Alum Stories: Rebecca’s Beautiful Adventure in Girl Scouts
When I was in kindergarten, I remember my mom showing me a colorful flyer covered in flowers and dragging me to my church’s basement after dinner. It wasn’t for religious education, but rather to go to my first Daisy meeting. It was the start of a beautiful adventure in Girl Scouts that ran all through my academic career to the present day and my lifetime membership.
My Girl Scout experience was full of badges, crafts, and programs at council headquarters. As an adult, I can thank Girl Scouts for my ability to fix a loose button and my love of taking a hike in nature. Beyond these things, which people usually associate with being a Girl Scout, I can directly trace who I am in my adult life to what Girl Scouts instilled in me as a child and young adult.
As a Junior, my troop was large enough that we were divided into patrols. It took me a while, but I earned my patrol leader cords. The honor came with extra work, but I loved the challenges I had to solve and it taught me early that being a leader is more than just a fancy title, but a responsibility. From there, my troop and I became program assistants that facilitated a variety of events, developing our ability to take charge and lead groups even more. My troop leader gave us control (within reason) over what we wanted to do on camp outs, what programs to attend, and what badges to earn. Those opportunities to make big decisions, and the skills I learned collaborating with a group, prepared me to become a leader when I joined the workforce and understand the weight that comes with that role.
While we had tons of fun, my troop always made sure to constantly serve others. My leader wanted us to understand the importance of helping those in need and doing the work to grow our community, so we cleaned up parks and camps, helped younger troops learn how to camp, and created cards for Meals on Wheels, among other things. Even now with my busy adult life, I clear time to give back to the city I live in by volunteering with Friends of the Library, Girl Scouts, and other local organizations. Being a Girl Scout taught me the importance of supporting others and my community, even if it requires some sacrifice.
There’s no telling how my life would have turned out without the Girl Scout Movement. The skills I learned with the organization, and the guidance of my leaders at the troop level, made me into a well-rounded and civically-engaged adult. It certainly gave me the courage, confidence, and character to chase after what I want. At the very least, in times of trouble, I know that I always have a band of sister Girl Scouts to back me up.
Rebecca was a camp counselor at Whip Poor Will in the summer of 2007. She is currently a content supervisor at Naked Lime and managing editor at The News Wheel.