When I come across girls on Scout business, I like to share that I was once a Girl Scout too. But the more I think about it, who knows how technically accurate this is? If I were hooked up to a polygraph machine and answered, “Yes, of course” to “Were you ever a Girl Scout?” would there be consequences?
A friend recruited me into a troop in fifth grade. Our leader, a new acquaintance’s hippie mom, seemed fearless. We never had uniforms (I fuzzily recall a sash of some sort, but that could be all in my head). We never went camping, unless taking one unchallenging nature walk counts. Although the “meetings” were invigorating and hilarious, I didn’t stick with the group for long and wouldn’t be flabbergasted to learn that it was unaccredited.
Since my troop time didn’t amount to much more than socializing in a somewhat organized manner, I’m fascinated with the lines of text (aside from the “Nutrition Facts”) on my Thin Mints box. There’s a list disclosing that the Girl Scouts experience (or at least the cookie-selling component of it) is designed to help girls develop 5 skills: Goal Setting, Decision Making, Money Management, People Skills, and Business Ethics.
(Money Management? Should this have been a topic of discussion in between rounds at the bowling alley we went to?
Business Ethics? When the town mayor’s granddaughter and I spent an afternoon going door to door and deliberated whether to call it a day and “go to Dairy Queen now or do a few more houses first,” I’m 70% sure we opted for the latter.)
If any future tween of mine wants in on a stimulating organized troop, I’ll be a hippie-mom overseer. We’ll bowl and kickbox, have tea parties and dance marathons, travel to the nearest trampoline park, deify the arts, practice eco-consciousness even when it’s not Earth Day, and donate more snacks than we sell.