Friday, April 8, 2016

A Good Memory of My Mother

When I was in Girl Scouts in elementary school, my mother became a troop leader.  I had previously attended Girl Scout meetings at another girl's house where her mother was the leader, but my mother had volunteered to join as assistant leader or something of that nature, followed by a fight between the two mothers about something still unknown to me, followed by a schism of the troop.  The girls who were my friends came with us and joined our new (and admittedly better) troop, and other girls from school joined too.

There was a Girl Scout special event held in our church's basement one Saturday.  About a dozen troops from the area came.  Each troop had been assigned a table and chairs where they would each represent a different country.  We were supposed to set up a booth for our country where the other girls in attendance could do a craft or activity native to that country, or eat a food native to that country, or learn something about that country.  Most of it ended up looking about as interesting as a job fair.

My mother's troop represented Switzerland.  I didn't know what we were going to be doing that day until we arrived at the church.  My mother scrapped the traditional "booth" style everyone else used.  She set up the folding chairs side-by-side and then covered them with a large gym mat she'd brought from home (previously part of the Swamp of Sadness), creating a medium sized hump.  We would be offering people the chance to scale the famous Swiss Alp called the Matterhorn, she told us.  As each girl scrambled over the gym mat mountain and came down the other side, my mother congratulated her and presented her with a chocolate.  "Switzerland is known for its chocolates," my mother explained.  As the only booth offering both not-sitting-still and candy, ours quickly became the favorite of the day.

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