Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ten on Thursday: 10 Girl Scout Memories

I know it's supposed to be Ten on Tuesday, but it's my blog and I can do what I want to!

It's all about goodbye's right now. I mean, you did see Oprah's final 3 shows, right? (More on that in another blog). But just as she reflected back on her favorite guests and shows over the years, I too am remembering some of my favorite most memorable moments with my past career, Girl Scouts. And to think that these memories almost didn't happen--I was actually sent a rejection letter after my interview. The 1st choice ended up deciding she wanted to teach after all, so I got a call with the 2nd offer. Don't worry--I've never let Rene live that down! I worked for Girl Scouts for 7 or 8 years, in 3 different offices. But these are my highlights from behind the scenes:

1. While most of my memorable moments happened in Springfield, IL (where I worked for 6 years), I will remember that nearing the end of my first day in Little Rock when I went to use the restroom, I noticed that my zipper had been down all day! I'm sure they got great instant first impressions!!

2. On my last day in Little Rock, I got to co-cost a bridal shower. When researching games, I knew we had to play the game that they played at my bridal shower! (Side note: I got the offer for the GS job on the same day I got engaged). The groom is asked a series of questions (ie: Where was your first kiss; What is the bride's favorite tv show, etc.). The bride must then try to answer what the groom likely said. For every wrong answer, the bride must chew a piece of that hard, nasty Hubba Bubba bubble gum. Well, you know where this is heading--My groom, Mr. Comedian, decided to just make up answers. I not only was slobbering like crazy, but nearly choked. (And choking is not on my list, but CHW and JO, you know I haven't forgotten that you laughed at me when I was giving the universal choke sign!). My bridal shower also included a game where I added clothing--don't remember why, but I remember the laughs when I added Esther's (RIP Esther) XXXXXL bra that definitely was on the smokey side! It was a fun day and I still use the white mixing bowls I got all the time!

3. The CEO, Sue, was always a put together woman. Nails were manicured, outfit was immaculate, hair never out of place. So picture the day when she walked into the office and bent down to pick up the fake snake someone had put in front of her door (Pranks were not uncommon). Except, the fake snake was real and it moved. She screamed...we all screamed! And then we laughed and laughed and laughed. Well, after we figured out how to get it out of the building. I think we put a box over it and wanted for the camp ranger to come get it.

4. Another memory of that office is in regards to training new staff. There is a lot to learn when you start a new job, but in Springfield, we always had to decide who was going to tell the new employee that the bathroom near the offices was "liquid only"..."non-liquid" duties had to be done in the public bathroom :)

5. Working with women, for women can be stressful. Yes, Girl Scouts was stressful! So (more than our husbands liked) our membership team went out to eat for lunch. Even though Rene thought we were always talking about work, we usually weren't. We just had fun together. Christina liked to flirt with the Mexican waiter; We had a mouse run under our table once; Someone left a note for us at Steak & Shake; I had food dumped in my lap (literally) at Smokey Bones; but we all remember when Jamie and I ordered the club sandwich and the waiter looked at us and said "somebody's hungry!". That phrase got repeated a lot.

6. Speaking of Jamie--Oh, Jamie! Jamie had the privilege of sharing an office with me. I always said it was for 18 years because it felt like we instantly knew each other. Not that we are alike--nope! But we were a good team. Jamie and I got to take 3 charter bus fulls of 4-6 graders to the Kalahari waterpark in the Wisconsin Dells. Oh, there was lots of memorable moments (girl taken to hospital; girls entering rooms to find people already there; hours and hours on the bus; etc.). But my favorite--Was hearing the sound when Jamie somehow fell off her tube going down the enclosed slide....all I could hear was the thumping of her hitting the walls of the slide and her scream. She came out with her limbs going in every direction and her glasses all messed up. I can laugh because she wasn't hurt. But oh my gosh, it was hilarious. I think it was just the icing on the cake that weekend.

7. Jamie was also notorious for being my helper at the all the Brownie programs I did. Planning programs was just part of the work. Actually delivering the plans was twice as hard. But I could always count on my Brownie, Jamie. Oh, we have tons of program memories. My favorite is probably the event "How the West was Fun." The plan was to have the girls take biscuits and roll them out, put on a stick, cook over the fire, then cover with cinnamon & sugar. But the plan didn't plan on it being really cold, and very windy. Probably not a good idea to have a fire at camp when it's windy. So as soon as Sam's opened that Saturday morning, I went and got all the ingredients for a new recipe...Amish Friendship Bread. I don't remember how I was going to incorporate it into the theme, but I had a plan. First of all, you can't just make the starter for friendship bread that morning. I didn't care at this point. Secondly, to buy enough flour, sugar, milk, etc. for 200+ girls takes a lot of supplies. My ole' Taurus was packed to the brim and barely was driveable. It took me forever to shop and unload and by the time I did, girls were starting to arrive. This was Jamie's station so I gave her quick directions...except how to incorporate this into the theme. Jamie just made it up and told the girls that when the settlers met the Indians, the Indians taught them how to make this bread to take along in their covered wagon. Of course, the girls believed every word!

8. Luckily, I didn't have to go to camp very often. But one time the whole membership team was sent to camp for an emergency. You see, there was a lice outbreak at camp. Sue didn't want to get all the girls freaked out, so we were sent to the rescue. We went cabin to cabin, putting each girl's smelly, gross clothes into individual black garbage sacks. Then we hauled it all to the laundry mat, washing each girl's load separately. Definitely a job listed as "other duties as assigned." We told the girls later that a special fairy had come and they were excited to find fresh, clean clothes! If they only knew!

9. In May each year, I hosted a bus trip for the Brownies to go on, using their earned cookie money. It wasn't just one bus trip, more like 3...with 2-3 charter buses each time. I loved them! Brownies usually went to St. Louis, as the 2 hour trip was just far enough for them. Again, too many memories to list. But once again Jamie was with me when we went to the City Museum. I think that place is awesome, but I'm surprised GSUSA hasn't banned it because it is definitely not the safest place on Earth. On one of the trips, a little girl fell on the giant outdoor metal climbing structure and hit her tailbone. I was called to the scene and the girl kept saying she couldn't move her legs. I think we had just taken our CPR/First Aid class and knew not to move her. 911 had to be called and the entire play structure shut down. The girls was freaking out. We called her mom who told us the girl was just a drama queen. But we weren't taking our chances. The firefighters could barely get to the girl, but as soon as they did....up she stood. She was drooling over them like a teenager. I wanted to break her legs!!

10. Finally, my last story is my favorite, but like most of these stories--you just had to be there! We had a beautiful new office, with an extra lot next door for future expansion. Sue somehow found out that is we hosted a girl event on the extra lot, then we could write it off on our taxes. So, the idea was started that we would have the girls make a butterfly garden. What Sue forgot to tell the staff, as we were sent out to prepare the ground for planting, was that the ground was harder than a rock. Oh, and this was like July. We set Friday as tilling day and we all came prepared with shovels, gloves, etc. Matt's dad gave us his little tiller to use. Jamie (aka Marge in Charge) was going to show us wimps how to use the tiller...but it took off and pulled Jamie behind it. It took us all day, but got that darn ground worked up. Those girls didn't know how easy they had it. And years later, on Christina's last day, we made sure to capture our picture together (minus Erin) where we had one of our many bonding moments.

L-R: Jamie, Christina, me, Jilla

Well, goodbye Girl Scouts. It was a fun ride. But I know that my buddies in Springfield will be lifelong friends and that was worth every penny I earned!

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