Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 19 - Thankful for memories.........and a Blue Bird Group Leader!

I have been thinking about 50 years ago a lot in the last couple of days.  I will tell you it is because of November 22, 1963 -  The day that President Kennedy was killed.  I was 9 years old and in the 4th grade.  I was thinking about what I really remembered from around that time - before that event.  And then I remember the above picture. 

I don't have any memories about my 9th birthday, which was in September of that year.  I don't really remember the beginning of school that year, or anything else much about that fall - until the event in the picture above.  I am literally front row center in this picture.  This event was my "Fly- up Ceremony" from Blue Birds to Camp Fire Girls.  (For people in the Chicago area, everything was about Brownies and Cub Scouts and no one knew much about Blue Birds and Camp Fire Girls.)

I started in Blue Birds when I was in 1st Grade.  We had weekly meetings after school.  I was able to attend because the leader lived in my neighborhood and offered to drive me home.  My mom was working full time and I would not have been able to be a Blue Bird if it wasn't for that ride home.  For 3 years I had a great time being with these girls.   We made crafts, we sang songs and we just played together.  This Fly-Up to Camp Fire Girls was a really big deal.  In Camp Fire Girls we went on lots of field trips, we earned beads that decorated a vest (and by the way I still have my vest), and we went on overnights!  We actually learned a bunch of folk dances and competed at a big festival in the Auditorium in St. Paul.  And we won some awards!  I visited the Red Wing Pottery Factory, a shipping company in Duluth (large ships on Lake Superior) and we took the train to the Wisconsin Dells!  Really pretty amazing stuff that I would not have gotten to do, if it weren't for that one Leader.  I had to leave this group when I changed schools in the middle of 5th Grade.

I never got a chance to thank that Leader for going out of her way for me. Sadly I am not in contact with anyone from this group of girls.  So this is my official thank you to Mrs. Engstrom! 

A couple of thoughts on this..... don't underestimate the impact you can have on a young child.   This very small action had a major effect on me.  I am going to be looking around for ways that I can touch a child's life.  And now, with my new job, I have lots of chances to touch a child!  So, look around you and see if there is a neighbor kid, or a family member, or friends child or grandchild that you might touch today.  Take a chance and be a memory maker for someone!

Jesus, Thank you for Mrs. Engstrom and the Camp Fire Girls Organization.  Holy Spirit, show us all how we can have an impact on children around us.  Jesus it is so easy to forgot the many, many blessings you have put into our lives.  Help us to remember and appreciate all of these events that helped to shape us and influence our futures.  Give us courage and boldness to step outside of our comfort zones to effect the children we meet.  Bless all leaders of groups like these, that give of their time to shepherd little girls and boys.  Thank you for reminding me of this picture today.  Amen

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