". . . and obey the Law of the Pack!"*

This past weekend it was all Scouts, all the time for my family. And can I just say that I love the Scouting program; I am seriously all about it. I was a Girl Scout myself for many years; I've been a Cub Scout Den Leader, Brownie troop leader, and Junior troop leader, a cookie mommy, a day camp slave volunteer, an Empress of Paperwork (my real title in the tall boy's troop -- I know because I gave it to myself).

But have mercy, but it does all seem to happen at once; it wears on a girl.

February is a big month in the scouting world (for both boys and girls) because of this man:

Lord Robert Baden-Powell,
universally called "B-P" by scouts

. . . and this woman:

Olave, Lady Baden-Powell
called the "Chief Guide" by Girl Guides and Girl Scouts;
called "that woman" by early Boy Scouts,
who were jealous of her influence over B-P

Girl Scouts and Girl Guides all over the world celebrate "Thinking Day" in February because Lady Baden-Powell's birthday was February 22. Thinking Day is a celebration of international friendship and understanding. Cub Scouts also celebrate the anniversary of Scouting in February with their "Blue and Gold Banquet," where "banquet" equals "pizza." This is because Lord Baden-Powell's birthday was also on February 22.

OK, so get this! Yes, Lord and Lady Baden-Powell shared a birthday -- exactly thirty-three years apart! Scandal! One can see why some early Boy Scouts were suspicious of Olave; "gold-digger" was one of the kinder things she was called. I was gossiping about these two to a fellow Boy Scout volunteer (the poor couple have been dead for decades . . . oh, well!) and he asked, "I wonder what kind of merit badge old B-P got for that maneuver?"

I'm thinking maybe Olave earned the badge, though . . . .

But reluctantly, I will put aside the ancient gossip to tell you that the sunny girl and I went to Thinking Day on Friday night, and really did have a swell time. She and her troop learned about Ecuador, and presided at a table where they served fried plantains to the daring eaters in the crowd.

I was completely mesmerized by this urchin's awesome hat. Don't you just need it?

These Girl Scouts rested after attending Carnivale in Brazil.

The older girls who organized the event frequently used the "sign's up" gesture in a vain attempt to quiet the chattering hordes. Futile. . . .

So then on Saturday we attended an Eagle Scout Court of Honor. At this ceremony a young man who has earned Boy Scouting's highest award is formally recognized. It's a big deal, people -- our Congressman attended!

Other Eagle Scouts help to honor the newest member of their exclusive group; here's the pink-hatted boy from the ski trip.

He cleans up pretty well, doesn't he?!

Here's a quizzical, not to say annoyed, gaze from the tall boy. This is to make up for the fact that unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the new Eagle Scout; the kid gave "remarks about his experience as a Scout" and I have never laughed harder in my life. He was hilarious, I'm telling you. He also created the tall boy's new motto: noting that the Boy Scout motto is "be prepared," the Eaglet commented, "As many of you know that has been a difficult motto for me to embrace. [Much guffawing and snorting from scouts who know this first-hand] I feel that my motto is 'be just prepared enough.'" It brought down the house.

*Let's see if Coleen will tell us why the title of this post made her spit her tea out.