Monday, March 3, 2014

Smart Cookies

This month, the Girl Scouts are celebrating their 102nd anniversary. Julliette Gordon Low, their founder, held the first Girl Scout meeting in March 1912 with 18 girls in Savannah, Georgia. She was inspired after meeting the man who originated the Boy Scouts, Robert Baden Powell.

Juliette Gordon Low with two Girl Scouts

 I started in scouting when I was in the 2nd grade at WW Robertson Elementary School in Yakima, Washington. Another girl's mom was the leader, but the group met in the basement of our house.  I got to wear a special brown dress with a little beanie and I still have my Brownie pin from those early years.  At age 9, we Brownies "flew up" and became Intermediate Girl Scouts which meant a green uniform, a little patch in the shape of a pair of golden wings and a different pin.  I still have them all.

Two Girl Scout pins and a Brownie pin

 What was the point of all this?  Besides keeping us out of trouble, Girl Scouting has always been about building self-esteem, learning skills and building community.  My mom was always working or in school so I think she thought of it as free child care and a good influence.  My very first camping trip was organized by my Girl Scout leader. She and her husband took us camping when I was in the 5th grade somewhere up in the Natchez area and I remember we learned to make hobo stew in a tin can with aluminum foil on top.  To me this was a whole new world as my father came from the East Coast and thought that anybody who would choose to sleep in a tent was out of their mind. After my parents split up, the Girl Scouts became an important way for me to meet new friends when we moved to my grandparent's farm near Quilcene, Washington.  I sent my own daughter to Girl Scout camp from the age of 9 through her sophomore year in high school.  She learned all her boating skills there, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, sail boarding and made lots of good friends.
First Lady Hilary Clinton with Girl Scouts

On Sunday, February 23, 2014 I read an article in the Seattle Times that I just had to share with you.  It turns out that an enterprising young Girl Scout in San Francisco sold 117 boxes of cookies after locating herself outside of a medical marijuana dispensary.  When other Girl Scouts and their moms heard about it they decided to follow suit and have been recording greatly improved cookie sales.  One dispensary in Arizona has even used the cookies as a sales incentive; buy at least a half an ounce of pot and have your pick of a free box of Thin Mints or any other variety of cookie the Girl Scouts are offering.
A Girl Scout working on her Gold Award project.

 I didn't stay in scouting long enough to earn merit badges but I loved the little icons and what they stood for. The imagery on the badges is constantly evolving along with the different skills that girls learn now.  Could somebody please tell me what in the world this icon represents?
The badge is called On My Way
Support the Girl Scouts. Buy a box of cookies on your way home from the drug store.

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