“The Girl Scouts is an organization that constantly gives you new goals to achieve and that's what life is all about.” ~Maria Bartiromo
Recently I was on a camping trip, and one night around the campfire I was asking a friend about her camping experiences. I learned that she never had any camping experiences as a child. It was another time that made me aware and grateful for all I have in my life. Camping is a big part of my life and Girls Scouts was a crucial component that nurtured my love for camping and nature.
I had the most amazing Girl Scout leaders. They gave up so much of their time and energy for us. When our Brownie troop had the “fly up” ceremony from Brownies to Juniors we actually flew on an American Airlines sightseeing flight that took us over Arizona – I especially remember seeing the Grand Canyon from the plane. This was 1965, so most girls had never been on an airplane and one girl even got sick, but it was a once in a lifetime experience. Notice, that this was a time when people dressed up to ride on an airplane – we even had to wear our white gloves. In our Brownie troop we made “sit upons,” participated in crafts, earned badges, tied knots and sold cookies door-to- door, and we had a lot of fund raisers so we could take an airplane ride. The truly important thing was that we learned to build friendships, be creative, push ourselves beyond our comfort zone and we developed a strong work ethic.
Girl Scouts provided so many experiences that shaped my life. We were backpacking in the Superstition Mountains and our leaders got lost. It was raining and our packs got soaked. We will always remember setting up our tube tents on the muddy ground, trying to cook meals over candles and having to share sleeping bags because our mummy bags got soaked in the rain. I also canoed down the Colorado and we experienced the London Bridge for the first time. I went white water rafting on the Green River and remember we were small enough to wedge ourselves between the pontoons at the front of the boat and we took turns riding the rapids from that perspective. I learned silly songs that I could still sing today– heck I could even probably do some of the hand motions to Doodly Doo. I can’t remember a lot of little things like what I had for dinner last week, but I can remember “Sarasponda, sarasponda, sarasponda ret set set.” I know about s’mores, cooking dinners in foil packets, making fires, how to waterski and snow ski, and so many other camping skills. But, the experiences I had in Scouting were the most important part – I learned life skills like creative problem solving skills, a love of nature and created bonds of friendship that are priceless.
I am grateful to our leaders who gave up so much of their time to make a difference in our lives. We were very lucky and I am a stronger and more compassionate person because of those experiences.
Who and what are you grateful for from your childhood?
Peggy Steffens is an artist and Chopra Certified Meditation Instructor
My goal is to build a community with like-minded individuals who want to grow, share and learn from one another. Please post comments to enrich the experience for all.