Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ten Things I like about Girl Scouts.

Our elementary school recruiting night is tomorrow.  I wrote this for last year's recruiting night.  It's still true, but with more examples.

10 things I like about Girl Scouts.

10. Lifelong friendships.  I'm playing words with friends with two girls from my Brownie troop.  We were in 2nd and third grade in the late 70s.  I'm facebook-friends with a lot of girls from my troop and some of the moms.

9.  Learning new things.  Through girl scouts (as a youth), we went camping, toured a sugar factory, learned how computer punch cards work, learned about orienteering and knife safety.

8.  Doing service.  I didn't think much of it as a kid - we spent a lot of time making Christmas ornaments to give to Meals on Wheels, which was fun to do.  I'd like to think that it brightened someone's day.  I really enjoy the service projects that our troop does, probably as much as they do.

7.  Sharing my knowledge.  In my troop, some of the badges are ones that I want to do, some are ones that the girls want to do.  I usually pick the math ones.  They enjoy them until they realize they are working on a math badge.

6.  Seeing the girls grow.  They have really changed a lot since kindergarten.  They are starting 4th grade and they are not little anymore.  It's really just amazing to see.

5.  Seeing the girls enjoy themselves.  One of the highlights last year was a trip to a pottery studio.  When Tracy demonstrated throwing a pot, you could hear a pin drop.  They were so absorbed in their own projects that no one noticed that we skipped snack.

4.  Seeing the girls learn.  Every year we've done some age appropriate service project.  It was the most recent one, where we took one meeting and cleaned up around a lake that the girls realized that service projects are pretty fun when we're all working together.

3.  Seeing the girls solve problems.  They work through things like, "If I had $30 to buy healthy food from this Publix ad, what would I buy?"  As well as working out who gets to use the green sparkly gel pen first.  Rock Paper Scissors, flipping a coin or other neutral conflict resolution techniques are an important life skill.

2.  Seeing the girls friendships develop.  They don't always see eye to eye on things and that's OK.  But they are always fair and respectful to each other.  They hang out together when they're not in Girl Scouts.  My daughter and two or three of her friends from Daisys would always go to breakfast together, sometimes unbeknownst to the other girls' mom.  They are still hanging out before school together - at running club or chorus or breakfast.

1.  Seeing the girls just be girls.  Girl Scouts is one of the few places that you are just you.  You are not bound by how well you are doing in school, how athletic you are, your socio economic situation, or your parents situation.  You are just you, on equal footing with everyone else at the meeting.

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