Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Still Maine, still Camp Juniper Knoll

I took this picture in Maine, after a great meal at one of our favorite breakfast places. I had hopes of being able to work it into my ABC-Along project and wondered if by any chance the Latin name for fuchsia was somewhere later in the alphabet than 'f,' which came and went back in March. I had a sneaking suspicion, though, and do you see where this is going? Latin name for fuchsia is (drum roll) -- fuchsia! Ah, I'm an endless source of amusement for myself.
In case you were wondering, Cafe This Way is the breakfast place in Bar Harbor. Great food, great coffee, funky (in a good way) atmosphere. Just wish more of the servers were coffee drinkers themselves, and were therefore a little more nimble and generous with the refills. Just saying.
And, too, if you ever find yourself in Bar Harbor, DO take the ride on the Margaret Todd -- this gorgeous, 4-masted schooner. I think the best part is that because it is a sail boat they can cut the engines once the boat is out of the harbor and the ride is beautifully quiet. We saw porpoise and guillemot and loons and many of the outlying islands.

OK, then, indulge me in a little more camp talk. (Do you think that because Blogger is a Google organization that it rates my entries so highly on Google search? Whatever the reason, I want to stay up there....)
I don't think I ever knew Carolyn's last name -- it's kind of a rarity to even know a camp counselor's first name, since most went by nicknames (I hope that's still true at camps everywhere). Anyway, she headed up the waterfront staff and was a unit counselor as well, and I adored her. Like all the staff, she gave all she had to give (or so it felt) to us as campers. She was funny, kind, warm, caring, a great teacher and outdoorswoman. You know how sometimes you wish you could find the best teachers you ever had so you could thank them for everything you now realize they did for you? It's like that for me with the camp counselors I had.
Jan's on the left, Sail is on the right. They both taught me so much, and they both made me feel that they were proud of my accomplishments. The pay was so low that working at camp was really more of a labor of love; even during those days (early- to late-70s), you could make more staying home and being a cashier at a grocery store and you weren't on call basically 24/7. I guess it's hard to put into words, but the dedication of these and other women who ranged in age from 18 to, oh, probably in their 20s or so was just unbelievable.

I think the Girl Scout organization has really changed, and I think one of the many unintended outcomes is that it no longer generates the kind of lifelong devotion and commitment that it once did. I don't think people inside the organization understand that. It is hard to generalize because there is both a national arm and then local chapters -- but still, you've probably been shocked recently at both how expensive Girl Scout cookies have become and how awful they are (am I right? but I hope you, like me, still buy them). It's all about raising money and less about helping to create the world leaders of tomorrow (oh, you thought we just said a pledge and earned badges? hah!). The cookie thing just illustrates that it's a business and not about honoring a tradition (the cookies should at least still taste good). I was a troop leader when I was in high school and made several attempts to get involved locally before I had Dean but the opportunities I was looking for to "give back" just weren't there.

Sigh. I think I'll go make some lemonade and sing a couple of songs. Which reminds me, we stopped at a lemonade stand today, and I hope that you also always stop (just give them the 50 cents, even if you don't want the drink) just like I hope you always buy at least one box....

1 comment:

Lil D said...

Oh, I would love to be on a boat like that right now...

I've been thinking about the differences I've seen in extra-curricular activities over here and the way things were done when I was growing up in the UK. We didn't have sports uniforms or fundraisers to play after school sports (just coloured bibs passed down from one generation to the next). When we held sales at girl guides, we were selling things that we had made, not some manufactured cookes. We didn't have to sell to our friends and families, either.

I realise that a lot of my wonderful childhood memories were thanks to some wonderful adults giving up their time. I just think that it's a shame that it feels quite so commercial - and expensive - now that I'm looking into similar activities for my kids.