480 (10/21/09)

     The weather gods were back on our side last weekend, and we took advantage with a wonderful Saturday morning at the park--so nice, in fact, that we felt sorry for everyone who wasn’t there!  But fifteen kids were there, hauling wood chips, helping with food preparation, or just sitting by the fire watching the hot chocolate warm up.

     As our season winds down, I’ve felt some apprehension creeping in--a feeling of disappointment and lost opportunity.  Every fall, the Trail Guard kids beg me to not quit for the year--but we do anyway.  And, as the weather turns particularly nasty, it’s always clear that we did the right thing.  But, it’s always hard.

     This week brings a new beginning.  Our four brave young Everglades Park winter paddlers begin their own “special event” fund raising mission by organizing our annual candy bars sales.  They will be in charge of recruiting as many Trail Guards as possible to knock on doors, set up selling stations, and find other ways to sell those delicious World’s Finest Chocolate candy bars.

     They will also be planning other efforts to raise funds above and beyond our normal annual budget to earn their way on this new and exciting adventure.  Please support them when you can.

     By the way, we realize there are healthier things than candy bars to use for fund-raising.  But, we sell them anyway.  They are one of the few items we can think of that we can sell for one dollar, and that most people like.

     Nearly everyone buys at least one, making the rejection rate for our young sales force quite low, and their feelings of competence, contribution, and salesmanship high, especially as folks buy, at least to some degree, out of a true desire for the product, rather than because they feel obligated.  It makes it a fun undertaking for us.

     We are humbled by the enormous support we receive in so many ways.  Thanks to each and every one of you.