Here’s one that I’ve never forgotten. Here’s the scene: I’m a little girl living in Hawaii. I am a Brownie, and kids from all the other islands are flying over to my island for a jamboree. My parents drop me off at the venue, which is a football field in another town, about 15 miles from home. The jamboree is a blast-everything a young Brownie or Girl Scout would love. The problem occurred after the event ended. It’s over, and the kids from the other islands all pile into their buses to go wherever they are going. Parents are picking up their children from my troop, but my parents haven’t shown up yet. Apparently the jamboree ended a little earlier than expected or my parents were running a few minutes late-I don’t know which. So, there I am in the parking lot in this unfamiliar town in my little Brownie uniform. All alone. Yes-that’s correct. My troop leader left me there unattended. She told me just to wait and she was sure my parents would be along shortly. Is it just me, or do you think she should have waited with me until she knew I was safely with my parents? I did then and I do now.
Being a dumb kid, I waited for a few minutes but then decided I might as well try walking home. I was scared and I remember I was crying. I started walking and probably got a mile or so down the road when I ran across an old man mowing his lawn. He stopped me and asked if I was alright. I told him what happened and told him where I was going and asked him if I was going in the right direction. He was shocked! He called for his wife and told her about it. Luckily these were kindly people and not perverts! They gave me a cola and called my parents, who by now were frantic with worry…in the interim, they had shown up and found that I wasn’t there and no one else was either. Mom was home staying by the phone and dad was out looking for me. This kind couple got directions from my mom and actually drove me home. We got there right about the same time as my dad, who was absolutely frantic (remember, he’d been out looking for me and didn’t know I’d been “found”). Needless to say, my parents were extremely grateful and all’s well that ends well, right?
Well, except for one thing. My quiet, calm, super-polite mother lost it. She has never told me exactly what happened but she went to that troop leader’s house and made some sort of scene. All I know is that mom was the new troop leader and remained so until I finished with scouting.
I agree my mom & dad should have been on time, but come one-who leaves a little kid alone in a strange town? This woman was supposed to be responsible for all of the kids in her troop and she should have stayed with me or at least found a phone somewhere to check up on my parents and make sure they were on their way. I’m fortunate that the couple that helped me were so kind…when you think of the things some people do to unattended little girls, I could have become a statistic. It gives me chills to think about sometimes. 0111-11