Sunday, November 13, 2011

Buy Those Cookies!!

Because of my bad handling of paperwork, our troop camping trip was canceled - that is going to the actual GS camp. We voted and decided that camping in my back yard was a good alternative - not great but it worked. I had a couple of girls who never camped out in cold weather before and all my girls were still new to each other. We cooked, built fires, worked on knots and learned about camping in the cold. Because of our change in venue, we decided to walk my neighborhood and participate in Scouting for Food. They gathered a wagon load of food.
As the day wore on, I was able to sit back and observe how the girls interacted and handled new situations. Lord Baden Powell, founder of Boy Scouts, stated that camping gives everyone an even playing field. No one reflects their wealth, age, education or anything - we are all the same. This weekend, I couldn't agree more. I loaned out heavier sleeping bags and fleece bags to those who didn't have them but overall they were mentally prepared. I firmly believe that camping levels it out in Girl Scouts too.
I watched an only child realize that she lost that status in her troop family of 7 members. The same girl was very excited to roast a marshmallow and  make her first s'more. I watched another girl with special needs realize that she can do more if she believed in herself. Her troop was also not cutting her any slack. However, without any prompting, several offered aid with any task that might be too difficult or unsafe for her. That is sisterhood.
I listened to the Cadettes tromp off to their own tent and giggle part of the night away. I watched 2 Juniors set up their tent and decide that best location for it. In the morning, I watched 3 Cadettes act as if they knew each other for years instead of months. That is what Girl Scouting is all about.
I grew up in Scouting and continued on as an adult. I am a Gold Award Scout, equal to Eagle - but don't ask a Boy Scout that. I have honed my leadership skills and have learned how to be more flexible in my decisions. I try to picture what I would be if I didn't have that training throughout my life. I am not sure but I don't think I would have the confidence that I have now. I have learned courage to try new things and work outside of my comfort range. Both of these things create character. That is the current ad campaign for Girl Scouts - Courage, Confidence and Character to make the world a better place.
I was able to witness that in our overnight. These girls were out of their comfort zone but now know that they can do what they need to do. They tried various ways of starting fires - never using a match. This is just one part of the program but a very strong part. Ask you kid if they can do that.
January, cookie sales begin around the country. When asked by a young girl if you would like to buy some cookies - put yourself in their place. Would you have been able to ask a stranger that passed your cookie booth to buy cookies? Could you have looked a person in the eye and said "Thanks for your support or Thank you anyway"? Yes, it is a great money maker but it is more than that. Each year I watch my girls become more confident about themselves as they grow up and talk to more people. Show your support and buy a box or two. That money goes a long way to helping a girl become a better person.

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