Friday, December 05, 2008

Giving back with the Girl Scouts

This week, I had an opportunity to get to spend some time with some young women at a Girl Scout Troop meeting in Newark. The young ladies were vibrant and mostly confident, but I was surprised. So many people speak of how self-absorbed and apathetic our young people are. I was prepared to meet young people who wouldn't pay attention to anything longer than a video, and who would find the art of quilting dull and uninteresting. They were respectful and polite, and asked questions our entire time together. I allowed each of them to create a block using crayons and their own art or rubbings, which they will use to create a charity quilt (or rather, I will use to create a charity quilt), and they both appreciated and absorbed the knowledge I was sharing. In return, I gave them a pack of sugarless gum at the end of our session. The other surprise was this: not one of them could thread a needle and knot the thread! I did not expect them to be able to sew, but they caught on quickly. Let me say that my mom did not sew, or participate in any crafts that I remember. Her mother, however, was a self-taught crafter. I wish I could have met her. My dad's mom was a quilter, and her gift of a quilt set me off on my fiberquest. It still keeps me warm on cold winter nights. Yet, when I was 14 or so, with the blessing (and funding) of my mother, and the support of my best friend, Jeanine, who's Mom is an awesome seamstress, I took classes at singer, and never looked back. I never made dresses for dolls, but did create dresses for friends and for my mom. I am still hoping to teach my niece some of my crafting skills. I hope my teasing lesson gets a few of those girls on the path to sewing, so that they will go back and ask their mom, or their aunt, or their grandmother to teach them how to sew. I know they will never regret learning.

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