ChellBell is six now, and when the doors to the first grade opened , the doors of ExtraCurricular Over-Involvement opened as well. Her weekly schedule involves two dance classes, cheerleading practice, and Brownies ("Brownie Scouts" as it has come to be known at our house). I had to decline her recent requests for a "vocal coach" (amusing, isn't it) and piano lessons, because these involve practice, and I don't know when we would fit that into our calendar. Self-admittedly, the over-involvement is my fault, but oh the guilt of not letting ChellBell go to cheerleading when there is a high probability that come time for a career choice, it could be down the professional cheerleading avenue -- would you want to be the one to squelch her dreams? Me either.
The one activity for which I am actually grateful is Brownies. It's like being a part of the bedrock of American culture, where they still vow to "serve God and my country". I remember my own brown beanie days like they were just yesterday, and ChellBell and I have had fun singing the Make New Friends song over and over (and over) again. The only thing about BrownieScouts that makes me a tad nervous is the discussion of an all-troop camp-out. Not being a camper myself (as Chris says about me, "it's camping if there's not a mint on her pillow"), the idea of going into the woods for survival training seems a bit unnecessary.
We have to ask, what exactly is "survival" in this day and age? What is the likelihood that we will be in a remote area rubbing sticks together to make fire and locating a stream to fill our canteens? Wouldn't you just dial the closest person on your cell phone or SMS a friend requesting a bottled water and some matches? Perhaps the idea of "survival" needs a facelift, a shift into the modern world if you will. Most definitely, we all need to be resourceful, but in a world of unrelinquishing connectivity, what tactics of resourcefulness should the BrownieScouts of the new generation be equipped with?
My idea of survival involves learning how to MapQuest directions to the nearest SuperWalmart if you are in an unfamiliar location. It's open 24 hours, and you can get an oil change, buy swim shoes, and pick up a pound of ground beef all at the same location.
Survival is being able to Google a Child's WonderWoman costume and overnight it to your house on Christmas Eve so that Santa doesn't end up being a total loser to the child who changes her Christmas Wish List two days before the Holiday.
Survival is having CrazyGlue on hand. It will fix an acrylic nail, put a heel back on a shoe, and fix, say, a broken vase when you accidentally break it at your sister's house and it is her favorite and she is upstairs and you panicked and needed a quick fix so she doesn't hate you.
Survival is having the #3 option after leaving a voicemail, where you can delete it and start over if you sounded like a complete moron.
So maybe these survival tactics aren't earth-shattering, but I've certainly been saved more times by these than by keeping flint on hand. But I do always keep some beef jerky and a box of GirlScout cookies in the car just in case...
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