I was never lucky enough to be a Girl Scout as a child. I did get to go to one Brownie meeting at someones house & I remember loving it, but for whatever the reason my Mom never took me back.
When my daughter Gabby started Kindergarten and we were signing up on enrollment day I remember making a beeline for the Girl Scout registration table. I signed her & myself up as a leader without a second thought.
I was excited for her to experience what I considered to be a fun, well rounded organization. I never imagined how much Girl Scouting would change my life. I've learned more patience, to be more diplomatic, to try new things, concur some of my own fears, to be a better leader, to be a better public speaker, to deal with conflict much better and the list goes on.
Fast forward 6 years (where did that time go) Gabby & I are still trucking on. I know that most people don't think about the actual Girl behind the cookie but let me tell you what I've experienced.
As a leader I've had some great girls come in & out of my life. I always wondered if I impacted their lives as much as they have mine. I've had girls with eating disorders, been the victim of sexual abuse, girl with severe mental, behavioral and physical health disorders, daughters of drug addicted parents, daughters of deployed military parents, girls pulled between divorced parents, latch key kids, daughters of type A families, daughters with affluent parents, daughters of very poor families and daughters of struggling single parents.
I am very thankful of the courage and strength of our Founder, Juliette Low. What she started 100 years ago has continued on to touch my life and the life of my daughter forever!
The one thing all those girls have in common with each other and from the girls 100 years ago is a desire to fit in, to feel needed and important, to learn and to have fun to be equal.
I've have done what I feel to be the very best I can do to live within the Girl Scout Law and Promise and set an example for these girls. In some cases I'm the only woman role model they have that's caring, actually talks, has a desire to get to know them for no other reason then liking them and helping them to realize they are important & that they matter.
I want to teach them that the world is wide open to them, that no matter what these girls can achieve whatever it is they set their minds to. One of the ways I do that is by taking a big trip once a year, which is paid for by our cookie and other fundraisers!
I know some of you are thinking how can a Girl Scout trip to go sight see and have fun or even a camping trip impact a girl or make a difference in her life well here's where I want to tell you what buying one box of cookie can do!
I've been blessed to be there while these girls experience a LOT of their firsts in their life. Seeing the joy & excitement in their faces and how each girl grows more confident and stands a bit taller I make sure to tell them that all this was made possible by them & their hard work selling cookies that they can do all, we can go anywhere if we work together. I know that trying these things will NOT be their last!!
I've taken girls out of the state/county for the first time in their lives.
Went to the beach and saw the ocean for the first time
Took them on a boat for the first time
Stayed in a hotel for the first time
Ate FRESH fruit for the first time
Baked for the first time
Cooked dinner/breakfast on their own for the first time
Learned to do laundry for the first time
Went to a musical for the first time
Went to a live theater for the first time
Went on a hike for the first time
Went on a picnic for the first time
Did a service project for the first time
Discovered their future careers through programs during trips
Learned basic etiquette lessons
Learn to work together as a team
Had a birthday party for the first time
Learned to sew for the first time
Met people from other countries and became friends
Was able to be a group leader for the first time
This list could go on all day!
I've seen them be brave and concur their fears, try new things and really flourish. I've seen girls who didn't say more than one word for the first meeting come out of their shells singing & dancing and leading a patrol. These girls are learning responsibility, independence, gaining life skills, realizing their self worth and making memories to last a lifetimes! So please support your local Girl Scout because you never know who that little girl is behind the cookie.
Signed a devoted Girl Scout Leader