On March 12, 1912, Juliette Low founded the Girl Scouts of America with a troop of 18 girls in Savannah, Georgia. I became a Brownie Girl Scout on Jan. 21, 1970. My mother was already a leader with one of my older sisters’ troops. I stayed in Scouting through my senior year of High School, and then became a Daisy and Brownie leader when my youngest girls were in kindergarten and first grade. Here is proof of my dedication to this fine organization: my fifth grade school picture.
School picture day just happened to be the same day that I had a meeting after school. We were encouraged to wear our uniforms to meetings. So, because I was an obedient child and followed the rules, I have this historic photo to prove that I was a bona fide Girl Scout at the age of 10. I found it pretty embarrassing at the time, though, to be the only child in uniform for the class composite photo. Ah well, there’s a nerd in every class. Oh, this photo also supports the story I told about visiting Hawaii and being mistaken for a boy. One could also have mistaken me for a chipmunk.
What was great about Girl Scouts? Camping. Singing silly songs. Downhill skiing. Climbing to the top of the Statue of Liberty in my uniform and platform shoes. Sneaking out of my tent in the full moonlight and posing as a statue along a State Park road. Skinny dipping. Roasting marshmallows. Learning a whole bunch of useful skills, like swimming and first aid. Meeting other girls from all over the country at a national event and feeling accepted. Gaining confidence in my capacity to learn and be responsible.
What will I always retain from Girl Scouts? My love of the outdoors. My ability to build a fire. My enthusiasm for hiking up a mountain in the hot sun. My desire to be helpful and do good deeds. Here’s proof from this decade:
So, Girl Scouts, how about a chorus of the old song:
Girl Scouts together that is our song
Winding the old trails, rocky and long
Learning our motto, living our creed
Girl Scouts together in every good deed.
Happy Birthday, Girls!!
This line “One could also have mistaken me for a chipmunk.” I’m sorry to say made me laugh out loud… I love the joyousness of this post and it brought back many happy memories of my Brownie and Girl Guide days.. I too learnt lots of different skills which stood me in good stead down through the years.
I do however remember one bit that was not so good.. I was wearing my rather short Brownie dress out in the woods.. I had been left to light and tend the fire… it was going rather well and I sat down to watch it ( rather too close and obviously with my legs open a bit !!) and a mini explosion in the fire caused a rather large spark to shoot up my skirt and burn into the skin at the top of my thigh…OUUUUUUCH !
One more reason that the uniform thing was not always cool!
definitely not !! It was hot, hot, hot and I still bear the scar to prove it !
Do you still remember the words to the White Deer Camp song?
Singing pines, whispering leaves,
All around a contented breeze.
In a palace of green light,
Undisturbed, we learn of life.
Wonderful memories of northern Wisconsin woods…
Would that be: Singing pines, whispering leaves All around a contented breeze In a forest of green light Undisturbed, we learn of life
Rocky roads, wear our shoes Walking on under skies of blues Happiness will never end When abiding with true friends
From White Deer now we go To other lands, our dreams to sow But with us we bring the light Of the story of green light.
….or something like that?
I think there was one more verse:
To White Deer please come forth, to gather dreams up in the North.
And to all we promise peace, as in green light the worries cease.
Here’s to peace in the north woods!
Did I tell you that I spent 5 days on Lake Woodbury at a “dispersed campground” in the National Forest about 10 miles from where White Deer was? That was August of 2009. So many great memories…loons on the lake, the “squish”, etc.
I bought extra cookies this year just to help them celebrate!
Oh, thank you! For the first year in decades, I didn’t buy any. I’ve moved away from my usual suppliers (plus, they grew up and stopped selling), and when I saw a group selling them outside the grocery store, I talked myself out of it because I’m unemployed. Hopefully, I’ll be buying again next year!
Oh, Scilla, that photo is a winner! You were so cute! I forgot all about the yellow neck tie until I saw the photo. I was a leader too–Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors–for four years I ran two troops–one for each kid. That’s where they learned to use a chain saw, a pick axe, and a blow torch. Their best friends were sister scouts, and I would be surprised if we didn’t have another generation of GS in the family one day.
Those are some serious tools! Forget the embroidery hoop and lashing, I’m joining your bunch!