Wednesday, September 02, 2009

On My Honor

There were two reasons I wanted to be a Girl Scout as a fourth grader:

1. The girls got to wear their green sash to school once a week. I thought that made them special.

(Do you remember the green sash? The one that ran from the right shoulder to the left hip, and held beautifully colored badges that looked like jewels on a crown.)

2. They served snacks at the meeting.

Understandably, in my young and impressionable mind, fashion and food was  good reason to join such a great organization. 

However, disillusionment came soon enough.

Our troop met in the school cafeteria shortly after the dismissal bell rang. I can still remember the smell; a mix of school lunches and sweaty kids lingered in the air. 

Oh, that first meeting started out so well! We learned the pledge and promise, sang Make New Friend But Keep The Old, and of course, had the coveted snack. 

All was right in the world.


You can imagine my disappointment when the troop leader handed me my sash, completely devoid of jewel-colored badges, along with what was called a Badge Book.

Apparently, those sashes didn't come with the badges. One had to earn them. 

By working. 


I sat on the bed that night flipping through the book trying to figure out which badges were earned by looking cute and eating snacks.

There wasn't one.

In spite of these obstacles, I did enjoy my year at being a Girl Scout. With the exception of the summer Girl Scout camp. I didn't enjoy that. But that is a post for another time.

After fourth grade I moved to another school and that was the end of my days as a Girl Scout.

Yesterday, The Girl, also a fourth grader, walked into her first Juniors Girl Scout meeting. She learned the pledge and promise, sang "Make New Friends, But Keep The Old", learned a "secret" hand shake.  

She wasn't concerned about snacks (they didn't have one), and she already knew her green vest (her troop wears a vest instead of a sash) would be a blank slate in which to earn a beautiful patchwork of badges. 

She is very excited about all the fun she and her troop has ahead of them.

I got a little misty as I watched the leader with a group of ten girls, sitting together under a tree in the beautiful fall-like weather, talking of camping trips and service projects. The girls faces were lit up happily, throughly enjoying their time together.

I got excited about the things she'll learn as she works together with her troop mates. 

Most of all, I am glad that six months from now I won't have to go searching for a Girl Scout in the snackiest time of the year: Cookie Time.

Cuz, really, for me, its still all about the snacks.


Allison said...

Coming from a family of scouts! My dad, brother and uncles were all Eagle Scouts, I hope to get Max into Cub Scouts next year. Unfortunately, in my small town they didn't have girl scouts but Campfire Girls. I did it for a few years, but didn't stick with it.

I hope the excitement remains for your daughter!

Tiffani said...

I only remember the "Brownies" song..."I have something in my pocket that belongs across my face..." and that was only from my older sister in her little orange/brown beanie...

What a fun time for The Girl...I hope she falls in love with it...a friend of mine is one of the regional coordinators for the Girl Scouts and is ALWAYS doing some fun things with her troop and such...

And, of course, the cookies..blessed little boxes of goodness!!

Anonymous said...

I have only one thing to say
"Thin Mints"
Love you all,

Carrie B said...

I Loved being a girl scout because I wore the catholic school plaid skirt and white peter pan collar blouse uniform every day EXCEPT the day I got to wear my girl scout uniform!

How fun to have your daughter in scouts now.

Anonymous said...

On my honor I will try to serve God and my country.. Oh wait you didn't ask us to recite the pledge :-) My Mom was a girl scout leader but I didn't do it as long as she would have liked. I did however enjoy the camping, the snacks, and the badges :-)

Carpool Queen said...

Call me when it's time to purchase. And tell her not to call Samoa's by that newfangled name....

really.truly said...

I was never a girl scout....but I love the cookies! I'm with you, it's all about the snacks..always.

Anonymous said...

I had no idea I missed the Girl Scouts until I read this post. I loved this one, CoffeeGal. I might have even misted.

I remember when I was a Brownie and I earned my wings. And that badge book! I wish I could sit with The Girl and look through it together. I'll bet they have all kind of new badges.

I think I would like to join The Mom Scouts. I'll bet I've earned a badge or two. There should be one for changing a certain number of diaper blowouts. I think they should have a packing tape one for every move you've made. Maybe one for showing up for mom work on days you would have liked to have called in sick.

Would you consider shipping cookies across state lines?

Jenster said...

I was an Indian Maiden. Our uniform looked almost exactly like Disney Pocohontas' dress and we had bear claw necklaces. And we always had a good snack at our meetings. Pretty cool, but we didn't get to sell cookies or earn beautiful badges. Hm. I think maybe I was gypped!

meh said...

What...there is more to life then fashion and snacks?

Anonymous said...

Oh, I can eat me some thin mints . . .so good out of the freezer. Yum!

KelliGirl said...

I have fond memories of being a Girl Scout. Being highly motivated by those little badges, I amassed quite a collection. Don't remember any snacks, though.

Now I'm going to be singing Make New Friends But Keep the Old, for the rest of the a round.

Who knows, later I may start a campfire and break out the s'mores!

Be blessed,

Gretchen said...

"I sat on the bed that night flipping through the book trying to figure out which badges were earned by looking cute and eating snacks."

You mean that's not how it's done? I retired my GS leader pins a couple of years ago, when I had finished leading Daisies and Brownies. And yes, we started with snack--first thing.

Neat to see that the Girl will be keeping you in cookies. You know you'll have to buy a lot, so she can go to camp for "free". :) And if you need to send any extras to anyone, you know my addy.

Brandy said...

Mom Scouts!! That is a fabulous idea!! I never got to be in Girl Scouts, or Brownines or Bluebirds or Indian Maidens or anything like that. Well, I take that back - I did do Awanas for a year or 2 in Jr. High, but by then it was not really that significant.

Thanks for sharing this story - i got to get a taste of what I missed!

I think this whole bloggy world is a bit like Mom Scouts. I like that.