Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bridging the Past to the Future:

It’s been nearly 40 years since the girls of Troop 32 sat by a fire melting marshmallows and chocolate onto a graham cracker. That is until Summer 2016

1973 First Class Award Girl Scouts from Troop 32
In the 70’s, Lone Star Troop 32 was a vital camping and community service troop that consisted of 27 girls and four very strong leaders. The troop began when four mothers, Mrs. Whorrall, Mrs. Teel, Mrs. Fink and Mrs. Foster, decided they wanted to have a safe place for girls to have fun learning experience with one another. Each mother had daughters the same age and each woman brought different strengths of leadership into the troop. Without hesitation, they became the troop leaders and thus formed Troop 32.

 Troop 32 packed up for their camping trip to New Mexico
These Girl Scouts quickly became enthusiastic about outdoor events and loved the opportunity to camp out under the stars. They took plenty of trips, but one of their favorites was when they camped out in New Mexico. Ten of the girls even went onto earning the First Class Award, now known as the Gold Award (see photo above) and were featured in the Statesman.

As time passed the girls and leaders moved on to establish their own lives always keeping close the memories of scouting. They would think fondly of their time with their troop, their many adventures and over flowing scrapbooks hoping that one day they’d see one another again.

Leslie Teel, First Class Scout at the First Class Ceremony

For Leslie Teel, one of the leader’s daughters, hoping wasn’t enough, she took action by initiating a reunion weekend for the original members and two leaders to reconnect over food, songs, activities, and one an others company. Leslie had only a few contacts from the troop, but with the help of Facebook and support of her friends she was able to contact over 20 of the girls in the original troop!

Below is the recap of the reunion as told by Leslie:

Reunion Troop 32 – July 8 - 9, 2016

16 of the original members including Leslie Teel, far left in purple
and two original leaders, Mrs. Fink and Mrs. Foster
Friday started with a few gathering a little early at my hotel room followed by the larger gathering at Waterloo Ice House on Burnett. With our leaders we had 16 there for dinner, the staff was wonderful and so patient with us. We kept having more people coming in and hugging and no one was sitting down...glad it was kind of a separate room. The waiter was wonderful and so patient with this excited, crazy bunch of ladies! We eventually started sitting down just so he could get our drinks placed somewhere. After orders were finally done, I interrupted everyone and welcomed all and we decided which grace we were going to sing (I asked on FB as we had a few favorites) We sang Johnny Appleseed (we had a standing joke, if you need rain, that is the one to sing but if out camping you had to wait until Sunday as it always rained!) We laughed when it rained on Sunday morning at the end of the reunion.

Troop leaders, Mrs. Fink and Mrs. Foster w/memory books
After food, lots of hugging and talking, we went to Mrs. Foster's home for dessert. First order when everyone arrived was to give our leaders a wonderful thank you and then give them the books that were printed for them. They told us a few stories from the leaders’ side and we shared lots of photos, broke out in a few songs on occasion and just had a wonderful time.

On Saturday, we started our Day at 1 pm at one of our member's home in Liberty Hill. People brought all kinds of snacks, there was about 10 people present that day. We shared pictures and patches and the memories to go with them. Then I had them play a game, it was related to something the leaders had us do our first year together. I gave each person a baggie with thin tootsie rolls, pretzels, and coconut in it! Mrs. Fink instantly knew what it was. Each person had to build a fire and we remembered the name of each type of fuel.
Making campfires w/pretzels, candy, and coconut

Dinner plans didn't go as planned but we laughed and talked about other times that happened with our troop. We sang from a song book one of our ladies typed up from her CIT song book many of us had back then (and some of us still do) and sat by the fire made s’mores, and sang more songs. Though we didn't get into our friendship circle and turn out like we use to (not sure everyone's body could still do that, haha) We sang "Green Trees" and straight into "Taps."

Girl Scout alum singing songs around the campfire
It was a weekend of happy tears, laughter, wonderful memories, rekindling of friendships, and many blessings.

It had been as the song we sang long ago..."and as the years go by, mmm mmm I will think of you and sigh, mmm mmm this is goodnight and not goodbye" 

Two of the original Troop leaders, Mrs. Fink (left) and Mrs. Foster (right)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

My Summer in Greece by Caitlin B.

This summer attended a Destination trip to the Ionian Sea. It was the most incredible experience. From the people I met to the food and culture of Greece to the views, I cannot express how grateful I am to have been able to take this trip.  Our Greek guide took a photo of our group in one of the many coves that we stopped in for “melon breaks” as he referred to them in order to take a little break from paddling and eat some delicious melon and swim around. 

We also took a selfie with our guide during a particularly long paddle day that made everyone a little bit irritable, or “salty” as we taught him the American slang word which he found hilarious as we were paddling through the incredibly salty Mediterranean Sea. 

The bottom is a photo taken by one of our leaders as we pulled into a cove for a lunch break. The relationships that I was able to form with these girls who I had never met but now talk to regularly as well as with our American leaders and our Greek and Finnish guides are truly one of a kind and will last a lifetime. The self learning that occurred and the memories that I made on this trip are irreplaceable and for everything that occurred on this trip I am so thankful.