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!!
Priscialla, you still look the same! Lovely always. I have great memories of brownie and Girl Scout years. Oh, and the ‘stomores! Sweet post. / J.D.
I look the same as I did when I was 10? LOL! Ah, well, it’s good to know I’m still a recognizable me! Just talked to my Mom in CA and got the latest update on all the changes and precautions. Take care, Jamie. Sending love! ❤
Thanks for reminding me of the fond memories of Brownies and Girl Guides, too, Scilla. We earned a lot of respect when able to light a fire in any (Scottish) weather condition. We also had all sorts of Proficiency Badges to earn, one included dishwashing as I recall, and strove to cover our sleeves with them. Fun times growing up. M.
I remember trying to get water to boil in a tuna fish tin with a little dish soap (so you could see the bubbles better) for a competition…in the rain. Self-reliance is amazingly fun!
The chipmunk comment did make me laugh! I was in the Brownies and “flew up” to the Girl Guides as the process was known but I have mixed feelings about such organisations because though they are fun they also teach children to conform and to accept being controlled and I’m not at all sure that is such a good idea.
Back in the day, I had never seen anything else modeled. My family was very religious, my father was very authoritarian, and I went to public school. Nowadays, I know about wonderful models like Montessori schools and Waldorf schools and homeschooling and unschooling. I really enjoy being a teacher’s aide in an environmental education homeschool enrichment class. I am learning from the teacher how to ask questions and explore alongside the kids without shaming or demanding or judging. We are lucky to have had the opportunities we had AND to learn how to do better. 🙂