February 27, 2012
busy season(s)

When I decided to volunteer to lead a girl scout troop, i did NOT think about the fact that their busy season (cookie sales) coincides with my job’s busy season (taxes) as well as my non-profit’s busy season (advertising for the summer intensives). This has coalesced into February being a month of frantic running around. Last weekend I had some girl scout training, last week I had to work 6 hours of overtime (which left me half a step above a zombie, and this weekend was a cookie booth sale and my council’s thinking day event. At the same time, I’m trying to finalize the overall style of the summer intensives and Salope has also pulled in some work. I’m just trying to keep my head above water right now, until it slows down in a few weeks.

I haven’t talked a whole lot about my girl scout volunteering. I’m an assistant leader to a troop of around 10 Juniors (10-11 years old). The troop leader is the mother of one of the girls and has been leading the troop since they were Daisies (6-7 years old). Most of the girls go to the same elementary school, and some of them have been going since the beginning, but it seems like most of them didn’t start until Brownies or so. They’re all upper-middle class girls that live within the city proper. It’s an interesting group. They’re a lot more worldly than I was as a child, and luckily, most of the parents don’t seem to have a problem with a troop leader with visible tattoos and blue hair.

You have to go through an insane amount of training to lead a girl scout troop. I’ve taken a ton of generic leadership and financial training, as well as more “theory of wrangling people for overnight trips” sort of stuff. Our troop leader hadn’t scheduled any camping with the girls because she doesn’t really like camping and can’t be away for very long due to family reasons. So i’m now taking more practical “how to teach the girls to survive in the woods” sort of camping. Last weekend was how to camp in a cabin or lodge, build a campfire (using the girl scout approved A-frame method), and the proper girl scout way of roasting a marshmallow. Very important stuff. Luckily, my troop has some parents who are first aiders, so it’s not vital I get first aid/cpr training immediately. I am signed up for that, though. Seems like a good thing to know how to do.

Before we can camp in tents, I have to take another camping class. We stay overnight in platform tents and learn how to cook using charcoal and a dutch oven. At that point, I’m fully trained to take the girls on any overnight. There are additional classes if i’d like to become an awesome campfire chef, one on how to build a box oven, and one called “campfire gourmet” where you cook an entire chicken and an apple pie over the campfire. I may end up taking some of those classes. Being able to make pie over a campfire is too amazing of a skill to not have.

We had our first cookie booth sale this weekend. We’ve sold about 1000 boxes during pre-sales, and bought an extra 30 or so cases to sell at booth sales. We sold around 130 boxes at this sale. We have a lot left to move. Our next sale is at Atlantic Station, though! I’m anticipating selling out of the rest of our boxes, because that’s an awesome location full of people who probably don’t have much interaction with kids.

The thinking day event was crazy! It was held in the girls’ elementary school’s gym. It was packed full with a deafening number of children and was completely overwhelming. Thinking day is a cultural awareness sort of event, where the girls learn about other countries that are a part of WAGGGS (world association of girl guides and girl scouts). Our service unit celebrates by having all of the troops set up a booth for their respective countries, and the girls walk around with a “passport” gathering stamps and sampling foods. I walked around the gym very briefly before deciding it was safer to just hang out at our booth and help my girls out. We learned about the Bahamas and had a guava fritter/jelly combo.

In exercise related news, I biked to the cookie sale yesterday and to thinking day today (and then afterward to dialog in the dark, which was really interesting, and back home), equaling a bit over 10 miles this weekend. I have a long way to go before I can make it the 37 miles for tour de cure in may. I managed to go to the gym every day during lunch except tuesday (because of girls’ lunch at work) and after work every day except friday (because of dinner with a friend that was in town) despite the massive amount of overtime I had to work, I feel pretty good about that. I’m a little behind where i was previously after having taken it easy for 5 days the week before last due to sickness, but catching back up to where I’d like to be.




Bag End: 1/13/12
Crickhollow: 2/17/12
Tom Bombadil 2/22/12
Prancing Pony 2/26/12

Next milestone: Weathertop (@ 240 miles)

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