Friday, October 24, 2014

riley's lock

diana joined the girl scouts this year, entering in as a cadette.  the things i love about her troop and her fellow scouts and moms and especially the leaders will have to come in another post, but for now, i'd like to open your eyes to an adventure that only the girl scouts of the nation's capital have the honor of participating in:

acting as costumed, historical re-enactment participants for riley's lock along the c&o canal.  (this article sums up nicely what the girls do.)

many of the scouts in our troop wanted to participate, so we prepared the girls by learning period songs and dances for children. they selected some of the activities they wanted to present to visitors, and they all had sessions with me to learn some history about the items in and around the lockhouse and the canal. discussion about the chamber pots was especially lively.

we had enough girls to split up into two groups. the "paw paws" and "persimmons" each had the chance to don period clothing (provided by the program - we just had to inform them of our sizes and make sure to launder afterward) and act as young docents to give tours to and answer questions from passers-by and visitors. the other shift strolled along the path both up and down river to investigate nature finds.

i was one of the lucky mamas who accompanied a leader and her group of girls.

view of the potomac

investigating the lock space

mason marks

the potomac again. diana thought this particular view was framed nicely by the trees.

can you see the bird?

two birds: one a blue heron, the other an egret

male cardinal

lovely ivy

the colors and patterns reminded taryn of a snickerdoodle

now that's a leaf!
diana and fellow guides

making a sweet sachet for a visitor: fabric, lace, and broken cinnamon sticks

this held the delicious lemonade: the girls sliced the lemons, squeezed the juice, and added just the right amount of water and sugar
we had a nice number of visitors, despite the prior heavy rains that made the paths quite muddy. the sun even peeked out through the clouds to shine on cyclists and hikers alike. many guests remarked positively upon the girls' enthusiasm and noted their appreciation for the volunteer spirit and active involvement in learning local history in such a fashion. i think the girls represented riley's lock and the girl scouts well that day. we are looking to participate again in the spring, hopeful that warmer, drier weather will prevail and bring more opportunities to live the life of an 1870's lockhouse girl, if only for a few hours.


  1. Looks like a great day. I enjoyed seeing the Potomac again :-)

    Love, Lisa H-S

  2. Sounds just lovely! What a great day : )