Goodbye

PHOTO PROMPT © Anshu Bhojnagarwala

 

This time was more somber than usual.

They did the same things, of course. The flag ceremony. Dutch oven cooking. Archery.

But then there were the “lasts.” Last trip to the stables to say goodbye to the horses. Last hike around the lake. Last trip to the outdoor chapel. Last campfire.

The girls gathered around the flames and reminisced about past trips. They laughed. And cried a little, too.

After the fire died out and cooled, they scooped the ashes into little jars. One last tangible souvenir of this magic place.

Their hearts would hold the memories for a lifetime.

 

Word count: 100

Written for Friday Fictioneers, which is hosted by the lovely and talented Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Read the other 100-word nuggets of flash fiction here.

Author’s note: So, this isn’t actually fiction. This is about a recent farewell trip to our nearest Girl Scout camp which was just closed and sold. I went there as a 12 year-old back in the 80s, my first week-long sleep-away camping trip. I’ve been taking my two girls’ troops there twice a year for years. My older troop has been there so many times and actually bridged to senior scouts there in that gorgeous outdoor chapel. That place holds so many memories. I’ve watched the girls grow and try new things there. They’ve gained confidence. They have bonded. Getting children into nature and getting them away from screens is so vital. And they thrive in that environment. The sale of the camp has been a months-long battle between us troop leaders and our council board. But in the end, it was all about money and not about our girls. I hate it and I’ve shed many tears over it… but in the end, we will move on and find new experiences for our girls. They deserve that.

 

29 thoughts on “Goodbye

  1. I guessed some sort of girl’s club before I read the explanation. That moment of childhood ending and moving on is always a tough one – although I think the significance comes to mean more looking back from a distance. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is sad. Experiencing nature and bonding is so important for kids, for all of us. I hope you find a new place. At the same time, all I could think when I read this was a time my cousin laughed uncontrollably when someone mentioned “Dutch oven.”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s just a big heavy (iron?) pot with a lid – used to cook by the campfire. You make a little bed of coals next to the fire and put the pot on them and then cover the pot with more coals. We make some amazing meals that way.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is perfection. The pacing, the words and how you use them, the poignancy that is clear in each sentence… the whole thing, is just gorgeous. Love your writing style, Amie, and this story is especially lovely.

    The added info, made me cry a little. Took me back to my own girl scout experiences (which I’ve ironically just finished fleshing out, in a revision of my “novel.” Your story really touched me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. It means a lot to me that my story touched you. I’m glad that my emotion regarding my girls and this situation came through. It warms me that my piece made you reflect on your own GS experiences (and so awesome you include those experiences in your writings!). Thank you so much for your kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Brenda! It warms my heart to hear that you were a scout and loved it. I am so thankful to have the time and memories with my daughters. And we will make more memories. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

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