Sunday, May 29, 2011

Scouting is a World of Friends

Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and the early start to the "rainy season", That is what the weekend held. Because of cancellations of activities after the earthquake, everything got tossed into the pot and the former Cub Scout Family Camping was stretched to include American and Japanese Boy Scouts as well as Girl Scouts. Friday night I set up the craft area and spent the hours until bedtime preparing for ten craft sessions. The craft planned for the cubs was not suitable for Girl Scouts and the older Scouts so there was a hurried cutting of leather for those participants to make wrist bands.

Stations were set up with stamps for letters and numbers as well as decorative stamps, snap-setting station, dying and finishing stations. I went to my sleeping bag thinking all was ready. Alas, during the night came the soft pitter patter of rain. Well, rain is fine for the big guys but Cubs and siblings and Moms and Dads... not too great.

In the morning I got the final count and schedule for the day. We raised the flags in a light mist and set off to the craft area. (or what had been planned as the craft area) I must say there are very few buildings where one can get out of the rain and suddenly there was some kind of a tent building activity squeezed into the craft room as well. Now imagine groups of 15 to 20 kids hammering away on leather and Scout leaders shouting out orders on tent building. Add to that parents yakking and others joining the melee to get in a dry place. Nikko checked out the situation and opted for the space under the finishing table where there would be no hammering. One lucky factor was that I got the world's greatest assistant, a fellow teacher of all age levels, crafty as the day is long and fluent in Japanese. It was a long day but we survived. Well, the patch they issued said "Family Camp Survivoree". No picture but that was truer than fiction.

After dinner we gathered in the light rain to enjoy the campfire. Leading the opening song didn't do a whole lot for my voice but there was still a bit left at the end for the quilt presentation. At the start I told about my friendship quilt and collecting the signatures of friends at various Scouting events, the Scouts from over 60 countries and all of the States. Although I have many signatures from top Scouters, the signature I told them about was one of my former Cubs and Scouts who had signed his name, the date, and "Friends Forever". Nearly 20 years have passed but we are still friends and "Forever" is a long time.

I quoted part of the poem that begins, "I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you". and asked them to think about the friends that bring out the best in them. I also asked them to think about what kind of a friend they were to others

At the end I brought out the wedding quilt as a celebration of friendship and presented it to the couple who had worked so hard and long to put on that event, whom I had known through Scouting long before they even knew each other, and were unselfish in their love and devotion to the welfare of others.
When I left in the evening they were still reading and commenting on the messages written on the leaves. I gave them a sign-pen so they could add more signatures to the blank leaves. I feel very happy I could make the presentation and grateful to those of you who sent words of encouragement.

The pictures here are details of the Scout Friendship quilt. The reverse side has neckerchiefs from many of the events where I collected signatures.

The center has the World Crest with the words, Scouting is a world of friends, quilted around.

I embroidered a few Scout emblems from different countries. The USA and Japan were the most complicated and in order to get the details I had to use only one strand of embroidery thread.

Well, the rainy season that usually begins in mid June got off to an early start and below is the reason why!!! Honestly, why would someone select a design for a T-shirt for Cub camp with thunder clouds and lightening?? It sure looks to me like someone was tempting fate! "Extreme Cub Camps"?? The edge of a typhoon? Maybe we were luckier than we deserved.

Sunday morning, off to choir, but after shouting above the noise all day and leading songs I had very little voice left .


  1. What a fantastic event. Well done for your public speaking abilities and what you had to say was really worthy. Seems to me that it was a huge success. Wow, what a wonderful gift!

  2. Oh this is such a lovely post, dear Julie, so moving and full of friendship ! THANKS for that, my friend ;>)
    I've been away from my laptop lately, so I still have to catch up with your latest posts. Can't wait for reading them, as soon as I can...
    Enjoy some quiet moments now (and rest your voice ;>)
    Heartful thoughts and XOXOXOXOXO

  3. This quilt is a true testament to friendship--signatures from 60 countries might be some kind of record! Glad you were happy with your speech. I wasn't worried :-)

  4. What a beautiful quilt and wonderful post, Julie! I miss the days when my boy was in Scouting.


  5. What a great quilt. Sorry about the rain. At least there wasn't any seriously bad weather.

  6. I know it was chaotic and even a bit frustrating at times but I can tell that you had a wonderful time. :) The quilt is, of course, a treat to see and hear about and I know that the happy couple was thrilled. What a fun time they will have years from now going back and rereading all those signatures. You didn't just talk about friendship, you modeled it. blessings, marlene

  7. I like the idea of crawling under the table with Nikko. Julie, I didn't think anyone else knew that poem - "I love you, not..." So glad you got to do the quilt presentation, despite the weather. In today's weather it would be great to sit with a quilt in progress in your lap!

  8. What a gift you give to the world of scouting! And a fantastic quilt gift for your friends as well.

  9. I can't help but see how your life is one of service to others, truly beautiful. I love your work shown over recent blogs and especially the Lucy Boston inspired quilt. She was a remarkable lady who lived in an ancient house. This and patchwork references appear in her Green Knowe series of books. I have been lucky enough to be shown round the house and view the patchworks by DIL Diana Boston with QG members. - Mary aka Quayquilter

  10. A friendship quilt ....this is really amazing and I think a blessing to all those who encounter it. Your loving stitches, all those signatures..such a treat, a true blessing of what is in your heart

  11. wow... friendship quilt... that is great.

  12. All the works are so beautiful Julie!


    Have a lovely week! Sandra xx