Thursday, June 20, 2019

Her Silver Award Ceremony

It's been a while, y'all! Since we last spoke, the kids went to California, then Matt and I went to California, then we all went to Hawaii (lots more on that another time!), and then we all came back home and slept not enough, and at odd hours. I'm sort of attempting to get back into the swing of normal life, so here I am, blogging like a normal homeschool mommy blogger for the first time in a month.

Next I might even go to sleep before 3am and wake up before 11am!

Our Girl Scout council's Girls of Distinction ceremony to honor the highest awards takes place once a year, in June, so even though Will finished her own Silver Award last fall, she had to wait until this month for the official recognition and I swear to gawd, I have rarely been this excited to draw a line under something and get it fully in my rearview mirror. I know I was only the Girl Scout/project advisor, but this Silver Award nonsense has been agony, and so miserably disappointing and frustrating. I would have never been able to predict that after my kid worked as hard as she could to erect something for the community, some members of that community would seemingly work just as hard to tear it down.

Literally. Her first Little Free Library was repeatedly vandalized, and Will repaired it every time, until it was finally stolen, apparently ripped from its post so hard that part of the base was left still screwed down. Will did a lot of troubleshooting with that one, a lot of problem-solving, and finally decided to install a second Little Free Library in another economically-disadvantaged area that appeared to be better-populated and tended, and hopefully, therefore, less prone to crime. That Little Free Library lived for seven months, at least, but guess what we saw when I drove Will to restock it the very freaking day BEFORE Girls of Distinction?

Poor kid. She filled out yet another police report, while I thought silently to myself that at least we could stop worrying about it now. Seriously, every time we drove to check on the damn thing my stomach was in knots. The second we left it I'd start worrying again. And for good reason, it turns out. The Little Free Libraries that Will built clearly weren't sturdy enough to stand up to deliberate destruction, but I don't know what would be, unless she'd made them out of steel with giant spikes welded to them, as her dad eventually suggested.

But even though Will has already earned the award and the project is considered complete, she's still not giving up. Little Free Library #3 will be installed on our own property this summer, right by the mailbox where we can all keep an eye on it. And if this one gets destroyed, too, I am going to burn this entire state to the ground.

ANYWAY... let's forget about all of that, shall we, and focus instead on the lovely Girls of Distinction ceremony. I mean, Juliette Gordon Low herself was in attendance!

Miss Syd was not excited to meet the founder of the Girl Scouts, silly girl, and is giving me that newly-minted teenager "I'd rather be anywhere else but here" non-smile. Disappointingly, for the first time in several years the council chose not to honor top cookie sellers at Girls of Distinction, so my 1,000+ selling girl there, as well as her 1,000+ selling sister, as well as the SIX other 1,000+ selling girls in my troop, were not invited and honored for that major accomplishment. Big mistake, if you ask me, but whatever. I'm just a troop leader who spends my own free time and money working with actual girls, not an administrator getting paid to sit in an office, so what do I know?

My own favorite part of Girls of Distinction is the display area, where Gold Award Girl Scouts show off their Gold Award projects. It's a terrific place for younger girls to get ideas and inspiration (you know who'd really benefit from the opportunity to see these displays? The hard-working and high-achieving top cookie sellers, just the kind of girls that council ought to want to motivate and encourage!), and this year, especially, my own girls pored over them. Syd is at the stage of feeling overwhelmed and intimidated by the scope of the Silver Award project, so it was good for her to see what other girls accomplished for their Gold, and Will is deep into brainstorming for her own Gold project, and found several projects that inspired her, most of them nature-oriented, I was interested to see. One girl's project involved encouraging her community to keep chickens and donate their eggs to the hungry, something that is right up my own chicken girl's alley, and the project below involved creating educational materials on bat conservation for a local nature center:
Will already volunteers with two different children's museums; perhaps there's a potential Gold Award project somewhere in there...
Here we all are, ready to celebrate!

And here's my girl's big moment:

Here's me glad to have that over and done with!

Here's Will dubious about yet one more round of applause:

And here's Syd more than happy to take every souvenir pen at the table and click them all incessantly for the next four hours:

The girls' grandmother flew from California to attend the ceremony with us, and afterwards we all played out and about--

--until it was time to pack the three of them off to the airport and on to California for Camp Grandma. I lasted about twenty minutes away from them before I was sending them photos:

And yes, Matt missed them already, as well:

I guess we'll give ourselves the rest of the month to rest on the laurels of Girls of Distinction, but then it's high time to get back to work; I thought I was stressed mentoring one girl through her Silver Award, but starting July 1, our family will contain another girl working towards Silver, and another girl getting ready for Gold!

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