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

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Volunteer Appreciation Week

I'm a bit late with this one but that's ok, because judging from the number of great GS volunteers I know, one day or one week isn't enough.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

New Member of the Hospitality Committee

This adorable little girl joined us last week and we've already awarded her a campership for Great Escape this September!

Her job will be to teach a workshop on slowing down and cooing gently.

Mom and baby are doing fine!  Congratulations to proud parents Danielle and Nick.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 6

If you had to wash two custom made chintz window valences, bras, pantihose, socks, a new 'bateau' sailor top, a pair of 'good' charcoal gray pants and 6 scrubby bathroom nylon net puffs (the kind that come with shower gel, etc.) how many loads of laundry would you need to do?

If you use laundry bags, the answer is one.  All of the items above can be washed together in cold water if they are placed in these handy dandy bags!  These are available at TJX stores (Marshall's, Home Goods, TJ Maxx.)  I've seen some at Market Basket and the Dollar Store.  And yes, the basic model is better known to all Girl Scouts as a 'dunk bag.'  Some tie closed; but the ones that zip are a good investment.  Save money, save time, save water, save the earth - it's easy and fast.

These bags make a great graduation gift for high schoolers about to go off to college and be responsible for their laundry for the next few years.

I hope you enjoyed these posts in the run up to Earth Day.  Teach your children well!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Earth Day - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 5

Plastic bags.  Have you ever stopped to reflect how much of our food comes in plastic bags?  Reusing those bags can help you reduce your purchases of - plastic bags.

The bread, cheese, chicken and lettuce in this sandwich all came packaged in plastic bags.  All of those bags can be used as lunch bags.  Or, as packaging for other food stuffs - a loaf of home made banana bread can be slipped into a bag like the one shown above, rather than being wrapped in new plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

So save those bags.  I stuff them into an emptied tissue box, and pop one out when I need it.  If you make lunches every day, as I do (sometimes one, sometimes three depending on our work schedules) you will find that you save money and reduce your trash output!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Volunteer Appreciation - Lois Harris

For volunteer week, the Girl Scout blog features Lois Harris and her famous cape!

Lois was a famous Girl Scout volunteer in Lexington and at the Dennet Museum of Girl Scouting in Cedar Hill, until she retired and moved to New Jersey, when she started all over again with Daisy Girl Scouts!  Happy Patriots' Day, Lois!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Pat Ross

Once again I'm sorry to have to tell you that Girl Scouting has lost a great friend.  Pat Ross died this week.  Pat may have known more about Girl Scouting than anyone else ever has - certainly more than anyone I've ever met.  Our Girl Scout museum at Dennet House at Cedar Hill is her monument.  I knew that if I showed up there at noon on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, Pat and Janet and perhaps other members of the museum crew would be there eating their lunch and ready to receive a donation or hear about what my Lexington Girl Scouts were doing.  I will miss her.

Pat attended our Girl Scout dance on February 28th at Brookhaven, where she had lived for the last 25 years.  Nothing could keep her from a Girl Scout event.

When we started Lexington troop 1775, Pat provided us with a chance to do spring trail clearing behind Brookhaven and showed us how to do it too.

Here's the obituary from the Boston Globe.  If you attend the memorial service, the family has requested that Girl Scouts wear full uniform.

Earth Day - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 4

You can get into the reduce/reuse cycle at Great Escape this year.  Sue's workshop will help you make beauty from trash - chipboard boxes such as those that hold your breakfast cereal.  for more.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Earth Day - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 3

Or, my new dining room chairs.

Look what I found in the trash yesterday (there's one more of the green-seated ones.)

They are all sturdy and in good shape.  I happened to drive the back way to Cedar Hill and saw these.  If I had not picked them up they would have been thrown in the back of a truck and trashed.  There is no need for this to happen. 

Craigslist and Freecycle are your friends.  I'll bet someone would have paid for these if the owner had posted them on Craigslist.  Or, at the very least, an email to Freecycle would have resulted in someone coming to pick them up.  (See for more about Freecycle.)

The same homeowners had also thrown out all their wall art - hundreds of dollars worth of stretched canvases. I mentioned it to another buddy of mine who paints and she picked them up at 9:30 last night - her painting group will benefit greatly.

Why not reduce and reuse?  My GS troop is going to paint those chairs for me and earn their room makeover badge!  Win, Win, Win!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

2015 Workshops - Sneak Peek!

A sneak peek at our 2015 workshop schedule is at the link above.  We might have a few more to come!  Get ready for registration to make sure you get your preferred workshops.  I think the one below will fill fast!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Earth Day - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 2

Earth Day is April 22nd this year.  I remember participating in the first Earth Day, 40 years ago, by helping to clean up a vacant lot in Saratoga Springs.  I was aware of Earth Day because my Dad was a water and sewer engineer who was very 'into' ecology before most other people even knew what it was.  If you are a Girl Scout Leader, Earth Day and simple ways to reduce, reuse and recycle are perfect meeting topics.

It seems that we are bombarded by paper these days, although we were once promised that computers would make paper obsolete!  Handouts, junk mail, inserts; the number of sheets of paper that are printed on only one side will really surprise you if you start saving them up.  And cardboard packaging - with online purchases, the number of boxes that arrive at the door can be staggering!

So I save those blank or nearly blank pieces of paper and sturdy cardboard rectangles, add a binder clip or two, and make memo pads.  Full, half and quarter sheets are stacked on cardboard and held together with binder clips. Full size - great for taking notes or for planning - the one above has notes for a lesson plan for fourth graders.  Half size - good for keeping by the phone or in the kitchen - note the phone doodles on mine.  The quarter sheet size fits in my purse - great for grocery lists, writing things down for people, measurements when shopping, etc.  If the backs get beaten up, there's always another box to cut up (the red one is a bakery box....)  Organization is easier when there's always a pad of paper to hand!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Earth Day - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 1

Since the fortieth anniversary of Earth Day is coming up, I want to share a few simple things that I do to follow the mantra, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  We use so much plastic cutlery these days that we are hardly aware of it.  Food courts, Costco samples, ice cream shops, parties, meetings - everywhere!  Whenever possible, I lick the last delicious bits from the spoon or fork, wrap it in my napkin, and thrust it in my purse. At parties when the cutlery is very good quality, I've been known to collect other people's too!

I take it home, wash it, and sort it into this herb planter I stopped using when all the herbs died!  (One of the first ideas I ever got from Pinterest.)   If I have a party and want to use plastic, it's ready to go right on the table.  And I feel better, knowing that what I use has been used at least once before - yes, I will wash what I use at home, too.  After I took this photo, I took out 20 forks to take to a Girl Scout meeting - the dispenser is still full!

Saves lots of money, too!  I'll never need to buy plastic cutlery again, nor search my drawers frantically for enough pieces when packing lunches and picnics!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Why Girls Need Girl Scouting - and Camp

As you know, if you read this blog,  Great Escape supports Girl Scout Adults, Girl Scouting and Girl Scout camps.  Some people say to me that girls no longer need an all-girl environment because we have equality now, right?

Wrong.  Look what I saw in a store today.

Girls are told to be 'glamorous goddesses' while boys are urged to be the best at everything.  The boy is depicted as seeking adventure - jumping into the water - and the girl stays indoors scrubbing her feet.  How much fun is that?  None allowed for girls, evidently.

And the publisher perpetrating these stereotypes?  Scholastic.  The one that sends those annoying flyers home urging parents to buy 'books' that are just tie-ins to the latest Disney movies and the toys and video games of the moment.  These messages are being sent to girls at school.

We still need Girl Scout camp where girls can forget their appearance, have adventures, get messy, and learn to be the best at everything.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Morning Joe

Perfectly sized for my new brewer, a daily reminder of friends and fall fun in New Hampshire.  But for now, Happy Spring - the snow is almost gone here!