Friday, April 20, 2012

29 minus 6

I was in Girl Scouts for 12 years. 

My last year was my sophomore year in high school, when I made the choice to concentrate more on band and my social life than spending all of my spare time with a bunch of other girls.  I mean, what fun is that?

My mother was my troop leader when I was a Daisy, and part of the time when I was a Brownie.  When I became a Junior was when a lot of my friends in the troop thinned out, and I was forced to associate with people I normally wouldn't have.  By the time I reached Senior status, pretty much the only reason I stayed involved was for the camping trips.

I loved Girl Scout camping.  We had a fall camping trip where we would dig holes in the ground to go to the bathroom, spend out afternoons hiking and chasing down firewood and finding random trees and flowers.  Our winter camping was in the Girl Scout lodge in Grand Island, if it was nice enough we could go out on the property and do the tree mazes, and the zip lines.  But most of the time the winter trips involved melting snow for water, and freezing the leader's bra while they slept.

I loved cooking on a campfire, and washing our dishes in water that was warmed over a flame.  I loved the homemade doughnuts, and the chicken on a haystack that was a staple of every camping trip.  I loved singing around the fire at night, telling ghost stories in the tents, putting on three layers of clothes and climbing in my sleeping bag, pulling the sleeping bag over my head so I didn't freeze.  Playing flashlight tag, taking nighttime hikes, scaring the crap out of each other.

I don't regret a single minute that I spent around these wonderful women.  I had wonderful mentors, these wonderful older women who taught me how to be strong, and determined, and brought out my sense of humor.  I made friends, and though there were some girls I didn't get along with, I can honestly say that I didn't make any enemies.

Leaving the girl scouts in my sophomore year was the right decision for me, at the time.  Looking back on it now, I wish I had stuck it out and went all the way.  Earned my silver and my gold torches.

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