Monday, November 12, 2018

11.12.18 It's about more than cookies

Being a Girl Scout has been part of my life for almost 50 years.

Fun fact: more than half of the women elected to the 116th Congress were Girl Scouts.

For me, it started as a Brownie, in elementary school (that's me in the third row, in my uniform). I was a troop leader and a cookie mom for years while my daughter was involved in scouting.

I was really delighted when earlier this year, not one, but two local troops asked me to come spend an afternoon and help them earn their jewelry badges.

I took my roll of hand tools, my saw, and some pendants - both finished and unfinished - and spent part of an afternoon talking to them about the art and skill involved in metalsmithing.

They were good listeners, asked great questions and reminded me how eager young people are to learn - especially when you make the teaching relevant.

We talked about the history of jewelry, and that many metal techniques have been around for thousands of years...some of them have changed very little (lost wax casting, for example) and others have been modernized and automated (the use of CAD and 3D printing in design).

I spent some time on stones, too. I explained the difference between precious and semi precious designations; geography and the impacts of mining; that I don't cut my own stones, but rely on lapidary artists for the beautiful cabochons I use.

Not only was it fun, and a little nostalgic, to hang out with these girls and their moms - but it made me think about how important it is to remind our kids (and ourselves) that there is value in creating things that make us happy.

I hope this post will inspire you to do something you enjoy - and find time to you share it with a young person in your life.

Until next time.

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