Clearly this is the fault of the Girl Scouts.
You know, that organization that empowers innocent little girls all over the nation, and even the world, to discover who they are and what they stand for.
It's funny how things happen. I never intended to be so involved in the Girl Scouts. I was a Brownie for a few years, and even a Junior, and it was fun, but not a hugely life-changing experience. Still, when Vicki started school, I thought it would be a good thing for her. The only problem was that there were no troops nearby with space for her. So my friend suggested we start our own troop, and here I am six years later, wrapping up another year of cookie sales with not one, but three Girl Scout daughters.
Who all want to change the world in their own ways.
At each Girl Scout meeting, the girls all recite the Girl Scout Promise, which is:
On my honor, I will try:The Girl Scout Law is:
to serve God, and my country,
to help people at all times,
and to live by the Girl Scout Law.
I will do my best to beI have watched that first Girl Scout troop grow from five tiny 1st graders to 12 strong 6th graders, and I am proud of them each and every day. I leave our meetings this year on such a high from listening to these girls discuss constructive ways to deal with the situations they face each and every day. We've talked about friendships, bullies, jealousy, and boys (though I'm not ready for that one yet!), and they've stood as great examples to their younger counterparts as they taught the Daisies all about cookie sales.
Honest and Fair,
Friendly and Helpful,
Considerate and Caring,
Courageous and Strong, and
Responsible for what I say and do,
Respect myself and others,
Use resources wisely,
Make the world a better place, and
Be a sister to every Girl Scout.
I've watched these girls step completely out of their comfort zone and overcome shyness and fear of speaking to strangers in order to sell their cookies to support their sister Girl Scouts. And I've watched each one of them smile while doing it. They've learned that work can be fun, and that hard work is rewarding.
I've sat through a meeting and heard them constructively and fairly calmly discuss a bullying situation that a few of their own were facing. They tried to be fair, and considerate, and rather than spend an hour tearing down the girl who was doing the bullying, they simply discussed how they could solve the problem and support each other.
I've watched them be friends to the friendless and support each other through all kinds of life lessons. They have their moments (don't we all?), but this group of girls have never ceased to impress and amaze me. I am proud of them and proud to be their friend.
As for my own three Girl Scouts?
I have seen Vicki, Lexi, and Ellie embody each line of the Girl Scout Law at different times and in different ways. Each time they do something nice for someone else, they're being Friendly and Helpful, and Considerate and Caring. When they admit to doing something they shouldn't have, they're being Honest and Fair, Courageous and Strong, and Responsible for What They Say and Do. When they remember to compost and recycle and reuse, they're Using Their Resources Wisely and Making the World a Better Place. When they're respectful to their teachers (and their parents!), they're Respecting Authority. And, most importantly, every day they're trying hard to Respect Themselves and Others.
They're serving God and their country by discovering who they are, where they come from, what's going on in the world around them, and how to get along with everyone they meet.
So whenever someone tells me that my girls are so well-behaved, or so polite, or friendly, or considerate, I think that instead of laughing it off and saying, "Oh, you should see them at home!", I'll just say, "Thank you! They're Girl Scouts."
Because, really, I blame the Girl Scouts.