Monday, September 29, 2014

The lifelong impact of Girl Scouts as told by Maria B.

The lifelong impact of Girl Scouts as told by Maria B. Thank you for sharing your story! 

This week I read a motivating article. The article posed the question, what would the eight year old you find shocking that the adult you wasn't doing? I thought for a few seconds when I read the article, the first thing that came to mind was scouting. I was a Girl Scout for ten years, from eight to eighteen. I earned the Gold Award. Then later in the week I serendipitously found out about a membership rally at Camp Choee; a place I have many, many fond memories of. I am lucky to be the mother of two wonderful girls. My oldest is now old enough to be a Daisy. I was so excited to be taking my daughters and husband to a Girl Scout event and more over, Camp Choee.

Returning to Camp Choee was exciting and emotional. There was, at the event, an exhibit of the Girl Scout uniform through the ages. I couldn't hold back the tears when I saw the junior uniform I wore. Not only the uniform, but in display were also the same badges I have in a special tin. My most prized possession.
The excitement and emotions made me reflect on my scouting experience. Scouting was one of the few constants during my childhood. My parents were divorced when I was a child. My family moved at least a dozen times. I changed schools about half a dozen times.
But I could always count on those Tuesday night meetings, my troop and my leader, Rosio Kemper. I made life long friends in my troop. Girl Scout troop 140. Three of us are still very good friends. We have always and will always be there for each other.
We camped, we traveled, we sold cookies, we made up skits and swaps. We dressed up, we made pyramids, we laughed until our stomachs hurt. We grew up, we got in trouble, we created, we learned life skills, camping skills and mad dancing skillz. We earned patches, badges and pins. We hiked, we picked up trash and we competed.
Some of the skills I thought I would never use again and then I became a national park ranger. My job for many years was taking 5th graders camping. I built campfires, set up tents, cooked and knot tied using the techniques I learned in Girl Scouts.
As a mother I want my daughters to be empowered, to have access to a wide range of activity options and to experience nature regularly. It is time for me to return to the Girl Scouts. I look forward to continuing my journey with this organization and empowering the next generation of Girl Scouts.

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