The Salad Bowl

A Note on “The Salad Bowl”

The “Salad Bowl” has replaced the “melting pot” as an analogy for the USA. A melting pot requires ingredients to give up their individual flavor. A salad, on the other hand, needs each ingredient to retain its uniqueness and participate in the overall flavor. The Salad Bowl is meant to provide girl and adult Girl Scouts with resources and ideas to recognize, celebrate and participate in the River Valleys’ “salad.” Bertrene Cage welcomes comments and suggestions at 800-845-0708 or

St. Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick’s name at birth was Maewyn Succat. He was born somewhere near the end of the fourth century and took on the name Patrick or Patricus, after he became a priest, much later in his life. At the age of sixteen Maewyn Succat was kidnapped from his native land of Britain, by a band of pirates, and sold into slavery in Ireland. Maewyn worked as a shepherd and turned to religion for solace. After six long years of slavery he escaped to the northern coast of Gaul.
In Gaul, Maewyn became Patrick and studied in the monastery under St. Germain, bishop of Auxerre for twelve years. He came to believe that it was his calling to convert the pagans of Ireland to Christianity. St. Palladius was appointed to go to Ireland first but transferred to Scotland two years later opening up the door for St. Patrick. St. Patrick was about sixty years old when he arrived in Ireland. He used the shamrock, which resembles a three-leafed clover, to help explain the concept of the Trinity (father, son, holy spirit).
St. Patrick traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries and setting up schools and churches to aid in converting the Irish country to Christianity. Legend has it that Saint Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland (and there are no snakes in Ireland today!), but the actual reference is probably to the pagans he drove from the land.
Patrick’s mission in Ireland lasted for thirty years. He then retired to County Down and died on March 17 in 461 AD. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick’s Day ever since. The first year St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated in this country was 1737 in Boston, Mass.
Here is a list of other popular symbols associated with St. Patrick’s Day.

Blarney Stone

Blarney Castle is located in County Cork, Ireland. Built in 1446 by Cormac Laidhim McCarthy (Lord of Muskerry) the Blarney stone is located in the southern tower wall between the main castle wall and the parapet. In order to kiss the stone one has to lie on their back and bend backward (and downward), holding iron bars for support. It is said that the Blarney stone has magical properties. As legend has it an old woman cast a spell on the stone to reward a king who had saved her from drowning. Kissing the stone gave the king the ability to speak sweetly and convincingly.


Leprechauns are the “little people” of Ireland. They are like fairies or gnomes in other countries but smarter and more mischievous. They also own pots of gold that can be taken from them by really clever and lucky mortals.

Wearing Green

Probably because you’ll be pinched if you don’t! School children started this tradition. Green is Ireland’s color and is also the color of spring and the shamrock and is connected with hope and nature.

The luck of the Irish

Want to be lucky this St. Patrick’s Day? Follow this advice:1. Find a four-leaf clover. 2. Wear green (so you don’t get pinched). 3. Kiss the blarney stone. 4. Catch a Leprechaun if you can.In honor of the festivities I leave you with this Irish blessing: May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm on your face and the rain fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Celebrations Calendar


Black History Month

American Heart Month

  • 14 – Chinese Lunar New Year (China, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam)
  • 14 – Tet Nguyen Dan (Vietnam) “Year of the Buffalo”
  • 14 – Race Relations Day
  • 16 – Mardi Gras (United States)
  • 17 – Ash Wednesday (Protestant, Roman Catholic)
  • 17 – League of United Latin Citizens (LULAC) Founded American
  • 24 – Flag Day (Mexico)