Sunday, May 4, 2008

Columbia Mall Sleep-In -- June 11, 2007

School is starting to wind down and I’m going to have more time to post my blog entries! I should have known that I would be too busy beginning in March to keep up! Sorry blog… I didn’t mean to neglect you but the kids come first!

I have been stitching away and I’ll share more about my projects and pictures soon.

I wanted to start off first with the annual Girl Scout Mall Lock-In. It takes about a week afterwards for me to catch up on my sleep!

One of the local malls let's us take over for the whole night. We start moving in on Saturday night at 10:00pm as the public is leaving and the mall is closing. Since the mall is on two levels, the Juniors (girls in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade) are admitted to the upper level where they setup their troop stations. The older scouts who are Cadette's and Seniors (girls in 7th - 12th grades) then start setting up activity stations on the lower level. At apx. 11:15pm the Juniors are permitted to come downstairs.

This is a unique opportunity for the Juniors as they are still to young to go to the mall on their own and there are lot's of fun things for them to do. The food court vendors are invited to stay open and many do until 3:00am. Since the mall is in a lock down situation, the Juniors are turned loose on their own as long as they stay in buddy pairs. This is a wonderful opportunity for them to order a pizza and a drink on their own and for them to try out many activities. At this age they think it's really awesome to stay up all night! For those of us who are older, this is not as fun!

The activities include Karaoke, Line Dancing, badge activities, disability awareness, fingernail painting, face painting, and lots of craft stations such as balloon animals, pompom critters, bandana tying, gimp, embroidery, quilting, knitting, crocheting, and cross stitch and needlepoint!

Several years ago I took responsibility for the Cross Stitch and Needlepoint kits. We try to keep both projects fairly simple as we are just trying to introduce them to or encourage them to continue to try these forms of needlework. The lighting is also very uneven in the mall during the night so we need to keep the ground materials fairly large. Have you ever tried to stitch on 18 count Aida at 3:00am in not very strong lighting? Trust me, it's not easy!

In earlier blog entries I wrote detailed entries about what we use in the kits so I won't repeat that here. One change I have made is that every year I've lowered the count on the Aida cloth for the Cross Stitch kit so that it can be use in the dim lighting in the early hours of the morning. Well we are now using 11 count Aida which is working very well.

I had time to visit the Cross Stitch and the Needlepoint areas. I was thrilled to hear that both areas were and had been very busy. When I walked by there were about 5 girls at Needlepoint and 10 girls at the Cross Stitch area. The adults were hard at work teaching and the girls were concentrating on their stitching. I really wish I could share a picture but we can't share pictures unless we have the parent’s permission.

The girls can take their projects with them, or they can donate them to Meals on Wheels. Every year we get approximately 20 needlepoint magnets donated to Meals on Wheels.

We estimate that we service over 200 - 250 scouts at the Cross Stitch booth and approximately 100 - 150 at the Needlepoint station.

I am always thrilled to see how many girls have not only tried Cross Stitch but are also familiar with needlepoint!

The embroidery, quilting, knitting, and crocheting booths also see a lot of activity.

Do you remember knitting on a wooden or plastic spool when you were younger? Well we have a station that is setup with knitting spools. Instead of using a wooden or plastic spool, we have plastic cups that have paper clips taped around the top. The bottoms are then cut out so the knitted tail can drop through. The knitted material works up with open holes and is very lace like in appearance. These were very popular that night as I saw many scouts wearing their creations as scarves as they wondered through the mall.

Every year I ask myself, why am I doing this again?! To volunteer to stay up all night, running around a mall??? And then we go… I love watching my scouts move up and take on more and more responsibility and they do a beautiful job! I also enjoy watching the younger girls running around having a great time! And I leave that morning very tired with thankfulness for the organizers who have spent many years coordinating this program (and many of them no longer have daughters in scouting) and with wonderful memories of the night!

Original Comments:

- I think you are wonderwoman, and no wonder no time to post, but, now......where are the p
hotos????? LOL

NC Pat

- Hi Pat,

Thanks! I'm not Wonderwoman... That title is for the ladies who organize the event. I'm just glad that I can do my part and help out. The scouts have so much fun! I'm starting to get caught up and I've started posting entries again. Pictures soon...


Originally Posted: June 11, 2007

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