G asked to join Girl Scouts many months ago. She was, I think, inspired by her brother’s adventures in Boy Scouts, and wanted some of that fun for herself.
I hadn’t planned on becoming her leader, but I didn’t have much of a choice. The other troop for first-graders in our town was full, so the only way G could participate was if a new troop was formed. I met another mom of a first-grader looking for a troop at a Girl Scout information session, and we agreed to take the leap into scouting together.
Our girls are Daisies, the first level of Girl Scouts, which is open to kindergarteners and first-graders. This membership level is designed to give young girls a foundation in the organization and to teach them the core principles of Girl Scouts, the Girl Scout Promise and Law. The Promise and Law are based upon the ideas of being your best, helping out in your community, and treating other people, especially fellow Girl Scouts, with respect and friendship.
For our first meeting, my co-leader and I focused on introducing the girls to our troop and to scouting. We did everything you would think would happen during a Girl Scout meeting: we colored, sang songs, and talked about being good friends. Our six girls loved the songs the most. At one point, we had them marching around the room, shouting with laughter and cheering along to the refrain of the new songs we were sharing with them.
We ended our meeting with an Investiture ceremony, the ritual that officially welcomes them into Girl Scouts. Their parents joined us in our recitation of the Girl Scout Promise and Law. Each girl received an Investiture badge to add to her vest, which they clutched proudly in their small hands, big smiles on their faces.
This summer, I heard the CEO of Girl Scouts USA speak at a conference. She provided impressive statistics about the impact of Girl Scouting, and how many adult leaders we have today who were Girl Scouts when they were children and teenagers.
— Kimberly (@redshutters) July 17, 2015
As a former Girl Scout (or is it once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout?), I am looking forward to the small part I’ll play as a troop leader in helping G and her friends grow into strong and capable women. Will we encourage budding feminists? Advance the girl power in our town? Perhaps we will.
Now that I am a mom, I appreciate my time in scouting in new ways. From interacting with my community to making new friends to challenging me to be open to new experiences, Girl Scouts was a formative part of my childhood. I hope G enjoys it, too and that we use this experience to enhance our connection—and have fun.
Are you a Girl Scout volunteer? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.