Girl Scouts

A Pastor’s Perspective

By Sharon Latour

I recently took a week-long trip with a best friend. The one I’ve known the longest (since 4th grade Girl Scout summer) and the one who knows my history best, as I know hers.

We’d never spent that much time together, though.

We’d met up in some exotic places over the years, since she’s in music and I was in the Air Force. Those were always a fun couple of out-of-context days!

And since moving to northern California, I can finally attend most of her Chamber Orchestra concerts in San Jose. She’s quite a talented friend. And she has a level of local-gal-makes-good celebrity status. And that’s always interesting to watch her navigate.

So when I flew to Logan, Utah, for the final weekend of the annual summer opera festival performances she was conducting, I sorta knew what the experience would be like. A little like Julia Roberts as the helpful sister to Catherine Zeta-Jones in America’s Sweethearts.

On Friday I watched her conduct the amazing Carmen her husband had staged before leaving for another project. (Which is why I flew to Utah: I would drive back to California with her.)

And it was no wonder the whole town of Logan seemed to be talking about her Carmen as the weekend drew to a close. She had one more Camelot to do on Saturday, and before and after the show, she was surrounded by appreciative fans.

Like I said, it’s fun to watch celebrity bestowed on someone you love and admire. It’s nice to see that she wears it so very well.

And when we left Logan for our leisurely drive back, it got interesting. My friend doesn’t eat much for breakfast or go to bed early. I don’t eat heavy dinners and love early rising.

She’s a sophisticated wine person; I’m an idiot by comparison. I won’t bore you with our repeat of the Sideways wine tasting episode, except to say I was clearly not the wine-experienced Paul Giamatti character.

And though it seemed a brief low point for her, I still think it was pretty darn funny. At least for me.

We made our way nicely; accommodating our different eating and sleeping habits pretty well, overall. We stayed in two great out-of-the way places in Klamath Falls and Cave Junction, Oregon. The Chateau at Cave Junction was terrific.

With no phone or TV, it was built by the public works project in the 1930s and is a marvel. The food was great and the sense of gentle quiet was wonderful.

I get a lot of peace and quiet all the time where I live, but it was especially nice for my city-surrounded friend.

And her highly-energized way of being seemed relaxed there; just in time for the last leg of our summer adventure.

We were on the third floor of the no-elevator Chateau and had several bits of luggage to manage out to the car. What happened next was the best.

For all our dissimilarities, all the things that make us wonderfully different from each other, when we each saw our hands were full with our jackets still to carry, we automatically put our jacket around our waist, tying the arms together in front.

"Girl Scouts!" She beamed, when we looked up and laughed at what we’d simultaneously done.

Yup. No matter how different; how sophisticated (or simple) we’ve turned out after 40 adventurous years; we’ll always have those precious fourth-grade Girl Scouts along as our touchstone.

And she wants to do it again next year. Me too.


Sharon is pastor of the Garberville Community Presbyterian Church. Worship is at 10:30 a.m. every Sunday during the school year. Comments or questions should be addressed to: Dr. Sharon Latour, c/o A Pastor’s Perspective, P.O. Box 65, Garberville, CA 95542. (707) 923-3295.