There were two reasons I wanted to be a Girl Scout as a fourth grader:
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
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.
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.