Monday, 20 August 2012

Be Prepared

It may come as no surprise that I was a Brownie and a Girl Guide. If I'd been willing to do all of the fundraising, I would have gone to London, England on an exchange program during the year I was 14. Each girl needed to raise (or pay) $2,000 in order to go on the exchange. I can't remember exactly how many did it but it wasn't more than a dozen ambitious girls out of more than 50 in the area.

They say you only regret the things you don't do and that's one of the things I regret. Not going to London.

I recall, as a girl of 14 that I was unsure if I could do the fundraising myself. My parents were raising four children (a monumental feat in this day and age but pretty average in the 60's and 70's) on a blue collar salary and there was certainly no extra cash for such an undertaking. If I was to do this, I needed to raise every penny myself, something I couldn't fathom. Two thousand dollars was a fortune in my mind.

A good friend of mine who was a year older, a goddess to me, had family near London so her parents didn't hesitate to send her. Plus she was only one of two children in that household so there was likely more cash on hand for such opportunities. She sold a lot of cookies but I couldn't imagine how many I would have had to sell to go with her.

When I lived in the States, I had to get used to calling them Girl Scout cookies. I received emails about them from co-workers whose neighbour's sister-in-law's step son's daughter was selling them. In the States, you get more than just Oreo wanna-be's. You get Thin Mints, Samoas, Do-Si-Dos, Tag-alongs and Shortbread.

In Canada you get chocolate or vanilla.

I fell in love with Samoas...chocolate, caramel and coconut. One year I was told you could buy Girl Scout ice cream at your local grocery store. Vanilla bean ice cream with chocolate, caramel, coconut and chunks of Samoa cookies. And the young girls still got a piece of the profits. I nearly passed out.

I'm back in Canada now and although there is less variety with cookies (you can get chocolate covered mint cookies as well as the regular chocolate and vanilla - woo hoo) they are still very good and go to a great cause.

At 14 I missed an opportunity. I won't do it again.

To this day, I will not hesitate to buy Girl Guide cookies.

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