Although I didn't spend much money on this, I spent time thinking, measuring, cutting (with the wonderful Fiskars cutter I first saw used by Sue at GE) gluing, decoupaging, glazing the branch (which I found many years ago and have treasured ever since) tying the raffia, and making a matching gift tag that says, "with love."    Those two words express the spirit of GE - there's a real present for you!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas is a-comin' ...

No geese left except those who overwinter here - the honking noises of the last few weeks ceased with the cold that arrived with a vengeance around November 20th.  Thoughts turn to Christmas and presents for friends.  Here's a picture of wreaths I am making for lots of people this year.  Would you like to make these at GE next September?  If so, let me know in the comments below.  In fact, if you have any workshop requests, this is the time to tell us; we'll have our first meeting immediately after New Year's Day.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Week

I know this is a busy week for most of us - if we are not cooking, we are probably traveling some where.  So, I thought maybe we could chime in a bit early to say that one of the things we are grateful for is Girl Scouts and the friends we have made - and that's what Great Escape is all about! 

(Are you cooking your turkey in a trash can outdoors, as we did at GE?  If so, let us know in the comment section, below....) 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Out of Doors!

Lest you think GE is only about the "Gracious Living" part of our motto, here's a photo of the 'Out of Doors' portion of the weekend.  Intrepid committee member Laura leads hikers on Mt. Kearsage.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gracious Living in the Out of Doors

The Great Escape's motto is "Gracious Living in the Out of Doors," sometimes abbreviated a bit to just "Outdoors."  I was at GSEM's Cedar Hill camp yesterday for a Girl Scout Alumnae service project event, so I wandered down to the new brick maze that was installed last spring.  I took a few photos of some of the bricks that have particular meaning to Great Escapers.  I hope you enjoy seeing them.

This one expresses what GE is about even though that may not have been the donor's intent!

Here's one that reminds us of a friend who's with us always even if it's only in our hearts these days.

And lastly, a picture from yesterday's service event which brought together Girl Scout adults and girl members to make blankets for Project Sweet Peas - and yes, there were some Great Escapers there, doing good, having fun!  If you would like to make some blankets there's an event next Sunday, November17th from 2 - 3:30 at Camp Rice Moody.  RSVP to so we will have enough blanket materials.  Oh, and snacks too!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Having Fun, Doing Good - Part 3

Here's another way that Great Escape (and Girl Scouts!) helps to make the world a better place.  As everyone who plans meals for families and/or large events knows, it's hard to estimate how much food you need.  When you try to plan meals for a weekend for 80+ people, you have a large margin of error.  Our kitchen crew does a great job estimating and planning quantities to the ounce, but if we have last minute cancellations or weather conditions change, we might have left over food.

Luckily kitchen crew members Fluke and Crunch, wearing their other hats as directors of Camp Runels, have established a relationship with Anne-Marie House in Nashua, New Hampshire.  This organization for homeless families transitioning to permanent housing serves meals to its patrons. If we have significant leftovers, we donate them to this organization.  See their website for more about their work:

Somehow, though, there's never any leftover cocoa.  It seems that Great Escapers have hollow legs when it comes to hot chocolate - and bacon! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Having Fun, Doing Good - Part 2

Here are some more photos of the awesome Project Linus quilts.  Note workshop presenter Bandit in the background of one of the pictures.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Having Fun, Doing Good - Part 1

We have a lot of fun at the Great Escape, but since we are Girl Scouts, we like to do good things (make the world a better place) too!  Over the next few months, I'm going to tell you a little bit about how we do that.  At the last event, some workshop participants made quilts for Project Linus, an organization that donates quilts to critically ill children.

 Here's one of our very talented quilters, working on a baby quilt - and the (almost) finished product. 

Hard at work....
But long hours at the sewing machine paid off!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Birthday Girl

If you are reading this, you probably know who the birthday girl is; yes, Juliette Gordon Low's birthday is next Thursday.  In honor of her, and in preparation for a couple of celebrations I'm attending this week, here's a picture of a poster I made using a bunch of old Girl Scout books.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Girl Scout Ceremony Tips and Links

Great Escape always begins and ends with a ceremony.  See some of them here:

If you are responsible for any kind of Girl Scout ceremonies, here's some hints and links you might find helpful.

Use Google.  Type “Girl Scout Ceremonies.”  Or something more specific such as “Brownie Fly up ceremonies” “Girl Scout Bridging Ceremonies”  Scout’s Own ceremonies, Girl Scout Flag Ceremonies, Girl Scout Investiture Ceremonies,  Girl Scout Rededication Ceremonies.

Girl Scout Ceremonies Book:  GSUSA published different editions of “Ceremonies in Girl Scouting.”  The information is online at the links below but if you like books, keep your eye open for used copies.

Bridging: GSEM did a webinar on bridging ceremonies.  It was great!  You can watch/listen at

Pinterest: mostly Daisy stuff because it hasn’t been around that long.  Lots of cake ideas!

BE SENSITIVE TO YOUR AUDIENCE:  Some ceremonies mention God, etc.  Consider using more inclusive language.  Don’t ask people to ‘swear;’ some sects prohibit that.  There’s a ceremony going around out there where Girl Scout Daisys are put into an ‘oven’ and come out as Brownies.  Don’t do this ceremony or sure as shootin’ there will be someone who will have terrible (and justifiable) memories of the Holocaust. 
Wear your Uniform!  And ask the girls to wear theirs.  The pictures will look much better. Take pictures!
Candle ceremonies are great if you are at a venue where they are allowed.  Make sure to teach the girls how to light candles ahead of time.  Most of them don’t learn that anymore.  Tie back that beautiful long hair!!!

            Links to lots of great ceremonies from Heart of NJ council.
            58 pp of ceremonies!
            20 pp from North Carolina council
            Scouting Web is very helpful but lots of old stuff you will need to rewrite….
            Scout’s own – a very important ceremony, but neglected now - let's bring them back!
Need flags?
Girl Scouts sells them!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

2014 Dates Confirmed!

In the days before smart phones, way back long ago, even before filofaxes, the Hallmark people gave out free calendar books - about 3" x 3" with a page for each month.  Each page included the birthstone and flower for the month - as a December girl, mine were blue zircons and narcissi.  The idea was that one would write down all the birthdays and anniversaries for the year so that one could buy appropriate cards.  My mom always carried one in her purse - did yours?

Well, I was at the Hallmark store a few weeks ago and they had them again. 
Slightly bigger, and they changed my stone to turquoise but I'm paying no attention to that.  Here's the first date I put in:

Great Escape 2014, September 26 - 28th!
Look at the bottom right corner - right under GE - it says "Don't let precious "ME TIME" get lost in the shuffle.  Block it out on your calendar."  It's fate!

Put it in your calendar so we can make more memories together!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Falling Leaves

It's a gray morning and most of the leaves are down around my yard.  But here's a few that will live forever in my memory!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Morning, Not In The Woods

The weekend after GE is always a little bit sad.  No woodland noises - not even the plopping of acorns (or raindrops!) when one is half awake, no nocturnal howling and hooting, no scurrying little feet outside the tent.  No kitchen crew to serve abundant meals without the slightest effort on my part.  If I want a hot cup of tea or coffee, I have to make it! Isn't it great to have one weekend just for yourself?

Here's a picture from a few years ago that reminds me how Wabasso has become a "home away from home" for so many of us.  Workshops are over for the day.  It's gotten colder, but you know when you enter the dining room it will be time for appetizers and hot cocoa.  Mmmmmmmmmmm.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Looking Forward....

We have a date for next this space and our Facebook page for an announcement. 

Got an idea for a workshop you'd like us to present?  Tell us in comments!

Want to present one? Let us know so that we won't schedule any one else to do it.  Email us at

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Ashes....

On Sunday, if you got a bag of ashes from the fire, we promised that we'd get the list and ceremony to you electronically.  These will also be available on the "Skits and Ceremonies" page of the website.  We hope you will now use this ceremony and the ashes to pass on this tradition to others; and bring some back to GE next year so we can incorporate all the places you go this year into this list!!!!!


Ashes of Friendship

HISTORY: Taking ashes from one campfire to another is a ceremony conducted by Girl Scouts, Girl Guides and Boy Scouts all around the world. The purpose of the tradition is to emphasise to all Scouts and Guides the international aspect of the world scouting movement. Ashes from a campfire are sprinkled into the flames of the next campfire. The next morning, when the ashes are cold, they are stirred and each Scout/Guide present at the ceremony takes some to mix with the next campfire. Each Scout/Guide keeps a list of all of the campfires in which they have sprinkled their ashes. If more than one Scout/Guide brings ashes to the campfire, the lists are combined; the dates and places of all campfires are recorded and passed on. As Girl Scouts, Girl Guides and Boy Scouts travel, the ashes circle the globe. It is a tradition that only those actually present at the campfire can receive ashes from the ceremony to carry on to another campfire.


 “We carry our friendship with us in these ashes from other campfires with other comrades in other lands.  May the joining of the past fires with the leaping flames of this fire, symbolize once more the unbroken chain that binds Scouts and Guides around the world.
With greetings from our brothers and sisters around the world, I will add these ashes and the fellowship contained therein, to our campfire.
Will anyone with ashes please come forward and join me. (Wait for others)
The ashes I spread into this campfire carry memories of past campfires dating back to (1956.) (Insert your date here.)
I will now add these ashes to the campfire. (Sprinkle ashes)
So that you may pass these ashes on and share them with others at your next campfire, you will be given a history of where these ashes have been.” (Recite a few examples of the history of ashes added to fire.  OR say “These ashes contain elements from campfires in Europe, Asia, and North and South America.)
These ashes have been carried by Guides and Scouts around the world and have come from campfires in:
1956:     Germany – Order of the Arrow Council Fire, Camp Freedom
1956:     Scotland – International Jamboree
1957:     Germany – Order of the Arrow Council Fire, Camp Freedom
1957:     England – World Jamboree, Sutton Colfield
1958:     Switzerland – International Scout Chalet, Kandersteg
1958:     Germany – Order of the Arrow Council Fire, Camp Freedom
1959:     Germany – Order of the Arrow Council Fire, Camp Freedom
1959:     USA - National Junior Roundup
1960:     USA – Wood Badge #134, Schiff Reservation, NJ
1961:     USA – Roundup
1962:     Switzerland – Our Chalet, Adelboden
1962:     USA – Roundup
1963:     USA - All States Campout
1964:     USA – All States Arizona Project
1965:     USA – Senior Campout
1965:     USA – Roundup
1965:     USA – Shadow Ridge Campout
1965:     USA – Cadette Campout
1965:     USA – All States Campout
1965:     USA – All States Arizona Project
1965:     USA – Camp Mary White
1966:     USA – Cadette Campout
1967:     Canada – with Lady Baden-Powell
1967:     Brazil – Second Pan American Jamboree, Rio de Janeiro
1968:     Taiwan – Jungle Survival
1968:     Taiwan – Camp McCauley
1969:     USA – Camp Chimney Park, Longs Peak Council, Wyoming
1970:     USA – Wood Badge R1-11, Adams Pond Camp, Boston Council, MA
1970:     Germany – Training Camp, Schwetzingen Forest
1970:     Germany – Diamond Jubilee Camp – Petershof, Odenwald
1970:     England – Diamond Jubilee Camp, Lancashire
1971:     USA - Wood Badge R1-11, Adams Pond Camp, Boston Council, MA
1971:     Belgium – Training Camp LaFresnaye
1971:     Holland – Whitsun Camp, Dwingeloo
19 71:    USA – Camp Covered Bridge, Louisville, KY
1972:     Germany – Camp Juliette Low, Rhein-Hein
1972:     Germany – Junior Campout
1972:     Germany – Camp Lachenwald
1972:     Belgium – Chievres Training Camp
1972:     Germany – NAGA Training Conference, Garmisch, March
1972:     Germany – Siegenburg, May
1972:     Germany – Munich, October
1972:     USA – Little Roundup, Peoria, IL
1972:     USA - Camp Covered Bridge, Louisville, KY
1973:     Mexico – Our Cabana, Cuernevaca
1973:     USA – Arizona
1973:     USA - Wood Badge NE – I-7, Training Center, Old Colony Council, MA
1973:     Germany – Training Camp, Friendship Acres
1973:     Belgium – Training Camp, Abbaye de Maredsous
1973:     Germany – Training Camp Idenheim
1973:     Germany – Resident Training Camp, Idenheim
1973:     Germany – Siakein
1973:     Germany – Secahaupt, Junior Troop 632, June
1973:     Germany – Secahaupt, Leader Training, August
1973:     Germany – Munich Troop Campout, October
1973:     Belgium – Abbaye de Nared Training Camp
1973:     Germany – Greirdship acres Training Camp
1973:     Germany – Idemear Training Camp
1973:     Germany – Camp Zerus
1973:     Germany – Camp Lachenwald
1973:     Belgium – LaFrasnaye Resident Leader Training
1973:     Germany – Berlin French American Cadette Campout
1973:     Germany – Heidelberg Day Camp, Schwetsingen Forest
1973:     USA – Wood Badge Training, Region 4, Buckskin Res. WVa
1973:     USA – Camp Rough River, Old Kentucky Home Council, KY
1973:     USA - Philmont Training Center, NM
1973:     USA – National Jamboree West, Farragut State Park, ID
1973:     Lichtenstein – Guide and Junior Campout
1974:     Germany – Camp Lachenwald
1974:     Germany – Heidelberg, Trainers Training
1974:     USA - Pennsylvania
1974:     Switzerland – Our Chalet, Adelboden
1974:     Germany – Camp Lelback, Senior Campout
1974:     France - German/French/American Campout, Vogesen
1974:     Germany - District Hilltop Day Camp, Stuttgart
1974:     Germany- Cadette Encampment, Stuttgart
1974:     Switzerland – Camp Training, Our Chalet, Adelboden
1974:     USA Wood Badge NE-I-8, Training Center, Old Colony Council, MA
1974:     Germany – Munich
1974:     Germany – Camp Dahn
1974:     England – Keys to Partnership Conference, Oxford
1974:     Germany – Outdoor Training, Camp Dahn
1974:     Germany – District Conference, Camp Taho, Kaiserslautern
1974:     Germany – Training Conference, Zwingenberg Youth Hostel
1974:     England - Our Ark, London
1974:     Columbia – Third Pan American Jamboree, Bogota
1974:     Germany – Wood Badge Training, NE-III-9, Camp Freedom
1974:     Luxembourg, Camp training, Vianden
1975:     England – UK Conference, Green Magic, Baden-Powell House
1975:     Germany – Hostel Bash, Mandersheed
1975:     Germany – Leader Campout, Schwetzingen Forest
1975:     Germany - All Junior Campout, Schwetzingen Forest
1975:     Germany – Heidelberg Day Camp, Schwetzingen Forest
1975:     USA Badge NE-I-31, Sayre Reservation, Boston Council, MA
1975:     Belgium – Intercamp ’75 (Six Nations)
1975:     Germany - Wood Badge Training, NE-III-9, Camp Freedom
1975:     Germany – Klondike Derby, Heidelberg
1975:     Norway – 14th World Jamboree, Lillehammer
1975:     Germany – 6th grade Junior Campout, Schwetzingen Forest
1975:     Germany – Leadership Development Training, Schwetzingen Forest
1976:     Germany – District Spring Camporee, Lamperthein Woods
1976:     Germany - Wood Badge Training, NE-III-32, Camp Freedom
1976:     Germany - Wood Badge Training, NE-III-33, Camp Freedom
1976:     Germany – Order of the Arrow Conference, Camp Freedom
1976:     England - Wood Badge Training, NE-III-34, Gilwell Park
1976:     USA Wood Badge, NE-I-38, Sayre Reservation, Milton, MA
1977:     USA Portage Spring Camporee, Fort Dearhorn, Chicago, IL
1977:     USA Campfire, Pompeii Community Camp, Park Forest, IL
1977:     USA National Jamboree, Moraine State Park, PA
1977:     USA Campfire, Troop 56, Two Rivers Council at National Jamboree
1977:     USA Wood Badge, NE-I-48, Sayre Reservation, Milton, MA
1978:     USA Campfire, Pompeii Community Camp, Park Forest, IL
1979:     USA Wood Badge, NE-I-68, Sayre Reservation, Milton, MA
1979:     USA Girl Scout Day Camp, Hopkinsville KY, July
1979:     USA Leader Weekend, March
1979:     USA Leader Weekend, Camp Piedmont, Murfreesboro, TN, November
1980:     USA Camp Piedmont, Sister Troop Weekend Troop 281, 267
1980:     USA Camp Chanyata, Sarasota, FL (Flag Burning)
1980:     USA Eastern Camporee, West Point, NY
1980:     USA, Wood Badge, NE-I-83, Sayre Reservation, Milton, MA
1980:     USA Greater Boston Council Camporee, Massasoit, Plymouth, MA
1981:     USA Leadership Development Training, Sayre Reservation, Milton, MA
1981:     USA A.I.S. Pow-wow, Glens Falls, NY            
1981:     USA Wild Goose Camp, Storer Reservation, Greater Boston Council
1981:     USA Indaba Training TLTC, Adams Pond, Storer Reservation
1981:     USA Cedar Hill Girl Scout Camp, Waltham, MA
1981:     USA LBL Campcrafter ACA Adult Instructor Workshop
1981:     USA LBL Campcrafter Workshop
1982:     USA Hauchens Day Camp, Bowling Green, KY
1984:     USA Session I Bear Creek Aquatic Camp Kentuckiana GSC
1984:     USA Patriots Trail World Conference Demo Patrol, Cedar Hill, Waltham, MA 5/19
1984:     USA Prairie Trail MS
1984:     USA Scranton, PA GS
1984:     USA Edith Macy – World Conference Demo Patrol Encampment 7/21/84
1986:     USA Cedar Hill, Waltham, MA Reopening Ceremony 6/22/86
1986:     USA Leaders’ Great Escape, Camp Favorite, Brewster, MA
1989:     USA Basic Troop Camping Training, Cedar Hill, Waltham, MA 5/6/89
1990:     USA Basic Troop Camping Training, Cedar Hill, Waltham, MA 4/28/90
1991:     USA Camp Virginia, Bolton, MA 10/12/91
1992:     USA Camp Favorite, Brewster, MA 10/92
1993:     USA Camp Wabasso, Bradford, NH 5/22/93
1994:     USA Camp Menotomy, Meredith, NH 4/14/94
1995:     USA Camp Favorite, Brewster, MA 5/20/95
1996:     USA Camp Favorite, Brewster, MA 5/10/96
1997:     USA Camp Menotomy, Meredith, NH 5/17/97
1998:     USA Camp Virginia, Bolton, MA 5/17/98
1999:     USA Camp Wabasso, Bradford, NH 6/5/99
2010:     USA Camp Maude Eaton, Andover, MA 6/12/2010
2011:     USA Camp Maude Eaton, Andover, MA 5/1/2011
2012:     USA Canoe Cookout, Concord, MA 9/16/2012
2013:     USA Tents Up, Wind in the Pines, Plymouth, MA  4/13/13
2013:     USA Camp Training, Camp Favorite, Brewster, MA 5/11/13
2013       USA The Great Escape, Camp Wabasso, Sutton, NH 10/5/13