|This is what my Junior Girl Scout uniform looked like, minus the knee socks. I did have the beret and little tie, though.|
|This was the Brownie uniform I coveted, minus the white gloves! I eventually got one, including the tie, belt, and beanie. There were also brown knee socks that we sometimes used rubber bands to keep in place.|
|For some reason, I thought the Trail Signs were the coolest thing in the world. In fact, when my younger daughter got to learn them on her first camp-out with her Junior troop, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of jealousy.|
My troop never got to make Buddy Burners either, which is probably just as well. As mentioned in the text above, these tuna can-housed cardboard-paraffin combos are best used with a vagabond stove (an inverted coffee can with vent holes punched in it). One memorable afternoon, my neighbor and I were playing house with her older sisters. To make our play more realistic, the middle sister got our her Buddy Burner and set it on the toy stove, which fortunately was outdoors on the patio. I think we may have planned to boil water or something but as soon as match touched cardboard, the Buddy Burner went up like a torch. Water wasn't enough to smother the flames, but dirt finally did the trick. With my friend crying because her stove was ruined and her sisters arguing over how they'd explain the fat streak of black the thick smoke had left on the side of the house, I quietly slipped away.
Who knows - as soon as I got home from the Buddy Burner Incident, I may have holed up with my mom's old Girl Scout handbook. I loved reading it as a kid (I am a nerd, after all) and was thrilled when my wonderful husband, the Nerd in Chief, brought one home from a thrift store last fall:
Unlike my handbook, my mom's was hardcover and compact. And to a kid in the Seventies, the old-school activities - pasteurizing milk! making a lean-to! frying bacon and eggs on a rock! - were as exotic as the Jetsons' flying car and food capsules.
|I am still fascinated by Morse code and Semaphore signalling, but haven't yet made time to learn either.|
|Compared to the colored illustrations in my GS handbook, the ones from my mom's seemed retro and cool at the same time.|
My own time in Girl Scouts ended a year after my family moved from Maryland to Kansas. At my new school, the girls who became my best friends were in Campfire Girls, so after fifth grade I traded in my badge sash for beads. Sewing them onto my new Campfire vest was no problem - I'd learned how in Girl Scouts.