Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Bridging, Rededication, and Something Silver

It's a new Girl Scout year, and you know what that means:

A party!

Will was the only Girl Scout in our troop to Bridge this year, and yet it was no problem to get every girl in our sweet, generous Girl Scout troop to come together to celebrate:

Our Bridging ceremony includes one of the girl's parents talking about all that girl has accomplished at that level. Being reminded of everyone's triumphs is my favorite part!
This apparently includes the cat, who also made it into half of the portraits that I took afterwards:

Here's my girl who has two more years of being a Cadette and yet is just one Take Action Project away from earning the Summit Award:

And here is my brand-new Girl Scout Senior!

In her three years as a Cadette, Willow earned 32 badges and completed three Journeys, earning the Summit Award. She beat her own record every cookie season, selling over 800 boxes last season. She served as a page in both the Indiana State House and Senate, performed a flag ceremony at our local women's history month luncheon, and earned both her Leader in Action Award and the President's Community Service Award (under President Obama, of COURSE). 

I couldn't be prouder of these two:

That above photo felt weirdly familiar to me when I looked at it, and then it suddenly occurred to me: Christmas 2013, the year that I enrolled them in Girl Scouts and gave them their brand-new uniforms and Girl Guides as one of their presents:

I promise you that Syd is better versed in the Girl Scout signs and salutes these days...

Anyway, here's the guy who makes all of their big achievements possible:

And here's me, because I do that, too!

Just before our Bridging ceremony, Will finally completed all of the requirements and the application for the Girl Scout Silver Award, the second-highest award in Girl Scouting. She'd been working on this project since last October, and for a while it had been coming together like magic. She built a Little Free Library, negotiated with our local Parks and Recreation Department for permission and help to install it, and got it all set up and loaded with books.

And yet, as I mentioned before, her Little Free Library kept getting vandalized. Someone cracked the back so that she had to replace it. Tore off the door multiple times, so that she eventually had to engineer a different type of door entirely. Every time Will wanted to go check in on it and restock it I dreaded the trip, anticipating whatever would have happened to it this time.

Until she went to restock it the day after we got back from our Canada road trip, and it was gone. Someone had stolen it. They'd torn it completely off the post, even, leaving one of the boards that made the floor behind on the post, so they'd even broken it in the process. Honestly, I think that I was more upset than Will was. It SUCKS to see someone hurting your child's heart and harming their faith in humanity.

Will, fortunately, rebounded quickly. She'd always intended to build and install a second Little Free Library in another park, so this meant that although she wouldn't have the two Little Free Libraries she'd wanted, she at least had a plan in place to have A Little Free Library by the end of her Silver Award project.

She negotiated with Parks and Rec for a second space, and this time, although she still wanted to install her Little Free Library in an economically disadvantaged area, she took care to make sure that it was in a family-friendly location, where there would be a lot of benign foot traffic and watchful parental eyes.

In fact, she installed it right on a playground!

The above photos were Installation Attempt #1, during which time Will discovered that the post was too wide and the Little Free Library wouldn't sit flat on it. So home we went and I brought Will back the next day, this time with a saw!

She'd also brought the dog, but she annoyed me by bringing not the dog's leash, but her tie-out. Will's reasoning was that she'd set Luna up under a nearby tree while she worked, but there was a small child playing pretty much unsupervised on the playground when we got there, which means that if I'd let her put Luna on the tie-out, I'd have had to watch/assist Will AND keep an eye on the dog, who is known to slip her harness occasionally, AND keep an eye on someone else's kid to make sure they didn't pester Luna. Luna is the gentlest dog that I have ever known, but still. You don't leave small kid unattended with dogs.

So I annoyed Will by insisting on holding onto Luna's tie-out while I helped Will, and because she was annoyed, she later admitted to me, she didn't tell me that the way that I was holding the tie-out, which is nothing more than plastic-coated wire, was dangerous. I had it wrapped several times around my hand, and Will knows from her horseback riding lessons that you shouldn't do this.

You know I'm leading up to something, and here it is: the perfect storm. Will was trying to balance her Little Free Library on top of the post so that she could attach it. The small child had taken an interest in us and had come over and asked me if I had ever read Green Eggs and Ham. And someone else at the park was letting their dog run around off-leash. I had my eyes on Will, was distracted by the kid, and the unleashed dog ran right in front of Luna, who lunged after it. She pulled me off my feet--seriously--I'm pretty sure I was entirely airborne for a second--then dragged me by my hand across the grass for a couple of feet until Will could get the Little Free Library put down and come to my assistance.

I have... I guess you'd call it a rope burn combined with a couple of crush injuries? Regardless, it hurt so badly that I had to call Matt and work to come and take over with Will, and I had to retreat to the car and cry. It HURT, and really, I'm just pretty excited that I didn't sprain anything, although it's shaping up to be a quite visible and QUITE ugly scar across the back of my hand.

Whatever. The back of my other hand has a big, ugly scar from a hot glue incident, so this one is at least a little bit more baller.

And look at what Will was able to complete with her father while I sat in the car, elevated my hand, and cried tears of pain:

Beautiful, yes? And a few weeks in, it hasn't been vandalized once, knock on wood! Will goes by to check on it and restock it, but it's clear that the community is also using it. It's just what she wanted.

And just this week Will was notified that with it, she's earned her Silver Award.

I'd say that those were Cadette years well-spent.

No comments: