I signed my daughter up for Girl Scouts™ on a whim. During Kindergarten orientation three years ago, I picked up a bright pink information form for new Brownie troops that would be forming that fall. There was so much going on to get ready for school, but my daughter and her friends were interested. So, I signed her up, even though I wasn’t quite sure what being a Girl Scout™ involved.
I grew up in France, and only discovered Girl Scout™ Cookies as an adult. We purchased her little brown sash on the same day as her princess pencil case and her kitty cat notebook with wide handwriting margin. She was so excited, but I never imagined that her joining a Girl Scout™ troop would also affect me personally.
My daughter fell in love with Girl Scouting™ immediately, and it wasn’t just because of the Girl Scout™ Cookies. She looked up to her troop leaders who prepared such interesting scouting activities and bonded with the girls of her troop. She learned the Girl Scout™ pledge quickly and swelled with pride on the days she got to wear her uniform to school. I was impressed with how receptive these young Kindergarten girls were to the idea of charity and helping others. At Christmas time, they made ornaments and hung them up at our local hospital and in the Spring they planted flowers in an elderly woman's garden. Together they learned about those less fortunate and found ways to give back to the community, all the while having fun making crafts and doing activities as a group. The girls had a special bond that lasted through their transition to first grade. Two years after their first meeting, they bridged from Daisies to Brownies, so much more mature from their Girl Scout™ experiences.
When we moved to Ohio this year, all of the existing troops were closed to new members, and I stepped up as a volunteer to lead a new troop. Suddenly my daughter's Girl Scout™ journey became mine as I also learned the Girl Scout™ pledge and became a Brownie leader. My co-leader and I were thrilled to realize that the Girl Scout™ curriculum was really very flexible as neither of us are very crafty. In one year, we were able to organize activities around the environment, geography, cooking, and even writing.
Our troop corresponded with soldiers stationed in Afghanistan and sent them a large shipment of donated Girl Scout™ Cookies. The soldiers wrote back to each girl individually and they were so interested to learn more about the men's lives in Afghanistan. We went on a nature scavenger hunt in the Spring and raised money for a local children's hospital by caroling through the neighborhood. I'm really not sure who learned more this year, the girls in our troop or the leaders.
I never dreamed that signing up for an extra-curricular activity could have such an impact on our family. Joining the Girl Scouts™ truly is an experience of a lifetime, both for your daughter and for you. Sign her up today by calling 1-800-GSUSA 4 U (800) 478-7248, or 1-866-830-8700 or visit www.girlscouts.org/today. To learn more about the Girl Scouts™ watch their video.
* Ownership in the Girl Scouts of the United States of America