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Thread: End of an era situation

  1. #1
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    End of an era situation

    Have you been surprised by the ending of a life experience that has played a large part in your life?

    When my girls were small, I became a Girl Guide leader as one was badly needed to run the activities for those age 5 and up. I was the first leader in that community to take girls camping outdoors in a long time. It took training - a lot of management expertise to learn how to run camps, meet all the legal and health requirements which were quite stringent and manage different age groups of lively girls learning totally new activities. I loved it! I eventually became a Camp Advisor for a couple of large areas, managed the finances and maintenance of the camps under my care with a lot of help from my wonderful DH. I took 175 girls to a two-week camp where at one time the drinking water was contaminated but managed to work it all out. My kids attended these camps and I watched them progress with each camp. One became the life guard at a large camp for a couple of years gaining great and valuable experience to add to her resume.

    One small camp was sold and replaced with another but needed me attending town council meetings, coping with any opposition from neighbours but it all unfolded. Eventually my life got so busy that I stepped down from all Girl Guide roles. I learned a lot from a really well-run organization.

    Today, I found out that all those Girl Guide camps are being sold over the next couple of years. Beautiful properties! How things have changed
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

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    Well, it's not nearly as inspiring as your story, but for years I dreamed of taking my grandchildren to the Walnut Room at Marshall Fields in Chicago. I had spent many happy lunches there, taken my children there to see the tree and have lunch each Christmas, and my mother had even been there for the 1934 World's Fair to eat at the Walnut Room.

    Come to find when I was talking to my son that Fields' had been sold, the Walnut Room was gone, and there would be no fourth generation visits to the Walnut Room. Worse was my son's reaction, as he sort of harrumphed and said it was dumb to miss something that hadn't even happened yet, with children that hadn't even been born.

    Now that he is the father of two, he seems to "get it" and is all about making memories with the girls. But it won't be Christmas at the Walnut Room.

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    Tybee, I have eaten there with my mom. What a bummer.

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Well, having been Catholic for a long time, I certainly had those experiences lately as the church has been divesting assets. Due to declining enrollment, my parochial elementary school was closed. In 2007 I went to the centennial celebration of my college: a Catholic liberal arts women's college, and shortly after the reunion they announced the college's sale and closure, again, due to declining enrollment. Nothing like having no alma mater, after spending a fortune on college and graduating with a degree that now has a defunct name. (I knew I should have bucked my mother's wishes and gone to Boston College instead!)

    It's sad to see things come and go, but as they say, "to everything there is a season."
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Yes, a job ending after almost 16 years, though long before then the culture had changed from startup to corporate. There were also smaller halcyon eras at various jobs when both my boss and coworkers were good, but those never lasted more than a couple years. And my undergraduate alma mater has also closed. My longest relationship with a man (11 years together, some of them married). Ten years of activism including a failed lawsuit of over nine years that really disillusioned me about all three branches of state government. I've experienced the loss of innocence and high hopes in various areas of life.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    I was a Boy Scout in my younger days. There were a lot of outdoor activities like camping, hiking, knot tying, outdoor cookery, fire building, etc., along with the various merit badges involving community service and other skills. I have lost touch with Scout activities, bur have a general understanding that they are less focused on some of the basic outdoor skills of my days, which is sort of sad. Matter of fact it doesn't seem like scouting has much interest in general. There was a day when becoming an Eagle Scout was quite an accomplishment, demonstration of character, and even meant something on a resume well into adult life.

  7. #7
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I went to Girl Scout Camp at one of those similar facilities. It was fun!

    All kinds of social institutions are dying out. New ones are replacing them. One group that has always seemed so archaic to me, and hell I am OLD now so these must really be outdated, are the “lodges” especially popular in small towns and cities. The Masons and all of their off shoots (Rainbow Girls, Demolay, Eastern Star) and the ones like it—I just dont GET it, their purpose wnd popularity. WHY? Didnt get it 50 uears ago, don't get it now. And oh yeah, my mother’s group PEO. What the f was that about.

    I am a joiner and I join a lot of organizations, but in the title of each org is its focus. There is no guesswork. The Iris society focuses on, guess what—irises! National Garden Club focuses on, you guessed it, gardening! pEO focuses on—PEOs?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    IL, my folks were in a few of the organizations you mentioned. Most or all of them had some sort of community service purpose. The Lions Club for example had a mission to help the vision impaired. PEO stood or stands for Philanthropic Educational Organization. I think the Masons are more about non denominational moral integrity and fellowship. I'm not a joiner, but they had some value in the day, I think. Some of it was also a way for business people to network, but now that small business has been replaced with big box stores and Amazon, that function is less important. I think it is unfortunate that they are not very popular now, but a sign of the times.

  9. #9
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I see community service organizations as really on the downswing--probably because of two-income households with no time, fewer ties to the community because of relocation and commuting. I think when people in a neighborhood join stuff, its often to support their kids' interests--like Cub Scouts/Girl Scouts/Little League.

    I remember when I first moved to my NJ house--early in the school year. I walked over to pick up my kids at school and while I was standing outside waiting, I saw a woman who really looked like she owned the place--people were going up to her and asking her questions, talking to her, etc. I figured she was some neighborhood head honcho. Quickly came to find out that she had just moved there herself a couple of weeks prior. When I told her my initial impression of her, she said that she always moved around a lot as a child and young adult and one of her survival mechanisms was to throw herself into local clubs and activities. It helped her feel a sense of belonging.

    I've identified with her up here in VT--I've joined (actually helped to found) the Lakeshore Restoration Association, and also a lake environmental group, and the local resource for the aging--delivering Meals on Wheels once a week. I also reached out to the VT Master Gardeners. I don't think it will help me become a Vermonter in their eyes, but at least maybe they'll accept me more readily.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    DH, is a mason and they raise money for the Shriners hospital. The youth groups purpose is to teach kids leadership and public speaking. They also do a lot of fun activities. I find the ceremonies terribly boring but went to a bunch when my step son’s were teenagers.

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