Thursday, February 20, 2014

Girl Scout Memories

Thinking Day is coming up! Thinking Day is a Girl Scout and Girl Guide tradition which is celebrated on February 22 each year. From page 213 in my Brownie Girl Scout Handbook  -
Brownie Girl Scout Handbook
Published by the Girl Scouts of the
United States of America, New York: 1963
"On Thinking Day, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides, in every country have special thoughts of their sister Scouts and Guides in other lands. They do something special to show their friendship for them.
 Thinking Day is celebrated on February 22. Perhaps you already know this date as the birthday of our own George Washington. But February 22 is the birthday of Lord Baden-Powell and of his wife, Lady Baden-Powell;, too! Lord Baden -Powell was, of course, the Founder of Scouting for boys and girls round the world; Lady Baden-Powell is the World Chief Guide".
I was in Girl Scouts for around 6 years when I was a young kid. As I remember, I was a Brownie for two years, a Junior Girl Scout for three years and a Cadette for a year or two before I gradually lost interest as I moved into the middle school years. I know we celebrated Thinking Day in Scouts but I don't have any specific memories of it.

I loved Scouts when I was involved in it. I especially liked the Girl Scout summer camp I attended - Camp TeAta in Central Valley, NY.  I was a camper there for around 5 summers and they were great summers. I started off with two week sessions, and stayed for 7 weeks my last year. The last 3 weeks of that last summer I was in what was called 'Wilderness Unit'. We lived in tents (not the cabins the rest of the camp stayed in) out in the woods and cooked our own breakfasts and dinners over a campfire. This experience started my life-long love of camping.

One of my best memories of Girl Scouts were some of the trips we did when I was a Junior Girl Scout. During the three years I was in Troop 225 in Little Falls, NJ, we went on three separate trips to Washington, DC, Niagara Falls, and Williamsburg, VA. Up until a few years ago, it was the only time I had been to each place.
Wendy at the Lincoln Memorial, 14 May 1967
Wendy Grant and best friend, Wendy Sarafine
and charter bus to Washington DC
I found some old notes in my Junior handbook. We went to Washington DC on the weekend of May 13-14, 1967. We left Little Falls at 7 AM and arrived in Washington DC by noon. My notes said we went sight-seeing for 5 hours and went to the Wax Museum . We stayed at the Whitehouse Motel in Fairfax, VA. I remember epic pillow fights and many reminders from the troop leaders to quiet down. On Sunday we visited Arlington Cemetery (spelled Alarton in my notes), Mount Vernon, and somewhere I wrote as "Amtion Theatre". I have no idea where that was. Could it have been another name for Ford's Theater (where Lincoln was shot)? I think we saw that. Supper was in Washington, DC. We were scheduled to leave there at 6:00 PM and arrive back in Little Falls by 11 PM after a stop or two. It was a great trip!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Share some of your memories

Randy Seaver has a long-running blogging prompt - Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. This week's prompt is based on a keynote talk Judy Russell aka The Legal Genealogist gave at the RootsTech 2014 conference last week in Salt Lake City. I was not at RootsTech but watched her address recorded at this link. The link to Randy's post is here.

Here is Randy's task and my answers-
1)  Judy Russell asked six questions in her Keynote address at RootsTech to determine if audience members knew certain family stories about their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.  She demonstrated very well that family stories are lost within three generations if they are not recorded and passed on to later generations.

2)  This week, I want you to answer Judy's six questions, but about YOUR own life story, not your ancestors.  Here are the questions:

a)  What was your first illness as a child?
I had to get out the baby book my mom made to look this one up. The first recorded illness for me was measles during the summer of 1962 when I was 6 1/2 years old. I am sure I had many colds and other mild illnesses before then too. Summers were rough for childhood diseases in my family. All three of us kids had measles, German measles, chicken pox and mumps during June and July and in 3 successive years in the early 1960s. Because of advances in vaccines, my children only had to suffer one of these - chicken pox. They got it a year or two before the vaccine was available.

b)  What was the first funeral you attended?
We did not have a lot of close relatives so the first funeral I attended was for my grandfather, Harold Veith, who died in December of 1978. I was in my last year of college and home for Christmas break.

c)  What was your favorite book as a child?
Holiday for Edith and the Bears - This was one of a series of books by author and photographer Dare Wright. Edith was a doll and the bears were stuffed animals. I vividly remember a photo of Edith falling out of a rowboat, after she and Little Bear went out in the boat without permission. The photo fascinated me - I am not sure why. 

After I learned to read and I was a bit older, my favorites were any of the books about the detective children in the series The Happy Hollisters by Jerry West.

d)  What was your favorite class in elementary school?
I'm not sure about this one. In general I liked school and I loved to read.

e)  What was your favorite toy as a child?
My doll who I named Merry Christmas. I was 4 or 5 when I received her (for Christmas, duh!)

f)  Did you learn how to swim, and where did you learn?
My brother and sister and I learned to swim at Lake Rickabear in Kinnelon, NJ. When I was in elementary school, my dad worked as an engineer at Curtis-Wright. An employee perk was membership at Lake Rickabear which I think was owned by the company. It was a great place to go when we were little, and I think my mom took us 3 days a week for swimming lessons. The lessons were taught by the lifeguards who were all youngish school teachers during the school year. I  remember thinking it was so strange that we called them by their first names during the summer. None of them taught in my school, but I was aware they were teachers.