I grew up on Girl Scouting.
I joined back in the day of beanies and brown dresses. I looooooooooooooved Girl Scouts. Brownie Day was such a highlight of my week. You got to wear the brown dress to school, together with the little tie and beanie. I can’t remember if it was in Brownies or Juniors where I bought (with my own money) and rocked the “flashers” for my knee socks. Yes, I thought it was super cool to wear elastic bands around my knees with little colored tabs. They held up my knee socks. I was a rock star. (And people said they were surprised when I went to divinity school–was this not a clear sign that I was headed to geekdom at an early age?)
In middle school, I discovered Girl Scout camp (imagine angel chorus right here…yeah, that’s how I felt about it). Truth be told, my summers in New Auburn, Wisconsin were pivotal for me. I learned how to be friends with people that were very different from my middle class, white community. I met counselors from all over the world and was stunned to learn about other cultures. I learned of my own strength, my own ability to make good decisions, and how to be a leader. The challenge of planning and executing a canoe tr
ip with a dozen girls tested me, molded me. To this day, I can feel the weight of a canoe on my shoulders, my arms taught from sun and strain in front of me. To this day, my muscles remember the J stroke, and I recall the pride of learning to do something really, really well, even if nobody ever saw me do it.
In scouts, I learned to serve the community, to always ask “how can we make this better?” and to never, ever imagine that gender would limit my path. As I became a young adult, I continued to be involved through working at (and eventually directing) summer camps, and through leading a Girl Scout troop for girls at a publicly funded school serving primarily low income, urban girls.
So, who’s surprised that it appears I will be leading a Daisy troop next year? I want Selam to have all of that and more. I’ve signed up for the online training and found a location to sponsor us. Yikes! I just wish the uniforms still rocked the flashers.