I am a high school student. I am also still a girl scout.
It bugs me when people try to say that I can’t still be a girl scout because I’m “too old.”
Everyone these day thinks that girl scouting is just a bunch of cute little girls selling cookies and singing campfire songs, but it is SO much more than that.
I would like to start off by saying that Girl Scouting has changed a lot since its founding in 1912. At one of their higher points, girl scouts were actually used as spies in world war one. It was pseudo military and each girl was taught wilderness survival skills and Morse code. We were the ones who delivered messages that could not risk interception. And no one ever suspected us.
We were formed based on the Boy Scouts, so we should be getting all the same respect.
Only times have changed and we are all being stereotyped. All the cute little boys are cub scouts and then it’s absolutely uncool to be a boy scout in middle school. What’s with the modern stereotype that boy scouts are gay? Fuck you, SNL.
And then if you are a boy scout in high school, you probably have reached Eagle Rank and suddenly you are the coolest kid again and all the colleges want you.
But girl scouts?
Everyone seems to think that everyone just stops after elementary school, and while most do, many still stay on, because girl scouting is the shit!
I personally hate selling cookies. I mean, I love eating them, but I was traumatized in my childhood after my mother literally dragged me door to door, selling cookies IN A BLIZZARD. I was 7. It sorta pissed me off. So why do I love being a girl scout if I don’t like “the only thing we do”?
Camp. That was my niche, and that’s why I stayed a scout as long as I did. Every year since I was 7, I would spend a week out in the Hills of Judy Layne and come back with new songs and stories and games. I looked forward to summer camp every time I left.
As I’ve gotten older, I have been working towards becoming a councilor. This summer, I’ll finally be volunteer staff and in 2014, I’ll be a paid employee. I live and breath for camp some days and I miss it sorely during the school years. One just cannot describe the joy derived from passing a joyous summer childhood on to the next generation for them to pass it down when they come of age. Some of the best parts of my childhood came of being in scouting.
And, ironically enough, the longer you stay in scouts, the more opportunities to do awesome stuff you get. As a Brownie or Junior, you can only really sell cookies and go to council events. Once you become a teen, you have to option of joining the council that runs those events. Teen Leadership Council is another of my favorite parts of scouting. My troop has, at this point, pretty much dissolved, but now I have a much bigger, more energetic group of driven teens to hang out with.
Fellow councilors from camp are also on the council and it spreads my summer life throughout the rest of each year, which I cherish.
And the friends one makes in scouts.
My best friend in my normal (if you could call it that) and I met in fifth grade, and the bond has building building stronger and stronger since.
Some of my best camp friends I met and bonded with fiercely within a week. Being at a girl scout event, especially camp, is just very liberating because no one judges one another. No one has to hide anything and everyone has everything on the table. When you leave yourself this vulnerable, and everyone else is as well, you make friends so much faster.
People I have met through Girl Scouts will probably remain my friends for life, and that is far more important than cookies.
~phan, also referred to as Broadway