In kindergarten, I remember sitting in an assembly hall and learning about scouting. I left that assembly and couldn’t stop talking about wanting to be a Girl Scout. I wanted to wear that cute little outfit. I wanted that sash with all of the embroidered and earth tone patches. I saw myself cutely walking around school with my head tilted up, pig-tails flapping (with coordinated colored barrettes, of course), wearing that brown uniform. I wanted to go camping and cook stuff outside and grow something and learn first aid. I wanted the whole experience, outfit and all.
I attended a couple of introductory meetings in elementary school, but never had the chance to join a troop. However, I still learned lessons about citizenship, preparedness, safety, and even outdoor skills. Some I learned from my mother and her colleagues. (She was a Parks & Recreation worker who did youth and young adult activities, such as games, arts & crafts, swimming, hiking etc. in the summer and after-school). Other skills like orienteering, marksmanship, first aid, field dressing small game and making knots, I learned in ROTC in high school and college. (Yes, I was in ROTC and was this close to joining the Army). However, all these years later I still have this nagging longing to participate in the Scouts. Oh, I know I can join as an adult member and volunteer; but I really want to do the activities, learn the lessons, and earn the badges. I still want that snazzy sash!
Yet, on a more mature note, I really appreciate what scouting is all about and Girl Scouts in particular. Their mission and programs foster leadership, character, and independent thinking in girls and young women. Their traditional programs in nature and outdoor education appeal to me as both a nature lover and environmental educator. Plus, they also promote math, science, and technology education and career pursuits in young women from all walks of life. Girl Scouts has a strong and long history of both community service and community outreach. These are all values that I share and support in real life, in my career, and on this blog.
Now, all I have to do is find out who I need to pitch this idea to…Any ideas or recommendations?