Archive | March 4, 2013

Highland Games v Irish Faire

I cannot for the life of me figure out why there are such differences between Highland Games and the Irish Faires here. Stone of Destiny wrote about going to an Irish Faire in TX and it started me thinking.

There are many Highland Games in Southern California running from the first one of the year at the Queen Mary down in Long Beach and it’s by far the most expensive one to attend even though it’s one of the smallest. And the last one of the year in October on the beach in Ventura called the Seaside Games. The main of the year used to be called the Highland Games then it was the Scottish Gathering but they changed the name to Scotsfest for some goddess forsaken reason. It’s still the Games as far as I’m concerned.

There is one Irish Faire and it’s this weekend at the Pomona Fairplex.

The Highland Games have a completely different energy. Most people are in some form of Highland garb even if it’s as little as a plaid over the shoulder. The people attending the Irish Faire and the Highland Games are mostly from the same groups of people. You see very fair skinned people at both and a lot of red or blond hair. I will say that the Irish Faire usually has a booth from the American Cancer Society handing out free sun screen. Something I have yet to see at a Highland Games and they should have one.

But the events are very different. Only the dancers and pipers and the people in the Renaissance era Irish Village are in garb at the Irish Faire. At the Highland Games the things being sold are mostly Scottish goods, food, things for the home and things for kids. Scottish clothing is big. There are usually at least three if not more places you can buy a kilt. There are very few non-Scottish booths. There are no putrid green fountains. The Irish Faire has a lot of kiss me I’m Irish t-shirts and booths for buying a hoy tub and other more average Fair booths. And there are a lot more drunk people at the Irish Faire even though you can buy stout and uisge beatha at the Highland Games.

It’s mostly the same genetic stock so why are the two sets of events so wildly different? Is it because the Scots events are more clan and family oriented? The Highland Games always has a booth from every large clan and most small ones. Is it because there is a clan march with people walking with all the other people of their particular ancestry and it readily identifiable because you are in your clans tartan. People know where you come from if you act badly. You are accountable to your clan if you are wearing it and people know who you are. Most of Irish faire people are in jeans and t-shirts and pretty anonymous.

Is it the difference between a lot of Catholics who seem to be looser at parties than a bunch of Presbyterian Scots? Is it because I’ve been going to Highland Games since pre-birth and the Irish farie only as an adult. I have no clue. I know I’m much more comfortable at a Highland Games. I’ve been to them all over and they are virtually the same and I know if I go to the MacFarlane tent anywhere in the world at any Games I will see someone I know even if I went to one in GA or one all the way in Australia I may see a MacFarlane I know.

I walk in the Irish Faire and unless I find old Ren Faire friends or they have imported the pipe band from the Highland Games I won’t see any one I know.

I have no idea why they are different but they are and I have to say I’m partial to the Highland Games.

My hero

I have to admit I have a crush on a dead woman. If there is anyone in history that I would have liked to have met it would be Juliette Gordon Low. Better known to most Girl Scouts as Daisy and the reason we have camp names in Girl Scouts.

What that lovely bio doesn’t say is that the money used to start Girl Scouting came from contesting the will of her husband which left all his money to his mistress since he died during the divorce proceedings. Something that was just not done in those days.

One of the first GS troops was a troop for deaf girls because she saw no reason girls with disabilities shouldn’t be able to participate. She knew deafness hadn’t stopped her so it shouldn’t stop anyone.

She used to turn off her hearing aids when she was fund raising so she couldn’t hear people say ‘No’ so they invariably ended up saying ‘yes’ to her instead.

I willing to bet that if she was around now she’d be the fastest ASL signer around and insist that you speak to her in sign and not by spoken word.

Every girl that comes out of the GS program is a testament to her strength of conviction that girls and women could do anything they wanted to do. I think she would be proud of her Scouts who are CEOs and Astronauts, writers, stateswomen, scientists and moms. All with a vision of what women can be when they have a dream.

Someday, I’m going to get to go to Savannah and visit her birthplace.

For some famous former Girl Scouts

I want to try the tie and leaf


we have sad news on our front. Our traditional Egg day has been postponed. Mom started the tradition years ago with her dear friend J who happens to be Ukrainian. Sadly J had to fly to the east coast to take care of her mother whose health was not well. Her Mother does seem to be doing better which is great news and so postponing Egg day, doesn’t seem so bad. 

On the other hand I thought I still might invite a few people over and we can try dying eggs in non Ukraine ways. So I have been looking around at other ways to dye eggs.

There is the tie option

Source: via Poppy on Pinterest

Or one that I think looks very fun the leaf/ plant option.

Source: via Poppy on Pinterest

of course those can be made to be any color.

Source: via Kristen Jill on Pinterest

By the…

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Yes, I’m still a Girl Scout

Spent most of Saturday opening a new chapter in my Girl Scouting life. I got asked to be on the Council’s Property Strategic Planning committee. This is going to be hard because the Committee’s job is to look at all the properties and recommend any new properties that are needed and to recommend which properties may need to be sold. Our council is a new council because they made all the councils in the area merge into one huge council. Something I still think was stupid because the populations of the councils were so diverse and had wildly different economic bases. Although my old council did too. We used to go from El Monte and Montebello north to La Caňada and La Crescenta and from Glendale on the west to Monrovia on the east. Now cover 4 counties with part of Ventura, Kern Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Angeles Girl Scout Council, Girl Scout Council of Greater Long Beach, Girl Scouts – Joshua Tree Council (southeastern portion), Girl Scouts – Mt. Wilson Vista Council, Girl Scouts – Spanish Trails Council, and Girl Scouts of the San Fernando Valley became Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles (GSGLA).

So now we have 22 properties to look at and make decisions about. I know we need some type of program centers out in areas like Antelope Valley and from Malibu down to Long Beach because they’re just aren’t any but it will mean probably getting rid of some places where councils had more or getting rid of a camp which would just break my heart. We are now the 6th largest GS Council in the US which makes me wonder what the top 5 are. They must be huge. And we are the fastest growing council for girl members in the US. Our goal is 50k members by 2015. We have over 40K now.

I’m on the Program part. There are three sub committees, Property, Program and Marketing & Research. Program in some ways is the most important because if the Program and the sites don’t serve the girls then there is no point at all. Kind of a scary responsibility because I saw first hand when I was a GS professional how much a community can hurt when they have to lose their local Scout House. Two of my communities lost their Scout Houses when I was first a Field Executive and they were furious and hurt and rebellious and I was the face of the council they saw at every field unit meeting. It didn’t matter that most of them had met me as a volunteer and a troop leader. I was now the council and had to bear the brunt of their anger. It was not fun. And it didn’t matter that one of the properties was a WWII Quonset hut that was falling down and the wind blew through and was bloody cold even in a Southern California winter and that was definitely not up to code or GS Safety-wise standards or that the other one had a roaring termite problem. They were their community homes and had served generations of girls. They were their Home! And it really, really hurt.

I also remember how angry I was when Singing Pines got sold and how heart broken all the old staff was.

So this is going to be a very delicate job and I’m scaring myself now.