Allison Yin, a rising East School third-grader, finished tying the bracelet she’d made onto her dad’s wrist as he sat at a long table outside the Merri Bee Cabin in Kiwanis Park on Sunday morning.
A spread of coffee, donuts, fruit kebabs, juice, croissants and jam materialized in front of Duncan Yin and a dozen other dads, and Allison soon instructed her own father to select from a muffin tray full of eggs freshly baked in flour tortillas the “smashed egg” whose yolk she’d broken apart in the kitchenette inside during prep, specifically so that he would get the one she made.
“Loving this explosion of Father’s Day gifts,” Yin said as he and fellow dads of Brownies Troop 50562 reunited with their daughters after a sleepover in the cabin and were treated to a full service breakfast on their special day.
“I have a little bracelet-keychain and then, in case I wasn’t sure, I have a little piece of paper that certifies me in all the excellent ways that I am a father, which is very reassuring to hear,” Duncan Yin said with a smile. He referred to a “Best Dad” form that each girl filled out with her dad’s info and colored with crayons. Some of the fields Allison filled in for her dad included:
- This is what he always says: ‘I love you.’
- My dad’s pockets are full of: ‘Mints and tissues.’
- He is so good at: ‘Soccer.’
- This makes my dad laugh: ‘Jumping on him.’
Attended by 13 of the troop’s 22 Brownies and chaperoned by three moms in the group—Marie Simon, Jennifer Hanson Bo and Tara Turner Lockhart—the special event marked the first time that some of the girls had “camped” away from home.
Simon came up with the idea after her older daughter did the same as a Brownie in New Canaan.
“I think it’s a fantastic experience,” she told NewCanaanite.com as the girls prepared to greet their dads on a muggy, overcast morning. “Sleeping away from home in one room, it just brings you back to how things were. We cooked, we slept, we ate, we joked, we played, we chatted, we told scary stories at night.”
The overnight served as a learning experience for the girls, she added, as they had to clear up the room after arriving around 5 p.m. Saturday, find a spot to sleep, share a single bathroom and organize themselves.
“It was good to be sleeping without parents,” Olivia Edwards said of the sleepover, adding: “Because then they aren’t like nagging you to do stuff, which is good.”
Asked what was her favorite part of the overnight, Caroline Saunders said: “Probably having free time for a pretty long time.”
Outside, the dads hugged their girls for the gifts, chatted with each other and enjoyed breakfast al fresco.
Bill Vellante noted that “my daughter Olivia is waiting on me today.”
Asked whether that marked a change of the regular order, Vellante said with a smile: “Big flip, because I am constantly waiting on her. But not now, today she waits on me.”
Clementine Bo selected a special glazed donut for her father, Philippe—his favorite, she said—delivered to him with a card that read “I love you so much” and an “I love you daddy” keychain.
“It’s my favorite because I am not a chocolate fan,” Philippe Bo said when asked about the donut. “So I think she knows me. It took seven years, but she knows my taste, finally.”
He added: “It’s a morning full of surprises. It’s actually very nice to see all the parents and realize how busy the Girl Scouts agenda and schedule has been. They’ve done tons of things and [have been] thinking about their parents.”
Michael Lockhart was one beneficiary of that thoughtfulness, from his daughter Alexandra.
“I feel really special and loved,” he said, hugging her.
Duncan Yin noted that the bracelet his daughter had made said “I love you Daddoo.”
“Not ‘Daddy,’ but ‘Daddoo.’ So, it’s personalized,” he said.
Sitting next to him at the long table, Michael Lockhart shared that he also is known in his house as ‘Daddoo.’
The men fist-bumped.
“This is the Daddoo Section,” Duncan Yin declared.