Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy 97th, Girl Scouts



Ninety-seven years ago today an eccentric southern woman named Juliette Low gathered some girls from her neighborhood and held the first Girl Scout meeting. (NO, that is NOT her in the photo...it's our troop in Mexico, 2006) Girl Scouting has come a long way, baby, from that first handful of spirited girls.

If you know me well, you know that I've been a card-carrying Girl Scout since the age of nine. Here's what I did - and didn't - like about Girl Scouts:

Did like:
- getting to wear my uniform for the first time, after the required 3 meetings.
- camping and more camping. On one October camp-out, I ate 18 apples in 2 days. I usually laughed so hard on those weekends that I peed my pants.
- summer resident camp. In those days, you went for two weeks or not at all. If you've never slept in a platform tent, you've missed a hugely cool life experience.I bawled when it was time to go home.
- seeing my mom act as crazy as the girls: she was my troop leader.
- being a troop leader myself. I've had the privilege of leading some amazing girls, including my daughter.
- co-leading with some fun women: Lisa and Donna to name two. I don't think our husbands could have tolerated our silliness on troop outings.
- MEXICO. Just ask Katie, Sam, Hannah, Lindsay, Emily or Lisa.

Didn't like:
- selling cookies door-to-door in deep snow and frigid temperatures.
- selling cookies at all.
- not finishing my "Horsewoman" badge because I failed the written test.
- jumping into the lake at Girl Scout camp in New England at 9:00 in the morning. It felt like I was going into cardiac arrest.

It's a new generation now and girls have a lot of other activities to occupy their time. But I believe Girl Scouting still offers something unique: girls can learn to run their own troop by making plans and decisions, give service to others, and gain an appreciation for all people and the world in which they live.

I loved those two weeks in a platform tent, campfires and starry nights. And especially the amazing girls and women who've crossed my path because of Girl Scouting.

2 comments:

LPool said...

Always loved my days as a Girl Scout. Even more as a counselor at Kamp Kiwani!!!! Oh how much I learned. Still have a few mementos from those days. Remember scraping gra-do off the docks before the campers arrived? And the water moccasins that lived there? Dark green are the fox tails, golden is the sun, towering are the mountains, when the day is done..knowledge and learning we will always share (and I can't remember the rest). Memories...ah...

DandJHaller said...

Amen for scouting! Glad you shared some of these memories...I made many in Boy Scouts, too.
-Dan