Wildlife Festival

I went into volunteering for the Wildlife Festival this past weekend with  great trepidation. I felt entirely unprepared for it, especially since pretty much no one in our Service Unit volunteered to help (except for five girls from my troop, and the SUM’s daughter). The woman who usually does it had to go out of town. Oh, and it was windy and rainy on Saturday, and blustery, cold, and sunny on Sunday.

After locating my tent, I set up my measly stack of supplies. Notecards for kids to decorate and the scout scavenger hunt paperwork was fairly minimal compared to the awesomeness of the Boy Scout’s fish bowl toss set up at the other two tables in the tent. I can admit to myself that my idea for the notecards was on the lame side, but it seemed like a neat idea at the time. (We sold 9 of them, for the record.)

Since I am good at working myself up into a lather, I vented to one of my parents about the level of restrictions placed on Girl Scouts regarding fundraisers. Sometimes it feels like they’re trying to funnel everything into their darn cookies. The lather turned out to be a good thing in that I remembered my mom had emailed me the recipe for the Original Girl Scout Cookie from 1922. When the girls had to bake, package, and market/sell them by their little lonesomes.

That night, I scrubbed down my kitchen and prepped and/or made 3 batches of cookies. I must have rolled them out thinner than I should have because I ended up with 130 cookies vs 108 (3 doz per batch). Regardless, they were yummy.

Bean packed four a piece into cellophane bags and stuck a “The Original Girl Scout Cookie” label on each one. I tied them up with a metallic green cord. They were priced at $1 per bag, and between the Pack we were sharing the tent with and one of my Brownie’s awesome sales skills, we sold out. And to top it off, I received the green light to sell a piece of GS history next year. More than one person commented on how neat it was that the girls used to have to bake their own cookies. That and how amazingly tasty cookies from 1922 were. I told them I had awesome preservation techniques.

If you attempt to bake these cookies, I highly recommend letting the dough sit overnight in the fridge. They’ll still be sticky, but not unbearably so. Also, don’t be shy about the amount of flour you slap around on the rolling board and actual dough. To cut the cookies, I used a 2″ circular biscuit cutter. I also was out of parchment paper so I sprayed the heck out of my baking sheets (no sticking problems).

Ideas for next year, in bullets:
*make really huge sign that can be attached to the table (for some reason, all I was given were several 18″x24″ posters, which aren’t practical when your tent faces head-on into gusting wind)
*have easel-style sign to place outside of tent blatantly advertising both the scout scavenger hunt and my totally awesome Original Girl Scout Cookies (I had multiple scouts/parents complain about the fact that the sheet for the hunt was not at the entrance of the festival, plus, it was not obvious at all to a walker-by that I was the handing out sheets and patches)
*sell my totally awesome Original Girl Scout Cookies (they were a hit, and even though I winged it, it does fit within the guidelines for acceptable fundraising)

I went into this weekend wanting to wash my hands of ever doing it again, and walked away already planning what I want to do for next year.

And as an absolutely amazing bonus, we were invited by the Pack to join them on a tour of the Air Force Base on Columbus Day! I wanted to set one up for my troop through Public Affairs, but their tours are fairly blah. Because the Pack Leader works on base, he pulled in his connections for what sounds like a very neat experience. Especially since the helicopter pilot who will be there is a woman. I’m sure it helped that I volunteered my husband to be one of the stops on the tour. Being EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), he has some fun toys.

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