After 4 years of cones, malts, and sundaes, this Lodge Lady is taking a hiatus from her spot behind the snack bar. And as summer rolls around and I think about all of my summers at this special spot up north, I think you all want to know: What is it really like to work at Brookside?
As a guest turned lodge lady, I look at Brookside in a whole new way. I started as a part of the Brookside family, vacationing here with my own family since I was a kid. But as a Brookside staff I also got the privilege of being part of the Brookside guests’ lives. With every new week came a new sense of excitement and anticipation. Each Saturday brought with it the hum of laughter, the worry-free breath of fresh air, the stories of the year that had passed since our last visit, and a sparkling clean resort.
Working as a professional ice cream scooper, I had a special spot in my heart for those who would order a small cone and just sit and chat for a little while until they got swept away by a game of mini golf or a swim in the lake. But the job of a lodge lady is more than scooping ice cream to all of those happy faces; it is coin machine for the video games, accountant for charge accounts, tour guide for all new guests, counselor for anyone who needed it, “Miss Teacher” for all the kinder nook kids, opponent for anyone with a deck of cards or a Mancala board, around-the-world Ping Pong player, and “go-for” for everything else. It is the best job in the world!
I will always remember the feeling of the Friday goodbyes to a week filled with ice cream creations, young summer crushes, parents finally putting their feet up, and the view of a sunset that makes you forget about the busy life you left at home.
The connections that can be made in a week with Brookside guests were my ultimate favorite part of working as a Brookside Lodge Lady. Every week brought people that made my heart happy as they walked through the door. I became a friend and an important person to so many who came to get ice cream or gummy worms and for that I am so grateful!
As this time of year rolls around, I find myself anxiously awaiting the adventure of summer and my heart sinks a little thinking of all the faces I will not be seeing this year. However, I also know that the Brookside family has a lifetime membership and it doesn’t matter if you haven’t been back for 1 year or 20 years – the smiles are just as friendly and the chocolate malts are just as good when you return!
Brookside is just as magical for the Lodge Ladies as it is for those who have been guests for 1, 5, 10, 25, 30+ years. As I bow my head and pass the baton off to the Lodge Ladies of 2017 I will always have great respect and admiration for those who scoop the ice cream!
Once a Lodge Lady, always a Lodge Lady.
Josie is freshly retired from her days as a Brookside Lodge Lady. As a former Brookside guest and staff she knows everything there is to know about the place…