Most girls join the Girl Scout for the friendship or for the cool uniforms. I was never hooked on the green vests with lots of badges, but my sister could never get enough of them. She was mesmerized by the squad goals, the badges and the cookies.
At 10 years, she joined the Girl Scouts for the first time and she managed to stick to them way longer than any of her friends, much to our parents and friends astonishment. Now, as an adult, she always seems to be more prepared for certain situations than I am.
Apparently, her years in the Girl Scouts taught her more than how to tie a knot.
1. Women can do everything they set their minds on
Women are incredible! This is one of the lessons my sis seems to be taking away from the Girl Scout. Her leaders were never those boring, crazy old ladies who took them to the woods. In fact, my sister’s bunch never camped in the woods. They did camp in the backyard of their leader, who took this as an opportunity to teach the little ladies about managing a budget, getting help when they have an unwanted pregnancy and how to act when you have an eating disorder.
Those women, the scout leaders, managed to take their time to teach a group of girls about real life, while they were leading their own busy lives. One of the leaders had two small kids she was raising alone and a full-time job. And she was a leader for the Girl Scouts!
Over time, my sister saw that women are not the “weaker sex”, they are the “stronger” ones. They are able to manage everything, from a career to parenthood and still look sexy. By the way, one of the leaders always wore high heels and red lipstick! Always!
2. Value the person, not her bank account or her race
This one is big and it kinda makes me regret not being a Girl Scout. In my sister’s group, there were girls from all types of families and with different backgrounds. While their leaders were teaching them how to use a badge holder and take pride in wearing badges – pretty useful for a future corporate worker – the girls were crafting lanyards and sharing personal stories.
Rich and poor, Caucasian, Latina or African American girls were having fun and learning how to join their forces to be a strong group. They also learned how to cut racism from the root and how to act when someone bullies a person. Even now, in adulthood, my sister and most of her fellow scouts are still friends. They still help each other during tough times and they gather for no reason to party together.
3. Work hard for your dreams
Girl Scouts are taught to be resourceful and this is very important in adult life. The scout leaders always push the girls to work hard for their own dreams.
If one door is being closed, work on opening another one. Always have a backup plan. Being a Girl Scout also teaches the little ladies to persevere: they are often bullied for their silly songs and events, but this teaches them to fight for what they love and the ideas they believe in. Again, a great asset in adult life.
4. Life is meant to be enjoyed
When all your other friends are dating and drinking, being a scout is not going to make you popular. But it’s going to teach you that life is meant to be enjoyed and that drinking and boys are not the only ways to have fun.
Yes, scouts are goofy, but they do know how to party without alcohol. They know how to make someone smile and they know a good laugh can make a person feel better about life.
Featured photo credit: Peter and Joyce Grace via flickr.com