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  • Writer's picturebalzaccom


Over the years we've accumulated a lot of camping equipment. We've certainly gone through a few tents, and it seems that every few years we add a couple more sleeping bags or pads to the mix. This year was no exception. Sometimes we loan these out, and we often use some of them for our company camp out. But over the years, more and more of the folks have enjoyed camping so much that they bought their own stuff. And didn't need ours.

So when we started to think about where we were going to put the new bags we got for the holidays, M laid down the law. "We need to get rid of some of this stuff!" she said, looking up at the shelves overflowing with excess equipment.

I couldn't disagree. And I was happy to take the bags to the local thrift store or the homeless shelter, in the hopes that they might get used, rather than just thrown out. We took them downstairs and put them by the door, waiting for my next trip.

Then a few days ago, I was in a business meeting and one of the women there mentioned that she was the troop leader for her daughter's Girl Scout Troop. They were just back from a trip to the woods, and had a great time.


I asked her if any of the girls could use a sleeping bag or pad, and was surprised how quickly she offered to pick them up! It turns out that lots of girls in the area would love to do more camping, and it's always a struggle for the troop to include everyone because of the limited equipment.

We were delighted. We arranged to have the scout leader pick up four sleeping bags, six sleeping pads, and a two-man tent the next day, and couldn't stop smiling about it. We loved the idea of these girls having fun in the woods with our stuff!

And when the scout leader arrived to pick up the bags, she brought more than just good will. As she left, she handed us a nice little package of the latest craft projects the girls had worked on: some terrific fire starters made with paraffin and twigs. And on top was a sweet thank you note from the girls of scout troop 3XXX1.

How cool is that? Very cool.

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