Cadette Training Weekend

A weekend with 80 middle school girls and 120 second and third graders. Who thought this would be fun? Apparently, I did, along with four of my friends.

Shelley, Nancy and Janet came up with the brilliant idea to host a region event for older girls to facilitate their earning Red Cross babysitting. You have all day Sunday at camp. So, you might as well add Program Aide (PA) Training. Well, you have to have a Leader in Action (LiA) award in order to get your PA. Naturally, brownies have to be present working on one of their journeys. Let’s add brownies to the event too. Did you see the snowball coming or are you now covered in frozen water? Yes, that’s me, shaking the snow from my hair as I somehow got caught up in the enthusiasm and volunteered to cook for the event.

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The three Cadettes from 13405 who signed up and completed the Red Cross Babysitting training. They are growing up so fast! One of our brownies attended the journey session on Saturday and earned A World of Girls.


Nancy led the Babysitting training on Saturday while Shelley took care of the older girls earning their LiA with the Brownies. (I did not take pictures of the Brownies because the leaders kept their permission slips. The older girls turned theirs in for the event. So, I know those were signed.)

babysitting 4 Notice the girls all have baby dolls. During the training, they used their dolls to simulate diaper changes, feedings, Heimlich maneuver, etc. The comprehensive training prepared the girls for the real world of babysitting. I am much more confident about my daughter watching young ones now.

Shana and I hiked all over camp with a wagon and a wheeled cooler putting potatoes in ovens and taking completed baked ones out. We walked miles and worked out our backs, bending over getting foiled-wrapped legumes in and out of ovens. This camp is not designed to feed so many girls. Poor Shana stood for HOURS browning 45 pounds of meat on the one stove with not exactly ideal cookware. But everyone got fed. I often cooked for these large events (though normally in a professional kitchen with all the correct equipment). I find the work exhausting and rewarding.

On Sunday, Janet took over, offering the PA training, the premier leadership introduction to middle schoolers. This is the same training we give the girls for day camp every year before they work with the younger scouts. The girls learned how to teach songs, crafts and games,the importance of communication and how to get along with others. This program should be offered to ALL middle school girls, whether they are in Girl Scouts or not. It’s only one step in learning to be a leader, but one step at a time is how you get to any destination.

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Let me say, that it was COLD. Maybe not cold for the northerners, but toe chilling for us Houstonians. Luckily, we had heated lodging for the girls and their leaders. Who did not have nice warm indoor comfort? The adults running the event. I thought I was going to die and I was inside (in a not heated space). The others adults were freezing in platform tents. Mind you, I did not dress appropriately, because I thought my sleeping space was heated and it was most definitely not. Sometimes, the details on the camps are not as accurate as we would like them to be. Experience grows wisdom. I’ll know better next time.

In the end, I am grateful for these generous women who host these events to benefit our girls and the community. Hopefully, our daughters will continue the tradition and make the world a better place.

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Now, who needs a babysitter?

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