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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Christa McAuliffe and Christa's House

Thirty years ago today, the Challenger space shuttle exploded, killing all seven astronauts on board, including the first "Teacher in Space," Christa McAuliffe.

Christa is a hero to all Americans, but Great Escapers keep a special place in their hearts for Christa. Not only was she a Girl Scout in Framingham, Massachusetts, but she is memorialized at Camp Wabasso, site of the Great Escape.  After her death, contributions from her family and friends paid for renovations of a little house on the property which is now known as "Christa's House."  It contains her Cadette uniform, handbook, and other GS memorabilia.  The walls of the dining area are decorated with posters from ski races held in her honor. During summer camp, the house serves as the infirmary. Troops of Girl Scout Juniors and above can reserve the house for use during the off season - since it's close to a couple of great ski areas, it's a popular place right now; and there's a great February vacation camp too!

During Great Escape, Christa's is a popular sleeping place for those requiring heat and hot water, and a venue for cooking and craft workshops.

She will not grow old, as we who are left grow old. Nor will her fellow crew member, Barbara Morgan, who, like every single American female astronaut to date, was a Girl Scout.   I'd like to think that if Christa had survived, perhaps she'd attend GE one year, maybe give a workshop or participate in the book club..  Certainly a bit of her spirit is there at Wabasso. Ave atque vale, Christa and Barbara, from your GS sisters.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Gracious Living in a Blizzard

Last weekend the Great Escape Committee retreated to Camp Wind in the Pines for our annual planning meeting and retreat.  It always snows when we do that.  The  forecast of just a couple of inches quadrupled in the morning hours of Saturday, but true to GE form, we were safe, warm and well provisioned.

Wynelle provided sweets and hearts!
Pat provided a warm red tablecloth.
Savory sandwiches and Sue's super soup!
Quiche and cinnamon rolls.
Gotta have coffee, tea and cocoa!
Camp concierge and hospitality chair Danielle provided a few extra snacks in case of snow.  And, she took all the good photos in this post.
Friday night's moon - you know what that beautiful haze means!
Saturday afternoon - starting to snow.
Saturday night - mischievously sleeping cabin - you had to be there!
 Night of beauty.
Path to the cars.
Inside - chat, games, plans, dreams of making GE 2016 the best ever!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

CNN - Right About Girl Scouts!

After calling out the New York Times for their unwarranted attack on Girl Scouting, it behooves me to bestow kudos on CNN for printing a wonderful article (by a GS leader) about the true benefits of Girl Scouting.  The article, titled, Girl Scouts are Learning to Lead,  is here.

The article makes an important point which critics of Girl Scouting should read!

Troops are as good as parents make them

There's some criticism that some troops aren't as invested in nature activities anymore. On the local level, some troops do more arts and crafts and less of the outdoor hiking, camping and cooking that are traditionally associated with the Scouts.
But that's on the parents. The girls often thrive in nature once they get out to a Girl Scout campground, but it's on troop leaders and parents to teach girls the Girl Scout methods of hiking, fire building and cooking over a fire.
All of us are volunteers, and those of us who don't know how to teach those skills can learn.
If you are reading this, you are probably out spreading the word about GS, and perhaps even a volunteer who is teaching other adults to lead troops, so I am preaching to the choir!  This is a great article to send on to all your friends and relations. So do it now - make spreading the good word about Girl Scouting one of your New Year's resolutions and you'll find it an easy one to keep.

Monday, January 4, 2016

2015's Most Popular Posts

Many blogs present a 'year in review' post as their opening salvo in the new year, and why not?  There's usually a good reason why the most popular posts appealed to a wide audience, and if you missed them, you might be glad to catch up.

The most popular entry was the description of the opening day of the Girl Scouts, Eastern Massachusetts destination, "Whales, Tales and Trails."  
 Next, the announcement of the Alumnae Day at Camp garnered a big audience, as did the day itself.  We'll be doing it again next year - mark your calendars (tentatively) for October 22nd, and check back here for confirmation!  And click here for the post-event round up.

And finally, the post about the great food and fun we had at Great Escape 2015 has garnered lots of views!
I see a pattern here - the audience of this blog is interested most in the great events available to adults and girls from Girl Scouts, Eastern Massachusetts - so I'll keep that in mind for 2016.