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

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Our dear friend and GE committee member Mary Ellen (Mel) left us suddenly last week.

Here are the last pictures I have of Mel, taking down the flag at GE 2014, at Camp Wabasso, which she greatly loved and where she spent happy summers in her youth.  Mel also led workshops at GE, including her Mad Hatter's Tea Party on the edible plants, fungi and other natural foods to be found in the Wabasso woods and on the lake shore.

She also led us in our opening "Simple Dance."

'Tis a gift to be simple,
'Tis a gift to be free,
'Tis a gift to come down
Where we ought to be.
 And when we find ourselves
in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of
love and delight.

Always one for leading or participating in a song, dance or skit, was Mel, and a good sport too! 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, her husband, daughter and two sons.  We will miss her.
More information about services at

Monday, February 16, 2015

No Escaping This!

The plaque thought that a relaxing beach weekend would be just the ticket for the Presidents' Day weekend.  Many of the GE committee members are avid quilters, and one, Laura, decided to combine the beach and quilting on Cape Cod.  Usually, the Cape receives less snow than the rest of Massachusetts, and those who crave a quick escape from winter can seek refuge in the relatively balmy ocean climate.  But Mother Nature had other plans this year.  The next two pictures are from before the Valentine's blizzard, on Friday.
But on Saturday afternoon, the snow began.  So, Laura and the plaque spent Saturday and most of Sunday inside, quilting.

This was the scene out the window - storm over Buzzards Bay.
Two young ladies who were vacationing at the resort and could not go outside to frolic in the hurricane force winds wandered by and were invited to come inside and learn how to sew!
By the time they left, they had made new purses!  Of course, their new friends had helped but what proud faces complement those new bags!
Laura writes " Quilters are just like Girl Scouts: they are welcoming and giving.  The girls left with big smiles." 

After the storm, the sun always comes back.  It's easy to forget that.  At the end of Sunday afternoon, although the bay was actually beginning to ice over (very unusual!) the view out the window was greatly changed!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Retreat! Retreat!

No, we're not rushing backwards.  Quite the reverse.

The majority of the GE Committee went to our annual retreat last weekend.  We had a lot of fun as well as many hours of meetings and discussions about GE 2015 and our plans for the future.  Here we are with the plaque and our green neckers.
We were at Camp Runels in the Health Lodge - a great place for winter camping, BTW!  We ate well, including pizza on Friday night - with a healthful salad, of course.

We engaged in serious discussions, with the help of much coffee.
In fact, we decided to buy a new coffee pot and more thermal pots to ensure availability of hot drinks at GE!

Of course, we indulged in a few sweet snacks, including these delicious mints in the shape of Washington State that our friend Darlene sent us!  Yummy! Darlene came all the way from WA to be with us last year - and we are thrilled to have a friend in the west.  You come this year!
We'll be announcing more news - we aim to open registration by May 1.  The call for workshop presenters has already gone out, and we hope to have - well, we already know we have - some great new choices for you next year!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Great Escape Book Club 2015 Selection

At our February retreat the Committee decided on our 2015 book.  It's a little older book - published in 2008 - but one that is germane to our work as Girl Scout adults, parents, and grandparents.  Last Child in the Woods; Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv.
Here's an excerpt from the Goodreads description of the book.
“The children and nature movement is fueled by this fundamental idea: the child in nature is an endangered species, and the health of children and the health of the Earth are inseparable.” —Richard Louv, from the new edition

In his landmark work Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv brought together cutting-edge studies that pointed to direct exposure to nature as essential for a child’s healthy physical and emotional development. Now this new edition updates the growing body of evidence linking the lack of nature in children’s lives and the rise in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. Louv’s message has galvanized an international back-to-nature campaign to “Leave No Child Inside.” His book will change the way you think about our future and the future of our children.

Julie will be back as our discussion facilitator. She and I considered four books for the group, and decided on this one over some newer possibilities because it's so relevant. (If anyone has suggestions for 2016 let us know!)

The discussion will be held after workshops on Saturday, before dinner, so that anyone may participate.  If your local library doesn't own it, suggest that they add it to the collection (or buy it and donate it after the discussion!)  When it came out, one of my fellow leaders and I suggested it to our local library,  stressing that we needed to read it for Girl Scouts, and they were happy to buy it.

Read the book if you can - any edition, in any medium, but if you can't read it before September, please come to the discussion anyway.  The purpose of the discussion is to learn from each other, not to show off how much we already know!

Yes, there will be appetizers on hand! This year the kitchen crew is going to prepare a tray just for the book group, whether we meet in Christa's house or outside like last year (fingers crossed!)  Great Escape is gracious living and learning in the out of doors, after all. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Summer Escapes - Florida in January!

The plaque decided that its GE keepers should take it to Florida for a January break.

 Kaye and Kathy J. and Karen B. set off for the Stephen Foster Folk Culture State Park on the banks of the Suwanee River for ten days of music with like-minded people.  Of course, when they got there they found people they'd met before and friends of friends!
The 'gang' singing at the store at the Stephen Foster Cultural Center State Park Betty from S. Dakota, Karen B from Maryland, Dorothy from BC Canada, Kaye from Ma, Lila from VA, Barbara and Kathy J from Ma 
The Ks rented this cute little cabin.  Note the screened porch at the front.
A cosy home for a little winter getaway!

They enjoyed seeing trees in full green splendor, especially the live oaks hung with Spanish Moss.
The plaque made an appearance at the store as well.
One day they played in the room at the base of the carillon, which had great acoustics.
Karen's friend from Hungary, Erika, a Girl Scout, of course, with her recorder.
Don't I wish I had gone!  Don't you?