~shared by J. Ranner
It’s a typical off-season Friday afternoon at Woodloch. The air is cold, but the sun is shining and the winds are still. Though things appear calm, we all know that something is coming. We don’t let our guard down for one second in anticipation of what is on the horizon. No, nothing scary- actually quite the opposite: we have another weekend jam-packed with Girl Scout groups.
As they arrive in our lobby, one by one they bop along with a wonderful zest for life and warming smiles on their faces. They’re here to participate in our marquee events such as Scavenger Hunt, Winter Olympics, Cupcake Wars and more not only for the coveted gold medals but also for customized Woodloch badges that will soon be stitched on their sashes. Needless to say, their presence is always known- their enthusiasm and laughter buzz like a nest of honeybees wherever they travel off to.
And of course, THE COOKIES. They always seem to have them in close reach. For years, our scout groups would have some extra boxes here and there and simply leave them with staff as a “thank you” for a fun weekend (or perhaps as an underhand attempt at gaining a few more points for Scavenger Hunt… but who are we to judge?). Thin mints became a staple in our break rooms.
As Woodloch employees, however, fresh baked goods are never really out of our reach- extra breads from the bakery are often left up for grabs to those who need it. As sweet of a gesture as it may be, the treats could be put to a better use. And those thoughts led to the creation of our annual “OPERATION COOKIE DROP.”
Throughout the winter months, each visiting Girl Scout will be given the opportunity to donate a box of Girl Scout cookies into our special “Drop Crate” located in our Main Lobby. Upon doing so, they receive a special gift from Woodloch as a “thank you.” At the end of the season, every last Caramel DeLite, Shortbread, Peanut Butter Pattie and everything in between will be shipped overseas to the brave men and women serving in our armed forces. Everyone is invited to drop hand-written letters into our mailbox for the soldiers as well.
I’m a firm believer in “little things”- when all is said and done, they end up really being the “BIG THINGS” after all. In this case, it’s not just a cookie that a soldier is receiving.
The cookies are a warm and happy reminder of home, bringing comfort to those who are clearly in an uncomfortable place.
They’re a reminder to our protectors of exactly what they’re protecting.
“They’re a small token of gratitude… but it’s a great way for all of us to start,” says Joey Ranner, Activities Director. “I have to smile every time we start initiatives like this- our guests (Scouts and non-scouts alike) spring into action and share that Woodloch warmth with others. Our collaboration collected well over 1,000 boxes of cookies for troops last year. Watching a plan unfold firsthand reminds me of how fortunate I am to work with such good company.”
If you’ve happened to outgrow your berets and would still like to help, fear not: all of our guests are free to write letters in our lobby and purchase cookies for the cause.