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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fall - Beginnings and Endings

We're back's a little taste of the 2013 Great Escape's Fall Theme:  Beginnings and Endings.

Great Escape Opening Ceremony October 2013
A Scouts’ Own – October
Caller/MC commands:
Pledge of Allegiance


1st Speaker:  Girl Scouts, please raise your hand in the Girl Scout sign and join me in reciting the Girl Scout Promise:
On my honor, I will try, to serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law. 
2nd Speaker:  Please join me in reciting the Girl Scout Law.
I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place,
and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

If you are asked, “When is Girl Scout Week?” Of course you will say “In March, when Juliette made that telephone call, over a hundred years ago now.”

But what if you are asked “When is the Girl Scouts’ month?”  Will you answer with me, “October, of course!”

From October 1st, when we begin the Girl Scout year, to October 31st, when we celebrate our Founder’s natal day, October is full of excitement for Girl Scouts.

Let us say with Anne of Green Gables,
“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

October is a month of beginnings and endings.  Beginnings like the excitement of a new Daisy Girl Scout, about to learn the Promise and Law, to earn petals to decorate her blue tunic.  Beginnings like the new leaders, who can’t believe in their ability to manage a troop of more than 5 or 6.

Endings like Halloween, where the fall dies in a rustle of leaves and candy wrappings.

Beginnings like a crisp blue and orange day that calls us to go swinging along the open road.

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir:
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame she calls,
and calls each vagabond by name.”
― William Bliss

Endings like the bare trees of November, the leaves of flame all on the ground.

We vagabond old Girl Scouts with our old vagabond stoves – October calls our names and brings us back to the Great Escape.  Those bright leaves of October have our names written on them!  When you look down on the ground and see the delicate veins on a yellow maple leaf, or look at the red sumac plumes as you walk down the path, your name is written on them in the invisible ink of October.

Autumn flings her fiery cloak over the sumac, beech and oak.”
― Susan Lendroth, Ocean Wide, Ocean Deep

As we release the Hundredth Anniversary Flag, look for the leaf with your name on it.  (Open flag, release leaves.  All find their leaf).

As you walk around today, look on the ground for two or three more leaves that are calling your name!  Bring them all to the dining hall at lunch time, and we’ll put the leaves with our names on them together to help us remember October and the Great Escape.

October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins. O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!”
― Rainbow Rowell, Attachments

This is your chance to be baptized with the leaves of October!  Kick up a pile of leaves and remember what it was to be five or six, like those new Girl Scouts, and jump into an ocean of leaves.  Jump into our weekend and grab a fistful of new friends as if they were a fistful of leaves – and never let go!  Swing along with a swagger in your step as if you were an eight year old Brownie with a beanie on your head!
Sing: Swinging along….
Thank you all for coming.  This concludes the Opening Ceremony.

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