By Isabel P. Girl Reporter
When the girls first entered, most of them looked shy and nervous. But once the cooking started, they opened up like a jar of fresh jam.
“Ms. E,” known to non-Girl Scouts as Elizabeth Locke-Thomas, Executive Vice President of the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council, has been honing her jam-making skills for years and it was a true treat when the VP shared her kitchen secrets. Ms. E offered two jam making classes, both at the Burrage Mansion in Redlands and Spring Valley Community Center in Victorville, Ca. In this class, girls learned how to make old-fashioned jams perfect for spreading on fresh breads or mixing into their morning yogurt.
The first thing the Girl Scouts learned was how to properly prepare for the dish. (“Be prepared” is, after all, the Girl Scout motto.) First they learned to always boil the jars and lids before filling them with any Jam. Next, they were taught how to properly hold and cut the fruit, but before the girls did any cutting, Ms. E gave them a quick and thorough lesson on knife safety. Making sure that they learned how to pass the knife to each other and be “kitchen wise.”
The girls learned that it takes a specific amount of sugar and fruit to make the jam taste good. So they learned that to make sweet, delicious jam it was important to work as carefully as scientists in a lab to add just the right amount.
In true Girl Scout fashion, the young ladies took turns stirring the fruit and as they waited for the jams to cook, one of the shy girls started to softly sing a camp song. One by one everyone joined in and before long the group was singing and laughing and having a great time.
As the class progressed, many of the girls opened up from being shy and unsure to happy and outgoing. All the girls seemed to have a great time.
Audrey Thomas, a Juliet Junior Girl Scout from Troop 7000 said, “My favorite part about the class was learning how to make jam and watching how the strawberries melt. I had always wanted to know how things are made”.
Another Girl Scout, Gracie (age 6) from Troop 299, said she liked tasting the jam and that her favorite was strawberry. Elizabeth Harvey from Troop 847 enjoyed the whole process of jam making and would try to make it herself at home. She, too, had lots of fun.
What started out as an insecure and shy group transformed into a happy and confident troop of jam makers.
Not only did the experience provide the girls with jam making inspiration and knowhow, but it also helped them ripen their self-esteem. A simple jam making class brought the girls together. Ms. E has been directly involved in many other events with Girls Scouts, including the more recent Colorful Dash, that have always brought out the best in girls.
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