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Issue #86 – December 2018

Paradise, CA (photo credit: LA Times)

A Note From the Founder - Many Thanks

       2018 has been quite the chaotic year and I just wanted to say thank you to all Frontier Girls and Quest Club members for your patience and support.   It never ceases to amaze me how how our small grassroots community can come together in a crisis.  With the added expenses this year of moving both my home and the Frontier Girls office  to a city and county with high taxes, our scholarship program was in danger last spring of being put on hold.  While we were able to come with the funds on our own, the fact that so many members offered to pitch in or emailed with various fund raising ideas, was inspiring as everyone rushed to support our young ladies heading off to college or trying to advance their education.

Next came the Carr Fire where a third of our city was evacuated and over 1,000 homes were destroyed.  Everyone’s patience while we shut down the office to help our community and house those who were displaced was greatly appreciated.  I did not receive a single a complaint about late orders or delays in communication and the understanding and emails of love and support were amazing.

While our own city has been busy trying to recover from the fire this summer, a few weeks ago the Camp Fire just south of us destroyed the entire town of Paradise, destroying nearly 14,000 homes as well has hundreds of businesses and costing at least 88 lives with more than 130 still missing.  Once again the Frontier Girls office shut down briefly as we all did what we could to help.  My daughter lives in Chico, the nearest town to Paradise and about an hour south of Frontier Girls headquarters.  Many Frontier Girls members sent care packages or support for the fire victims and we drove everything down to Katie to distribute directly to people who lost their homes.  We are so very thankful that so many sent support and that patience was again exercised while communication with the office was slow and orders were delayed.

Traditionally Thanksgiving week is a slow time and I always give the employees the entire week off to spend with their family and just work by myself.  This year at the beginning of the week my husband was in a freak accident and broke several ribs so yet again the office was closed while I stayed home to care for him until he could move on his own again.

I feel like every few months during 2018 I was sending out notices that the office would be closed and shipping and communication delayed.  After 12 years though, our members have become much like a large extended family and where I could not be present, other leaders stepped in to answer questions for others via Facebook; when shipping was delayed, no one complained and people started sending in orders early to give us more time to fill them.   All delayed communication was met with sympathy and understanding and not once during this entire year of upheaval did I receive an irate email or phone call.  You all have no idea how much that means to me.  Thanks to all of your love and prayers, 2018 is drawing to a close and we are growing faster than ever.  Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season.

My love and thanks,

Kerry Cordy

 

New Badge Released:

Fabric Wrapping

Discover the Home

Holiday Cards for Dementia Patients

Cassie Toner is collecting holiday cards to give her her dementia patients in a long term care home.  Many of these patients have not received a visitor in more than 3 years and she is looking to brighten their holiday. If you are looking for a fun community service project while working on your greeting card badge or paper crafting badge, make some simple cards with happy sayings in them and mail to:

Cassie Toner

1307 Swanton Rd.

Oak Harbor, WA 98277

January Badge Sale!

Our annual January badge sale will take place from January 1 through Midnight January 31st.  All badges will be $.99 for the entire month.  All badges are made to order so they are not refundable.  Please plan your badge orders carefully to avoid ordering badges no one will end up earning.

Troop Leader Rocks It as an Owl!

by Kerry Cordy and Lauretta Russell

Katie Lundquist is the leader of Troop #159, one of the largest and most active troops in the country.  Over the last 7 years she has lead her troop in earning over 700  badges and multiple higher awards.  Earlier this year she decided to start earning badges on her own as an Owl.  Like everything else she does, she threw her whole heart into and now has over 400 badges earned at the Owl level as well as her Liberty Award, Life Skills Award, Discovery Award, Major in the Home, 4 WOW! Awards and 21 Servant’s Hearts!

When I asked a few of her troop members to describe Katie I received a variety of replies and praise, but thought the response from one mother in particular best described her.  The reply from Lauretta Russell is below:

 

“It is impossible for me to write all the incredible ways that Katie leads our troop.  Makayla has been blessed to have found this troop 6 1/2 years ago and we have so many memories.  Some things I love about Katie:

  • Katie completely invests herself into each of the lives of the girls. During meetings she still has time to connect and engage with each girl.
  • Katie has created multiple jobs in the troop, so each girl can feel like they have a special part in the troop.
  • Katie is a fantastic teacher, years ago we had some girls being mean at the meeting. Instead of Katie calling the girls out, speaking to the parents (yeah things I would have done) she started the anti-bullying badge and kindness badge.  YEAH!  She is amazing how she solves issues discretely!
  • Katie has set our troop meetings on a 3 year cycle, so as long as the girls come to meetings and complete homework they will all earn the higher awards. Not only that she provides an extra meeting to work on girls wanting to earn higher awards. 
  • Katie has allowed Makayla to plan the last 2 sleepovers! Some leaders have a hard time stepping back and allowing someone else to lead. Not Katie, she encouraged Makayla to lead and helped her know time management etc.
  • Katie is interested in teaching the girls everyday, useful skills. We have held an outdoor skills clinic with first aid, fire building, setting up camping sites, solar oven cooking, knot tying, and  archery practice.  Every Summer our meetings are at different hiking spots.  Over Spring Break we have had a Life Skills clinic with stations to get several of their requirements completed.  Including making a bed, sorting clothes, cooking, etc. Our last Spring Break event was an Etiquette Clinic teaching kids proper etiquette, serving, cooking etc.  She is very creative finding ways to help the girls.
  • Katie is a great example, see photo above, even though she was terrified to zipline last year, she made it a point to leave her comfort zone and encourage the girls while doing so.
  • Katie involves the girls in planning meetings. At the beginning of  each year, Katie has a leadership meeting, asking the girls what they want to learn about over the next year.  I think it is pretty special to include the girls in the year of planning.
  • Katie has a separate meeting for the Butterfly and Eagles to complete extra requirements to earn the badge.
  • Katie has a unique way in dealing with children with special needs. We have had several girls over the years, and each feels included in our troop, thanks to Katie’s leadership.  The beginning of the summer we had a field trip to an ice cream shop.  A butterfly was visiting the troop and didn’t want to be there at all!  Some of the older girls were introducing themselves and she was adamant that she did not want to be here with this stupid group.  Her younger sister was very excited and they joined.  Over the next few meetings she really became involved.  Katie had mentioned to this girl’s mom that she also had kids on the spectrum.  This mom had never thought that her daughter might have Autism, but Katie’s gentleness opened the Mom’s eyes and took her daughter to the doctor.  The older girl was diagnosed and this mom told me how grateful she was for Katie.  The stories continue how this one incredible person can change the lives of girls in our community.

It is such a blessing to have met Katie, and to have Makayla as part of Frontier Girls Troop 159.”

Charm Bracelets for Older Girls

– Katie Lundquist, Troop 159 Leader

 
One fun tradition I started last year was to get charms for our older girls to help remember our B+ (Butterfly & Up) activities. We go on at least one campout and a few outings each year with just the older girls and this is a great way to make them feel special. When they attend their first B+ campout, it is our troop tradition to give them a nickname so their first charm represents their new troop name. Mamabear, Paddles-in-Circles, Katniss, Giggles the Cowboy Comedienne, Chapstick, Bubbles, Lucky and Chattysaurus are our current registered girls. We usually give the new girl(s) a couple of choices to make sure she is happy with her nickname.
 
Then for every activity, I get a charm to represent some outstanding memory – a horse for a dinner trail ride, race car for go-karting, a compass for the time we got lost on a hike, bicycle for mountain biking, howling wolf for a trip to the wolf sanctuary, etc.
 
I also get charms for my daughters for fun mother/daughter things we do together – road trips, concerts, train rides – anything that is a special memory for us.
 
These have been a great tradition for our troop and with Christmas coming up, I thought I’d share.
 
 

Beth's Badge Challenge

by Beth Vicory
 
Earn the Fabric Wrapping badge and photograph some of your handiwork.   Email your photos to sassylady_2004@hotmail.com when you have completed your wraps. For bonus points, include calculated savings over wrapping paper! Deadline January 5, 2019.

 
Fabric Wrapping Badge

(Discover the Home)

By Suzanne and Beth Vicory

 
Penguin:  Do 3 requirements including the two starred.
_____ 1.* Learn what a wrapping cloth is and what it is used for.  Look at pictures of several samples.
_____ 2.*  Wrap something using a wrapping cloth.
 
Otter:  Do 4 requirements including the two starred.
____ 1.*  Do Penguin requirements 1 & 2.  Wrap two items in two different wrapping styles.
____ 2.*Learn what furoshiki is and how to pronounce it.
 
Dolphin:  Do 5 requirements including the two starred.
_____ 1.*  Do Otter requirements 1 & 2.  Wrap five items in five different wrapping styles.
_____ 2.* Learn about bojagi and how it differs from furoshiki
 
Butterfly:  Do 6 requirements including the two starred.
_____ 1.* Do Dolphin requirements 1 & 2.  Wrap eight items in eight different wrapping styles.
_____ 2.*Learn the history of furoshiki and bojagi.  Where did it begin; why did it decline in popularity; and why is it returning?
 
Eagle:  Do 7 requirements including the two starred.
_____ 1.*Do Butterfly  requirements 1 & 2.  Wrap ten items in ten different wrapping styles.
_____ 2.*Learn what Chogak bo and subo are, and make a small one of each

Owls: Do 9 requirements including the two starred.

_____ 1.* Do Eagle requirements 1 & 2.Wrap 12 items in 12 different wrapping styles.
_____ 2.* Teach someone how to do a skill from this badge or teach some knowledge about this badge to someone. You can teach kids, your spouse, seniors, anyone, just as long as you are sharing your new found knowledge. If for some reason you cannot teach what you have learned to someone else, you may choose an additional 2 optional requirements instead.

 
Optional Requirements:
 
_____ 3.  What were the original furoshiki fabrics made from and what the traditional measurement of furoshiki are.
_____ 4.  Make your own furoshiki wraps using repurposed fabrics
_____ 5.  Watch a video demonstrating different wraps
_____ 6.  Earn a badge from the following list:  Japanese or Korean culture; Up cycling; Textile Art; or environmental badges.
_____ 7.  Make a list of different fabric “gifts” you could repurpose for cloth wrapping, to wrap holiday or birthday gifts. (Example: a silk scarf in mom’s favorite color to wrap mom’s new novel)
_____ 8.  Go paperless for your next gift giving occasion. Teach your family how to fabric wrap and skip the giftwrap this Christmas or on your next birthday.
_____ 9.  Make a comparison chart showing the financial benefit of choosing furoshiki over wrapping paper. 
_____ 10.  Using a piece of plan fabric, decorate it using embroidery, paint, fabric pens etc. to create your own wrapping cloth and wrap something in it.
 

Frontier Girls And Its Impact On My Life

By Beth Henderson, Eagle, Pioneer in Wales, United Kingdom and auxiliary member of Troop #109 in TX.

In early 2013, something happened that would change my life forever – I joined Frontier Girls. Within short order, I had been made a member of a troop, was sent a pennant, and my life as a Pioneer began.

So what is Frontier Girls? How does it operate? And what made us choose something that is based in a foreign country?

Well, Frontier Girls is an American-based, scout-like organisation that encourages girls and young women all over the States to learn how to be prepared for living in the world around them by earning badges, learning life skills, and participating in community events. It operates similarly to a Girl Guide or Brownie program, in that members can work towards badges and awards, learn important skills and form a group of friends who can all work towards different goals.

Ever since I was born, my Mum has had a list of things that she wanted me to learn how to do, which she called her “Mum curriculum”, and the Frontier Girls’ life skills came the closest of anything to that list. We talked quite a lot with a friend of ours in the States who had two daughters in a troop, and as she told us more about it, we decided that it would be a good thing for me to join and work through.

I started working on badges, and quickly discovered that I enjoyed working on them, finding it  encouraging to work through things and achieve new awards. The first couple of years were spent in finding my feet, learning how to work through the the badges and also in figuring out how the system worked

Then, in 2016, I graduated up a level. I decided as soon as I graduated that I wanted to achieve every single high level award offered by the program.

After that, the shadowing, badgework, and research just took off. From spring 2017 on, the craziest year of my life so far began, with us deciding that we had the ability to go and visit the States for a few weeks and be there for the 10th Anniversary Troop Award Ceremony. I had just 9 to 10 months to achieve and work through 2 years worth of badges, awards, and skills. Thanks to everybody coming together and working as my support team, there were many opportunities for shadowing that I would not have had otherwise –

I got to spend a day at the NHS labs peering down microscopes looking at things like MRSA bacteria, watching how blood samples are processed, what they do with all the samples they collect from patients and how they combat epidemics of viruses like C-Difficile.  I really enjoyed learning about this – as well as getting to wear a lab coat for the day and feeling like a “scientist”!!

I was also able to spend several weeks shadowing a professional jewellery metal worker and learned how to anneal copper, make “reticulated” silver earrings, and made a copper plaque to keep as well as make a set of silver heart necklaces for my Mum and myself where the one heart sits inside the other.  The whole experience was great fun and I got to use a blow torch, lots of chemicals and a metal drill. We also did tumbling, soldering, stamping and sawing.  I loved this opportunity and if given the chance would grab it again!

Testing mics and setting up conferencing kit was different again as I helped run cables, unravel wires, clamber under tables and behind décor, hiding wires under carpets –  and yes, I did the whole “testing 1,2,3” thing.  I decided this was less my cup of tea, but enjoyed the experience anyway.

There is also a large element of volunteering service as part of the higher awards and this meant we had to find opportunities where I could do this to fulfil the different categories.  This led to a host of other activities that challenged me even more and helped me grow in confidence and ability.

We created a project using my new jewellery making skills to help our minister’s wife in Nigeria try to teach girls how to make necklaces and sell them to make a little more money for themselves.  This was huge! I had to research Nigerian colour and style tastes, source beads and other bits and then create marketable designs.  To fulfil the project criteria for Frontier Girls I also had to recruit and run a small team to help – so Mum, Dad, friends and extended family were all called on to help with costings, research and designs.

On another day I spent time on the farm where our cottage is based and was able to deliver a baby goat completely unaided as well as help with other deliveries and care for the newborn babies.  I have always helped by running and fetching, but my first solo delivery was a completely different and very special moment.

For the Art Award, I performed piano recitals for an elderly lady at church and for an elderly neighbour of my grandparents who had broken her hip – I had to design a program to play that would suit each of them and also made refreshments for the “interlude”.  I really enjoyed sharing my piano playing talent with other people.

Frontier Girls has had a huge impact on me, and I can confidently say that it has changed my life forever, and in one of the best ways possible. Frontier Girls is what has given me the ability and the confidence to be here, giving this presentation. It has pushed me to do things outside of my comfort zone and has made me more able to cope with different situations. The wide variety of the badges I have earned has given me a very diverse and varied set of knowledge and understanding of things I would probably not have had exposure to otherwise.

Being the only British member has been challenging as well, as many of the badges were written from an American point of view – I don’t think Carmarthen would take too kindly to a 14 year-old organising a flag parade, for instance!

Before Frontier Girls, I was hugely lacking in self confidence. I was extremely afraid of trying new things and would refuse to let my Mum leave me anywhere! I also really battled with trying to organise myself.

Now, I’m up here talking, my Mum is shopping, and I have done things I never would have thought possible just a few short years ago!

So what now? Well, I have graduated up to the highest level in Frontier Girls (a year early) thereby meaning that I have the opportunity to earn everything at this new level again, find new hurdles to overcome, new challenges to beat and new knowledge to learn.

So, now you can see how Frontier Girls has made me a better British citizen. And here ***unroll pennant*** is the result of everything I have done so far. Life changing? You bet!

s2Member®