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When I Was A Girl Scout in 1983

Posted by Kimberly on April 10, 2007

M2M Girl Scouts / John DeereIt’s official.  I’m growing old.  In my mind, 1983 seems like yesterday; but in fact that was 24 years ago.

I remember that year.  I was in the third grade, attending Centertown Elementary School (now better known as the school at which infamous teacher Pamela Rogers Turner taught – and, no, she wasn’t there when I was there…she’s younger than I!).   I was a quiet, shy girl (so contrary to what I am now) being taught under the guidance of one Ms. Orrick; the meanest teacher in my the memory of my school years.

One day, all the little girls in class received a flyer announcing girl scout registration.  Being just a rural country girl, I have never considered joining; yet when my best friend, Jacquelyn, decided to join, of course I had to so too.  After all, if girls (even later as women) go to the bathroom in pairs, why wouldn’t we join scouting activities the same way!

After convincing my mother this was something that I really wanted to do, we made our way in early 80s model Buick Le-Sabre to the registration location.  On that evening, I officially became a girl scout.  I was, to say the least, so excited!

In my mind, I envisioned so many fun things:  hiking, camping, giggling with my girlfriends, baking, sleepovers…the list could go on and on.  Truth be known, I was much off the mark with what we would do, just how they would take place and the frequency with which they would be done.

The day of our first troop meeting I was so excited.  Of course, prior to this, my mother and I had went on a shopping excursion, purchasing all the things a new girl scout needs; i.e., uniform, socks, and sash.  My mother had even sewn on my first patches.  You know, those patches that aren’t earned, just simply for identifying your troop and serving the purpose of keeping you from having a big barren sash draped across your body.

Our meetings took place immediately following school.  When that last bell rang, instead of scurrying to the bus, I dashed out the door headed just 500 feet down the road to our meeting place inside the community’s CIC (Community Improvement Club).  Although I was accompanied on my mad dash with several of my friends, walking into the room I joined up with many others that I knew from my small school.  It felt great to be a part of, in a 8 year old’s mind, this important society group!

Immediately I noticed “small” people (even at 8, I thought I was grown) dressed in brown; later identified to me as the Brownies.  Essentially, the younger girls who we were supposed to mentor but just actually wound up torturing in the way that little girls do.

As the old girls, we were dispatched to the creepy, smelly basement of the building for our meeting.   As our  meeting got underway, I found myself wondering what I was doing there.  Come on, already!  Why are discussing the things we’ll be doing instead of just doing them.  Where’s the camping equipment, the hiking maps, the stove to bake with??  Are we just going to talk about it?!

And, truth be known, that’s exactly what we did for the first several meetings:  talk.  Later, we did make one trip where we combined camping and hiking.  And for our annual banquet, we did cook deserts.  Of course, we earned other badges along the way for selling cookies (which I still LOVE to this day!), sewing a little something here and there, or putting together some little useless craft item that our mother’s pretended to just adore. 

What I didn’t realize, however, was that Girl Scouting wasn’t about what you did, it was about whoyou did it with.  That you’re not earning the badges because you learn to do something, but because you learn to do it with others.  Many of those that I shared my Girl Scouting experiences with are still ones I consider friends to this day.  Not acquaintances as so many friendships turn into following adulthood, but actual friends.

Although I did not opt to join scouts again the following year, I am glad that I took the time that year to participate.  Apparently it served some purpose, I still remember 24 years later.  🙂

Pictured Above Left:  Korker Ribbon Hair Bow M2M Girl Scout Uniforms

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