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She Wears a G for Generosity…

Obviously, this logo is copyrighted by the Girl Scouts of the USA.

Just in case you didn’t know, I am a proud former Girl Scout. I went all the way through Scouts, from Brownies to Seniors. I earned both my Silver and Gold Awards (the Gold Award is the equivalent of the Eagle Award in Boy Scouts). I believe I still have a Girl Scout family – friends who were in Scouts with me and leaders who shared their traditions, jokes, music, and values along the way. I remember many of the songs, the promise, the Girl Scout Law (which has changed a wee bit since my day, but is still basically the same). The title of this post is taken from one of the songs I frequently find stuck in my head.

I’m lucky, I realize. I know that some people had absolutely horrible Girl Scout experiences. I’ve heard stories. But I was surrounded by an active and passionate bunch. I had many of the same leaders throughout because they moved up to the next level with their own girls who were my age. My mom was a leader for a couple of my sister’s troops, and she was always willing to step up to help with either of our troops when extra adult hands were needed for driving, camping, supervising, organizing cookie orders, etc. Scouts taught me to love folk music (I couldn’t even tell you how many times we sang “If I Had a Hammer” and “One Tin Soldier” in my leader’s van), to build a campfire, to cook, to play, to pull the most delicious pranks (leader bras up the flagpole, anyone?), to sing the silliest songs (Princess Pat!), how to sterilize water out in the woods, to care for the environment, to administer basic first aid, and a million different other things. But more importantly, Scouts taught me to treasure strong relationships with other women. Scouts taught me to be kind and courteous, but also to stand up for myself and others when confronted with unfair treatment. Scouts taught me love and tolerance and and confidence and fighting for what I believe in. I wouldn’t be the same person I am today if I hadn’t been a Girl Scout.

Yesterday, the Girl Scouts of the USA celebrated their 100th year. I think Juliette Gordon Low would be so amazed by and proud of the organization she founded. Scouts are leaders in their schools and communities, they do so many wonderful charitable works, they help girls become strong and smart women, and yes, they sell those damn cookies most of us have a love-hate relationship with (but I always make sure to buy a few boxes every year). I believe in the Girl Scouts. I believe in what they stand for and I am proud of the person I am today because of my involvement with the organization. So really, I just wanted to join the celebration – yay! 100 years! – and also say thanks. Thanks to all the GSUSA and Council staff members who organize the camps and programs; to the camp directors and leaders who share their strength and their belief that women are amazing with girls every year; and to the girls themselves who will grow up to lead the way in this country – not just in women’s issues, but in everything. Thanks to my mom for getting me involved in the first place and then supporting me in every way (including camping in the cold October rain once) so that I would stay involved. Thanks to all the wonderful leaders I had over the years, especially Gail and Debbie. And thanks to my GS friends who are all still there for me when I need them.

She wears a “G” for Generosity;
She wears an “I” for Interest, too.
She wears an “R” for Real-life sportsmanship;
She wears a “L” for Loyalty! (for loyalty!)

She wears an “S” for her Sincerity;
She wears a “C” for Courtesy.
She wears an “OUT” for Outdoor Life. (for outdoor life)
You can bet she’s a real Girl Scout!

(Apparently other GS sing “And that Girl Scout is me!” for the last line, but that’s not what we sang…)

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8 thoughts on “She Wears a G for Generosity…

  1. I hope my girls remember our troop as fondly. We don’t do as many of the outdoor activites, but they are just now at an age and ability level to do some of those things.
    We certainly have a darn good time though.

    1. And that’s all that matters. I should have mentioned that the Girl Scouts also took me to my first rated-R movie, taught me to sneak cheap snacks into the movie theater, taught me to play Sardines and also a made-up game we invented in the church we met in called Gorilla (there was a lot of running around and screaming in an empty church for that one)… It’s not all about camping 🙂

  2. You COULD have left out the “R” rated movie since that was a total accident!! Remember the campfires at Camp Sacajewea? Don’t forget I was a Girl Scout and now your niece is one too! The tradition continues…………… 🙂

    1. Oh, I know, Mama (my mom, everybody!) – lots and lots of GS memories – far too many to list all of them! 🙂 And yes, I should have mentioned that we have a family history of Scouting.

  3. I still remember the first year we moved here (my ninth grade year) when we had Girl Scout meetings at Bedford Baptist Church. My fondest memory is attending a camp near Danville and driving with you are your mom (and three or four other people). This was my first introduction to a Hardee’s breakfast, who to survive a rain storm in a tent, and why they tell you to pack extra clothing when you canoe (really…they will tip over….).

    I also have the Girl Scouts to thank for introducing me to San Antonio, Texas during a Wider Op. I have such wonderful memories of that time and it would not have been possible without the GS!!

    1. Oh, lord…that trip was both wonderful and horrible at the same time, wasn’t it? I remember hand-weaving a basket (which is still at my mom’s house, and I think my niece plays with it now), which involved continually dipping my already cold, wet hands into colder vats of water where the basket strips had been soaking to make them pliable for weaving. Every memory I have of that trip is of being wet and freezing cold…and yet it was still good, somehow.

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