Saturday, January 28, 2012

Scouting it Out

It's  Girl Scout cookie time again! I personally never eat a Thin Mint without reminiscing about Scout Days--my own and my children's. Given they inherited my genes, it's no big surprise that the little Seyfrieds bombed out of Scouting. We were, all of us, seduced by the spiffy uniforms. We were, none of us, prepared for the badges, and the great effort needed to earn them. Or the cookies/popcorn, and the great effort needed to sell them. Darn those spiffy uniforms! 

My one and only year as a Girl Scout, I was in third grade and still living in New York City. By April, my sash was still bare, as my fellow GS's busily sewed ’em on at quite a clip: not only did I not earn any badges, even if I had there was no one to sew them on--my mom Joanie proved that the day she subbed for our regular Scout leader at a meeting. We were working on a joint sewing project, and the fabric was spread across our laps. Mom chatted animatedly as her needle plunged in and out. At snack time, she arose, with the entire cloth sewed securely to her skirt. 

My other memory involves our "campout"-- in Brooklyn. We were staying in some park that had a large cabin--outside, the big city bustled. When it came time to forage for sustenance, we ventured out, compasses in hand, until we reached Gristede's supermaket, where we marched in (teamwork!) and surveyed the wilderness for edibles, which turned out to be Ring Dings and Coke.  Even in third grade, that seemed a little lame, so that was pretty much it for me. 

Sheridan and Evan both decided to try Cub Scouts, and good sport Dad was one of their leaders. Steve endured a series of meetings where the little hooligans raced around making ungodly noises, as the adults vainly attempted to restore order. They were worse at their campout—much worse. The bonfire? A great chance to play with flaming sticks! In the end, Steve decided he'd rather take his own, well-behaved, boys camping than babysit a bunch of zoo animals. Farewell, Cubs!

Rose and PJ skipped Scouts entirely (Rose had a brief--very brief--stint as a YMCA Indian Princess) but Julie wanted to be a Brownie. Tough year. I remember we were assigned Willow Grove Mall to sell cookies with another mom and daughter. This woman screamed at the girls to follow people who passed our table, begging them to buy. Longest few hours of my life.

Today at church, Parish Hall was packed with Scouts racing their cars in the Pinewood Derby. Every few years we know someone who makes it all the way to Eagle Scout. This program clearly works for some families. But not for us. And you know what? We’re all OK anyway. We may never get a badge in bugling, or pulp and paper (?) or first aid. 

Sher and Ev at the Pinewood Derby
But we can still eat the cookies, right?

No comments:

Post a Comment