Storm Song

Hey, guys! In my scouting program, American Heritage Girls, I’m currently trying to earn my Freshwater and Marine Biology Badge. And let me tell you, it is HARD. But my favorite requirement so far was definitely the one that allowed me to write a short story!

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via

Storm Song

A young man was aroused late at night by the storm raging outside his beach house. He tried to go back to sleep, but the din of the waves wouldn’t allow it. Finally, restless, he climbed out of bed and padded across the carpet to the window that faced the sea. Black clouds crowded the sky, and the darkness was pierced periodically by splinters of lightning. The agitated ocean churned and frothed. And in the gloom, the young man spotted something moving in the surf: a shadow dancing on the waves.

            The tumult caused by the storm suddenly increased tenfold. It was all he could hear: howling wind, rolling thunder, shifting tide. Mixed in with the uproar was a fair voice, singing an alluring melody. The song whisked through his mind until it was all he could think about.

            The young man’s feet stumbled toward the door. He burst into the tempest. The freezing rain soaked through his clothes and skin, until he was trembling uncontrollably, but the man staggered on. He had to find the singer. He stood on the beach, letting the wet sand squish up between his toes. “Where are you?” he cried frantically. Desperate tears streaked his cheeks.

A shadow drifted toward him, walking through the shallows. It seemed to almost float above the water. The song became deafening, and the man knew: the shadow was singing.

The swirling sky above parted just enough to let a beam of moonlight slice through the night. It illuminated the shadow, and the young man could finally see: it was a woman, with jet black hair. Her tresses formed a curtain over her face and trailed in the water at her feet.

The woman pushed her hair out of her face. She had ethereal beauty: porcelain skin, bottle-green eyes, high cheekbones, and delicate features. In a silvery voice, she said, “I am De Marea.”

The man wobbled toward her, his hands outstretched. The woman gave him a thin smile, and a great wave reared up behind her. It crashed over them, leaving De Marea unharmed, but sweeping the young man to his death.

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I had a fun time writing that. ☺ And I made up De Marea, just so you know.

Loren

AHG Summer Award Ceremony

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My American Heritage Girls troop’s first meeting was about a week ago. There was a summer award ceremony and a crossover ceremony.

An award ceremony essential: a cute way to present badges. As the internet yielded no ideas that really clicked, I came up with my own presentation. Since several of the girls in the troop went to AHG camp this summer, I suggested that we present the awards on little paper tents.

To make the tent, draw the shape on a piece of colored paper (I filled the whole sheet with one tent). Draw the opening of the tent with Sharpie. Attach the badges with tape. I put Service Stars on the tent flaps, and badges and Fun Patches on the main body.

Loren

AHG Summer Camp

 This summer, I was able to go to a week-long camp for my scouting program, AHG. The camp had about forty girls, most of which were from various parts of my state, though there were a few girls from other states.

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When we arrived at camp on Sunday, we checked in, then went to pick our tents in one of the camp grounds. The floor was dirty, spider crickets and other bugs found their way in daily, but the tent felt homey by the end of the week. My best friend Izzy and I slept in the tent above, while our moms, the leaders of our Unit, slept in a tent that they brought.

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The Dining Hall was a busy, loud place. We went to it three times a day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which were all surprisingly good, considering that it was camp food.

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We did the flag ceremony twice a day.

The camp offered several badge options each day. You chose beforehand which badges you wanted to do.

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My friend Alita from NC.

On Monday, I took Photography. A professional wedding photographer came in to teach the class. She had us take pictures in the Dining Hall, pick our three favorites, and then the class would critique the photos. She talked about her job and showed us her website. Then we paired up and took pictures of each other, which I wasn’t too excited about, since I’m camera shy.

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On Tuesday, I had Archery. The teacher, a kind old man named Brent, said he had been teaching archery to scouts for seven years. We learned the parts of the bow, but spent most of the day firing arrows at the targets. I hit the bulls eye several times! By the end of the day, my fingers hurt from pulling back the bowstring so many times, but it was worth it.

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Wednesday brought Canoeing, one of the toughest badges I did that week. We spent all day out on the lake, learning the parts of the canoe and the different strokes. My favorite part of that class was when we got to capsize the canoes. The cool water was refreshing, after baking in the sun for hours. But doing canoe rescues — specifically the T Rescue — was really hard. Maybe it was because the canoe I shared with Izzy kept rolling over in the water; it wouldn’t stay capsized. Maybe it was because a fish bit me while I was in the water.

A cool thing about the lake was the freshwater jellyfish! They were tiny, and resembled contact lenses with tentacles. The jellies didn’t sting, so I scooped some up in my hands and watched them swim around. If you don’t know what freshwater jellyfish look like, look it up on the Internet. They’re pretty cool.

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Thursday brought Emergency Preparedness, the last class of the week. The camp’s EMT taught it, and she showed us how to splint broken arms, make a stretcher, deal with heat stroke, shock, hypothermia, and more. We spent about three hours learning CPR, which was a bit boring and really hard. We watched a CPR video by the American Heart Association and practiced on dummies. Now I’m certified at CPR!

My favorite part of the class was learning self defense from a taekwondo master.

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Thursday night was the Dutch Oven Cook-Off. Every troop made a dessert. Izzy and I made a soupy s’more-like thing.

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On Friday, I went on an all-day canoeing trip down a river. I sat in the middle of the boat for part of the trip, which was unpleasant because all the water in the canoe puddled around me. Everyone got tans and/or sunburns. That night was the campfire; my friends and I did several skits and a song.

Everyone brought blank T-shirts to silk-screen the camp’s logo onto. On Saturday morning, when the T-shirts were dry, I got lots of campers to sign my shirt!

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For the Our Feathered Friends badge (which I didn’t do), macaws and other exotic birds were brought in. My friends and I went to look at them during lunch.

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Look at how many different colors are on this bird!

I was allowed to hold a bird, which I wasn’t too thrilled about. It was giving me the evil eye.

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My friend Emily with a macaw on her shoulder. She looks like a pirate!

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Although it rained a lot, it was in the 90s all week, and bugs were everywhere, I had a great time at summer camp. I earned a total of five badges: Photography, Archery, Canoeing, Emergency Preparedness, and Bible Basics — a group of girls earned that one during free time. I made a bunch of new friends and hope to go to camp again next year.

Loren

Ponyo Movie Review

For AHG’s Creative Writing badge, I have to write a review of a movie. I chose . . . PONYO.

Image result for ponyo film poster

via movieposter.com

Ponyo Movie Review

I saw this movie at the library and I thought, Hey, this is by Ghibli Film — they made My Neighbor Totoro, right? (Did not actually see that movie, but whatever.) I was expecting it to be a cute little movie about that red thing on the cover. The DVD case said something about it being based on The Little Mermaid Maybe there will be mermaids in Ponyo! I hoped eagerly.

Let me tell you everything wrong with this movie. One, what the heck is Ponyo? The little boy in the movie, Sosuke, says that she is a goldish, and only one person in the entire movie seems to realize that she has a human-like face???

It’s never explained what Ponyo is, why she has so many siblings, why they are all trapped inside a bubble deep down in the ocean, and why her father (who has long hair, tacky style, and wears makeup) is evil.

The only character I liked in the entire movie is Sosuke’s mom, Lisa (though why her name is Lisa and her son’s is Sosuke, I will never know). She was very realistic, what with getting so angry at her husband and all that.

OK, basic plot summary: little fishy friend Ponyo gets swept up onto shore and is captured by our lil’ man Sosuke. Ponyo’s dad sends evil water blobs to capture her; eventually, Dad takes her back to their undersea bubble home. She says that she wants to go back to Sosuke because she loves him; when Dad says “No way, hun,” she sprouts chicken legs and arms and tries to run away. Dad imprisons her and then leaves. Ponyo and her numerous siblings (who all look exactly the same) break out of their fish tank-like home. Ponyo touches some forbidden magic elixir, her siblings turn into giant fish and they flood the mainland! Fun!

Ponyo is reunited with Sosuke; his mom drives to her job to care for elderly people, leaving her son and the strange chicken girl alone during a tsunami (good parenting, Lisa!). The next day, when Lisa doesn’t return, Ponyo uses magic to make Sosuke’s toy boat bigger, and they use it to sail to Lisa’s job.

Now, I’ve got to admit, the animated ocean life was very pretty. Good job on that part, Ghibli Film.

When Ponyo and Sosuke reach Lisa’s work, everyone is gone! Turns out they have all been kidnapped by Ponyo’s makeup-wearing dad and are being kept in a bubble cell in the ocean. But they all really like it there, for some reason?? So the dad kidnaps Sosuke and Ponyo, too.

Down in the bubble, Lisa is talking to Ponyo’s mom, a gigantic glowy lady who is apparently the goddess of mercy. They seem to have made a deal that if Sosuke promises to love Ponyo forever and ever, the little fish girl will turn into a human (but she’ll lose her magic. I think it’s a terrible deal.). Sosuke agrees for some reason, Ponyo kisses him (even though they’re five???), and that’s basically the whole movie.

I don’t understand why this movie was made! It was bizarre! Ponyo the chicken girl was terrifying! Maybe if I knew more about Japanese folklore (though I do know about senpai and otakus, so I’m not completely useless), I’d know who Ponyo’s mom and dad were, but honestly? FREAKING WEIRD MOVIE, SOMEONE PLEASE BURN IT.

Amen.

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If it’s not obvious . . . I did not like Ponyo. :)

Loren

AHG Memes

I’m working on the Internet Adventure badge for American Heritage Girls. I had to create AHG-inspired memes, and this is what I made:

you get a fun patch meme

Fun patches for camping, fishing, ice skating — everything.

creed song

WHY DID YOU TEACH US THAT SONG, MOM?! NO ONE LIKES IT.

badges

skit

bird badge

“Um, are — are you sure that is correct, Mrs. W.?”

award ceremony

Two years in a row, and going strong!

I’M NOT GOOD AT MAKING MEMES, OK? I’VE NEVER DONE IT BEFORE. (But my mom thinks they’re hilarious, so idk.)

Loren

American Heritage Girls Award Ceremony

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About a month ago, my American Heritage Girls troop had an award ceremony. My mom, who is the troop coordinator (not sure what that means but I’m too lazy to figure it out), was trying to come up with a cool way of presenting the awards. She was leaning towards taping them onto pencils and tying ribbons on the tips, like a wand, which I thought was a horrible idea. I decided to take action and suggested that she stick the awards onto notebooks.

It was back-to-school time when this took place, so you could get notebooks at Target for like fifty cents each or something like that. They were boring notebooks — plain and ugly — so scrapbook paper was glued to the covers.

My mom used painter’s tape to attach the badges to the notebooks. The painter’s tape held the badges on nicely, and they were easy to pull off. To finish it off, Mom wrote the names of the girls on mailing labels and stuck them to the bottom corner of the notebooks.

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We added a pen and the notebooks were ready! The notebook above is mine — I don’t mean to brag, but I got the most awards out of everybody that night. ☺ Nine badges total!

Are you in AHG or some other scouting group?

~Loren