Thursday, September 11, 2008

Summer Crossing 2008 -- September 11, 2008

Summer Crossing is an older Girl Scout weekend event that is held right before school starts at the end of August. The girls range in age from entering seventh grade (apx. 12) to girls entering 12 grade (apx. 17). We all go up to a local parks and recreations camping facility and have a fun filled weekend that is just for the older scouts. The intent is to have a lot of fun and to get them excited about Girl Scouts for the next school year.

I’ve been volunteering for several years and I'm in charge of the Needlework area. Now being in charge means I have lot's of responsibilities... Yep... I'm the one who takes roll! :-)

This year there were two of us who had volunteered. Janet was teaching huck weaving and knitting. I was teaching cross stitch and embroidery. Both Janet and I have volunteered for many years and each year we try to offer different options for the girls though knitting and cross stitch are offered every year. We teach five sessions on Saturday and each session is one hour and fifteen minutes.

This year we were expecting a good turn out for the needlework area but the weather was gorgeous so several of the girls decided they wanted to do some of the outside activities. Usually in August it is very hot and humid so the cooler, dryer temperatures were unusual. The girls sign up before the event for the different activities but once they arrive they are allowed to change their activities as long as there is room in that particular session. We still had a respectable turnout but the other options were geo-caching, low ropes, archery, swimming, computers, leather, etc. So with that for competition I think we were doing pretty good that we still had a lot of the girls join us at for needlework!

We encourage the scouts who sign up for needlework to try an activity that they don't already know how to do or that they don't have someone in their family or circle of friends who can teach them. For every session throughout the day, Pat and I may both be teaching or only one of us may be teaching. It just depends on what the girls would like to learn. We are always excited when the girls say that they already know about one of the needlework techniques and would like to learn another technique!

We make sure that we send them home with materials to finish the project and with ideas of where to purchase more materials if they want to continue learning and working with the needlework technique. For example, Pat makes sure that she has knitting needles for the girls to take with them to keep and we both make sure that we have instructions sheets for the different techniques that we offer. We also have a large selection of small cross stitch kits that both Pat and I have been collecting over the years. If a girl (or an adult) would like to pick out a kit, they are more than welcome.

We both work hard on the basics so that the girl can continue learning once she returns home. For example, I spend time at the beginning of my sessions teaching the proper way to thread the needle (no licking or spitting at my table!), and how to make a waste knot. Pat spends a lot of time on the basics of huck weaving and knitting.

This year, when I had a free session, I was working on developing an embroidered bookmark and a felt pincushion for next year. I started with making several 6” by 1” strips of felt. The example will show all of the stages of a sample design. For example, the first strip has the center flower. The next strip has the center flower and the stem. The third strip has the center flower, the stem, and the leaves. At the end I’ll have each step stitched with the final example being the bookmark with its backing and edging. The girls will be able to select the colors of the felt, threads, beads, and a needle so that they can continue to work on their bookmark during their free time and at home after the event. I’ll be doing the same process with all of the steps to make a felted pincushion. Lot’s of fun!

We are both excited when we have a girl who visited us last year return for another session at the needlework area. This year there were several who returned. We also love that they remember what we taught them last year and are willing to learn more! It’s also fun to see how many girls have already worked with different needlework techniques either in school, with friends, or with family!

This year we had several of the adult volunteers stop by and stitch with us for a while. In particular, one of the food volunteers was able to sit with us for several hours and she completed her bookmark! She loved the idea and plans on taking it back to the girls both within and without scouts that she knows.

We have a wonderful time and the location is gorgeous. Picture us in the rolling hills of central Maryland with trees and wildlife all around. Wonderful even if we don’t have air conditioning which can be challenging with the fibers sometimes! In years past it's been quite hot but this year the temperatures just climbed to the mid 80's and the humidity was very reasonable for Maryland in summer.

Unfortunately we don't have pictures as we get so busy teaching we forget to take pictures! We'll have to work on that next year...

We have a fun time with each other, and we enjoy sharing our respective needlework crafts with the girls. It's a wonderful feeling when you see that they finally get it! You might want to try teaching your needlework craft to someone younger. You will have a lot of fun!!!

Recent Comments:

If you are visiting, I’d love to hear a comment even if it’s just a simple Hello. :-)
If not, not a problem (one of my phrases that I find myself using a lot), thank you for visiting my blog!

Jane – I’m used to worrying about the kids not Mom, and yes, I can just imagine my Mom in her 80’s! Lot’s of fun. What’s really funny is when I see my daughter, who does high adventure camping activities, chasing after and worrying about my mother and what she’s up to! That’s really funny! We aren’t a sports or very athletic family but we do like the outdoors and those type of activities.

Please do check out Pat’s HeartStrings designs. I know that she is very popular but you don’t hear much about her on the blogs or on the discussion lists. I’ll be adding more of her pieces which I’ve finished and which I’m stitching to my blog over the next few weeks. I think she does an outstanding job on the designs but she is truly talented on picking threads and stitches which enhance her designs.

Coni – Let me know what you pick up when you visit the City Stitcher. I have many of Pat’s canvases so maybe we can have a Stitch-A-Long (SAL). I’m just looking for an excuse to pick up the 2008 Limited Santa or the Flag canvas! :-)

Madonna – I’m blaming my absence on the family but in a nice way! :-) Glad to be back and it’s nice that things are settling down again now that school has started again.

Windy Meadow


Margaret said...

It seems to me that it's always a little harder to stitch in the summer. We're always doing stuff, like swimming, which doesn't lend itself well to stitching.

Frontrange Stitcher said...

Hi Cyn,
Well I'm duly impressed. It's clear you thoroughly enjoy this special time during the Summer; how lucky for the girls to have you as their stitching mentor. By all means, take the camera next year, we'll be waiting!

Stitchingranny said...

Hi Cyn,

I used to do Guides which is the English equivalent to the US Girl Scouts. Camping weekends were always great fun.

Beth in IL said...

Glad you are back.. I was worried about you as I had not seen a post in a long time. Glad all is well. BTW, I didn't get your answer to my question about the Candy Swirl Santa. Answer when you have time:) I know how hard it is to find time when busy with kids.