Attendees learn skills from the past 100 years
SUNNYSIDE - Ambassador Scout Paige Quintana of Lake Oswego had already showed the Girl Scouts in her group how to make a square lash, a tripod lash and a clove hitch.
Now, she held the bough frame steady as Madison Headley, 15, of Albany, and Kiera Patterson, 11, of Portland worked to hang their four-sided bough frame from the tripod they’d constructed Tuesday afternoon at Sunnyside Park east of Sweet Home.
“We’re doing a ‘make-it-up-as-you-go’ lash,” Quintana explained with a grin. “There really isn’t an official lash for making a swing.”
Learning to use ropes to lash together boughs and poles to make tents, benches, even picnic tables, used to be an integral part of a Girl Scout’s badge pursuit.
That’s no longer the case, but this week’s Northwest Centennial Roundup at Sunnyside Park is part of the yearlong celebration of 100 years of Girl Scouting. Several of the activities scheduled during the weeklong campout honor that heritage.
Across the park, for instance, some of the 385 Girl Scouts and leaders in attendance were learning lace tatting, candlemaking, and how to send messages with semaphore flags, an activity out of the very first Girl Scout handbook.
The roundup isn’t neglecting the 21st century, however. Near the tent sites, volunteer Karen Elliott of Lebanon is spending the week choreographing a flashmob to “Ignite,” by Melinda Caroll, the official 100th year birthday song for the Girl Scouts of America.
ATV safety, bellydancing, archery and constructing small greenhouse frames as a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity were among the dozens of other activities available.
The week’s campout will conclude with the official 100th birthday party Saturday at the Linn County Fair & Expo Center, a ticketed event that includes activities from the past century, a Girl Scout fashion show and a “Cookie Celebration Concert” featuring Savannah Outen, Grayson Chance and Coco Jones (see www.girlscoutsosw.org/about/100 for more information). More than 6,000 Girl Scouts are expected to attend.
Unlike Saturday’s party, the roundup is just for Scouts in grades 6-12, as not many activities are geared strictly for older Scouts, Roundup Chairwoman Eileen Skidmore of Portland explained.
The girls are traveling in patrols rather than troops this week because in many instances, full troops couldn’t make it, so members from different troops grouped together to make the event, she said. Most of the patrols from Oregon, including Scouts from Grants Pass, Medford and Bend, but some traveled from Washington and Canada.
Maddison David and Damia Kirsch, both 11-year-olds from Troop 20137 in Corvallis, said they were enjoying getting to know Scouts from other areas.
It’s more fun to camp for an entire week than for a mere weekend, Damia said. She chose semaphore as one of her activities, “‘Cause I like olden-day things.”
Regional roundups used to be much more common, Skidmore said, but the last one she remembers was a gathering in Idaho to celebrate the Girl Scouts 75th birthday. She and a small army of volunteers and sponsors have spent the past year putting the Centennial Roundup together.
Lebanon Scout leader Alma Jean King said everyone greatly appreciates the campground, which is closed to the public during this week’s roundup.
“Linn County Parks and the commissioners have been just really gracious in extending the hospitality of Linn County to the stte,” she said. “They should be really proud.”