Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Our Trip to the N.S.C.A.R. National Convention

Last month, my daughter and I took a trip to Crystal City, Virginia, for the National Convention of the National Society Children of the American Revolution (N.S.C.A.R.). For those of you who have never heard of this organization:

C.A.R., the nation's oldest, largest, patriotic youth organization, offers membership to anyone under the age of 21, lineally descended from someone who rendered material aid to the cause of American Independence as a soldier, sailor, civil officer, or recognized patriot in one of the several Colonies or States, or of the United States.
In a nutshell, it's kind of like the DAR or SAR, except for kids.

I had never been to this event before, and neither had my daughter, of course, so it was going to be a new adventure for both of us (in more ways than one). My daughter loves airplanes, but 6.5 hours of sitting cooped up in one place is a serious test of patience for an adult, not to mention a 3 year-old. Let's just say... I've never been so glad to get off an airplane in my whole life.

Our first day of the Convention involved a trip to DAR Headquarters for the Senior National Board Meeting (adults are referred to as "seniors"). Board meetings are almost never interesting to photograph, so I'll share a few of my daughters favorite moments.

You've seen this one before, but I couldn't help myself. It involves 3 of my favorite things: my kid, the DAR, and pansies.

So tempting: the New Hampshire Toy Attic in the DAR Museum. "Mommy, I want to play with those TOYS!" "Sorry honey, you can't."
Serious 3 year-old disappointment.

Disappointment abated. Outside the Toy Attic is a place where kids can play with real (reproduction) Colonial toys. My daughter wasted no time organizing a tea party for her bear.

Kid-sized antique furniture! Who doesn't want this in their living room?

You can't sit on the adult-sized Rococo-style settee in the Iowa Room.
And no, I haven't tried.

Our final evening included a formal banquet. Lighthouses were everywhere in honor of the National President's theme, "Reflections of Independence." Her project was to raise funds to aid in the restoration and preservation of the Morris Island Lighthouse in Charleston, South Carolina.

These two lighthouses really lit up, and so did the kids and adults who posed here for photos. My daughter is pictured holding a ball that I was forced to buy in order to get her to stop screaming, "Bouncy ball! Bouncy ball!" during the election meeting. It's true: I had to bribe her to vote.

How the modern, tech-saavy kid copes with boredom at formal events:
iPod, headphones, bear.

Our final day included a trip to Mount Vernon for the installation of National Officers and Senior National Officers. You can't tell from this picture, but it was cold, windy, and seriously miserable, weather-wise.

Yep, that's me getting installed as the Senior State President for California.
I could use a clone, if anyone knows how to make one.

As a side note, I've noticed over the past, say, 4 years, that I've been taking considerably fewer pictures when I travel. I used to come home with hundreds of images; now I'm lucky if I make it home with a few dozen. I'm thinking it might have something to do with constantly watching to make sure my kid doesn't run into traffic or single-handedly destroy an antique toy museum... which doesn't leave much time or energy for photography.

No time for sight-seeing or genealogy on this whirlwind trip, but we did have a lot of fun, and made some special mommy-daughter memories that we wouldn't otherwise have made. One of my favorite excursions was a walk to the mall under the hotel for dinner (pizza) and some light shopping (blister treatments and a few new toys). It wasn't the Smithsonian, but it was a moment in time that I won't soon forget.

We'll be heading out for another adventure at the end of June... this time to Pocatello, Idaho, for the N.S.C.A.R. Western Regional Meeting. At least this time it won't involve such a long plane ride!

Copyright © Elizabeth O'Neal

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Barbara said...

Elizabeth, Does this mean you are now the new State Regent? I've forgotten the titles, sorry. And, thanks for the nice comment on my site today.

Barbara said...

I should have said like a State Regent but for the CAR? Just different titles?

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

Hi Barbara - Yes, sort of. C.A.R. is structured a bit differently. We have a State President (member) and a Senior State President (old person). I am of the "senior" variety. So far, it's been a lot of fun working with our new State President and our talented members and seniors!

BTW, will we see you at CC this summer??

Renate said...

Those are great pictures, Elizabeth! Thanks for sharing your trip with us. Oh, and your daughter is a real cutie! :)


Elizabeth O'Neal said...

Thanks, Renate. I think she's pretty cute, too (but I'm a teensy bit biased)! ;-)

Barbara said...

Elizabeth, no I won't be there, not a member any more. But...I will be with you in spirit (so our roles will now be reversed...so envious!)

Susi's Quarter said...

You will enjoy the Pocatello ID area. My cousin lives there. I love the trees and the smell in the air.

Congratulations on your installment.

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

What??? You're no longer a member, Barbara? We need to talk.

Thanks for the information about Pocatello, Susi. If I've ever been to ID, it was a looooong time ago, and I don't remember it at all. From what I've heard, there's a hot springs trip involved for the grown-ups, so I'm definately looking forward to that. ;-)

Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski said...

Terrific memories to add to your Mommy highlight reel of life. Thanks for allowing the rest of us to eavesdrop in on your very special mother and daugther time.

Michelle Goodrum said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your pictures of your trip and your daughter. I didn't even know an organization like NSCAR existed. Fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing. This was the perfect "topping" for my day.