Friday, October 14, 2011

It's why I do what I do...

When you think of the Girl Scouts you generally think of three "C's."

Cookies, Camping, and Crafts, right?

I want you all to do me a favor, though, and indulge me while I introduce you to the other three "C's" of Girl Scouting.

Courage, Confidence, and Character.

I've been a Girl Scout for almost 20 years- 8 years as a professional.

I can tell you all day long why your daughter, niece, friend, neighbor, etc. should be a Girl Scout or why you should volunteer.

I kinda need to be able to because it's kinda my job.

I have heard more stories about how Girl Scouting has changed lives in girls 6 to 66. I have seen at-risk girls from the poorest neighborhoods get so excited about wearing the uniform and selling cookies at a cookie booth. All of them gaining the "courage, confidence, and character" to make this world a better place for everyone.

But last Saturday, I got to see Girl Scouts closer than I have ever seen it before.

I saw it in this little girl.

Last Saturday, Brooklyn and her Daisy troop participated in their first "day of camp" at their local Camporee- a camping weekend with multiple troops all from generally the same area.

We took Brooklyn's troop of 13 1st graders for the day- 8am to 5pm. And boy, was it a day!

In addition to tie dying bandanas (pic above), the girls went on numerous hikes (my pedometer says over 5 miles!).

They proudly wore their Daisy t-shirts!

And they did "Buddy Checks."

They did "low ROPES" (which don't really involve ropes and are more like "team building" exercises).

And because it pays to know people (ha!), we got a special tour of the Circle C Ranch and met Merlin, our retired horse.

This is where the day took the turn. Up until now, things were pretty normal....nothing out of the ordinary- nothing extreme. But, Brooklyn has never been this close to a horse before and when Charlotte asked who wanted to brush and pet the horse, LO AND BEHOLD, Brooklyn and Kate were one of the first buddy groups to jump in line! I was so proud of Brooklyn and she showed such confidence as she worked with Merlin.

From the horses, we went to tae kwon do. Again, nothing crazy. It started off like a regular PE class. A little stretching. A little jumping and running. And some (half hearted) punching (and no "hiya-ing") from Brooklyn.

But then the dude brought out boards.
For these girls.
Did I mention they were 1st graders?
That's 6-7 years old.
To break.
With their HANDS.
Brooklyn turned back to me and mouthed, "I do NOT want to do that."
And I mouthed back, "You do NOT have to do that."

I crossed my fingers and half covered my eyes when Daisy #1 jumped up to break her board. I said a silent prayer that (1) she would be Ok, and (2) we have a permission slip signed for this.

Board broken.
Daisy #2 up.
Board broken.
Daisy #3 up.

You get the idea.
The girls were jumping up and breaking these boards left and right. It was incredible!

Then it was Brooklyn's turn.

She didn't even look back at me!!
That girl just hopped up there and split that board like it was her job!

I was so proud of her, but more importantly, she was so proud of herself!!!
Oh my, I could have cried right there.

Except that the instructor looked at us adults and said, "Ok, your turn."


ha! But you know what?


It was awesome!
It's feels pretty good at thirty-something to say that I went to Girl Scout camp and "tried something new."

Where else can you do all that and more?

It's why I do what I do.
And I wouldn't trade it for anything else.

Because what other job brings smiles like this?

[But could someone please remind me next time I am attending a life-changing event to charge the batteries on my nice camera?]

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