Sweet Determination


Before barely allowing me to get the words out in a sweet, cheerful voice, “Would you like to buy some Camp Fire mints?” the woman grumbled while slamming the door in my face. Hurrying back to the car, as a very young girl, I explained to my father that she must have just been having a bad day. I wasn’t a bit bothered by her need to take her crankiness out on me—the cutest little Bluebird. Instead looking up at my daddy with the pure innocence of a child I stated confidently, “I will try again tomorrow.”

The next day I did go back to her door and this time the outcome was much different. Yes, I was tickled. She bought a box of delicious chocolate mint patties from me. Either I won her over with my determination or even more it was my undying faith in mankind. My wonderful marketing skills had paid off. That year I was the youngest Bluebird in Campfire Girls to sell the most candy.

I was thrilled at my accomplishment — I had earned several free weeks at camp. Some of my fondest memories were while at camp. My parents were older and spent a great deal of time traveling for pleasure without me while I was growing up. Camp, a part of my parents’ great-getaway-plan, was delightfully my refuge. I loved singing around the campfire, performing skits after meals, and being comforted by the twinkling starry sky I called a nightlight as we slept outdoors.

After all the wonderful experiences I’d had as a camper, I still distinctly recall this one particular time had more significance than the rest. Calling my parents from the Camp Director’s private telephone, I hinted that I really missed them after just a few short weeks. Sniffling, “No, I am not homesick,” I answered with a little trepidation as if I were trying to convince myself otherwise. I don’t remember if I managed to stay all the weeks or had to leave early. However, I do know it was my camp counselors and the many older, more-seasoned Camp Fire Girls at Camp Maacama in Healdsburg, California that were wonderful encouragers in helping me survive such a long time away from home as the Bluebird with the great sales abilities. It was the most rewarding and adventurous summer of my young life. I believe I am a true inspiration to others that slamming the door in one’s face doesn’t necessarily mean a definite, “No.”

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