|Girl Scouts logo: www.girlscouts.org|
Yesterday, I was privileged to attend my granddaughter’s rededication to Girls Scouts. What memories that ceremony brought back! Thirty-six years ago, my first grader came home from school so excited. Please, Mom. Can I be a Brownie? Thus began our family’s involvement in the Girl Scouts of the USA.
Because I grew up in a rural area, I didn’t have the Girl Scout experience as a child. Though I knew little about the organization, if my daughter wanted to join, of course I let her. She went from that initial excitement to “do I have to stay in Girl Scouts?” in eighth grade to achieving her Girl Scout Gold Award (the highest honor a girl can earn) to becoming a volunteer trainer of Girl Scout leaders to a troop leader and service unit manager. Five years ago, her daughter became a Daisy Girl Scout. Now she’s a Junior.
I went along a similar volunteer route—leader, trainer, service unit manager. In gradual steps, my life was enriched by my time in Girl Scouts. I even learned I could organize an event for 200+ girls and adults. The trainer part came fairly easy. You can take a teacher out of the classroom . . . LOL I enjoyed sharing my experiences with new leaders. But my favorite activity was working with the girls. Now I see this in my daughter as she shares her love of Girl Scouting with her daughter and the other girls in her troop.
Next weekend, daughter and granddaughter will attend G.I.R.L. 2017, a gathering of thousands of Girl Scout girls and adults in Columbus, Ohio. What an array of speakers they will hear—including Barbara Pierce Bush, Chelsea Clinton, Gabby Douglas. They’ll hear from speakers “who have pursued their passions, created innovative solutions to problems, built the courage to navigate through obstacles, and developed the resources to lead in their everyday lives.” What an experience they will have.
The acronym G.I.R.L. stands for Go-getter, Initiator, Risk-taker, Leader. That’s what Girl Scouts taught me, what I wanted for my daughter, and now for my granddaughter. Girl Scouts has changed a lot since 1912 when Juliette Gordon Low organized the first troop. Girls have changed a lot since then. Girl Scout troops are not sponsored by schools or churches. The girls earn the money to pay for their activities by selling cookies, an activity that teaches them goal setting and money management. They still go camping and learn about the environment and how to protect it. Fun activities for all ages gives the girls STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) experiences.
Though I am a lifetime Girl Scout, I left active volunteering several years ago. I am so proud that my daughter continued in this organization that taught me so much self-esteem and confidence. And that she is passing on her love of Girl Scouting to her daughter.