Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy 100th Anniversary, Girl Scouts!

Happy 100th Anniversary to the Girl Scouts! My girls and I are proud to be a part of such an amazing organization and this year, in particular, is an incredible time to be a Girl Scout! I was a Girl Scout growing up -- from Brownies all the way through Seniors! (I'm so old that they added two new levels -- now it's Daisies through Ambassadors!) And I was a Girl Scout during their 75th anniversary, but I don't remember if I realized the significance of that anniversary, and I'm sure, although I loved being a Scout, I realized how much Scouting did for me. My mother enrolled me as a Brownie when I was in the first grade -- we were cleaning the basement out this weekend and I found a box of things from my childhood, including my first Girl Scout handbook with my mother's neat handwriting spelling out my name on the front cover. I loved that book and was so excited to be able to share it with my 11-year-old daughter who is a Junior Girl Scout.

On Sunday, I had a meeting for the Daisy Girl Scout troop that another mom and I started for our daughters. My sweet 5-year-old is in that troop, and her older sister helps out as a Junior Aide. Since our meeting was yesterday, and the official 100th Anniversary of the Girl Scouts is today, we had our own little celebration. At the Girl Scout store (which I just love!) I had purchased green and white "100 Anniversary" balloons -- enough for each girl and our two Junior Aides to take one home. Yesterday morning, I went to the party store and asked if I could pay them to fill my balloons with helium. They charged me the regular price, as if I had purchased their latex balloons -- this was perfect -- MUCH cheaper than my back-up plan, which was to buy a helium tank! The balloons looked very festive on our table! Also at the Girl Scout store, I purchased the limited edition Girl Scout insignia pins with "100" on them, and we gave each girl a pin to wear on her uniform. In addition to our anniversary (or birthday) party theme, we worked on a badge that was all about being considerate and caring and we read a story out of the Daisy handbook about "The Art of Sharing." In keeping with the sharing and birthday themes, I had asked each of the girls to bring one craft item (children's scissors, crayons, glue stick, etc.) wrapped as a birthday gift to share with the troop and to help us replenish our craft supplies. For snack, one of our girls brought in Shamrock cookies to share (since we are so close to St. Patty's Day -- bonus, they were green and matched the balloons -- I love when a theme works out!) and before our snack we sang "Happy Birthday" to the Girl Scouts.

Finally, we followed one of the ideas in our Daisy book for earning our badge, and to (literally!) illustrate the theme of sharing, we passed out a piece of paper to each girl and we set out markers and crayons. Each girl started to make a picture and after a couple of minutes, we passed them all to the left and then that girl would continue working on the picture. That was slightly chaotic the first time, but we did it again and again so they got to put their mark on a number of their friends' drawings. Each girl took home a picture that was a combination of their friends' artwork -- they did a great job sharing their pictures and their art supplies, and it ended up being a really cute and fun idea!

We are helping out with Scouting for Food this weekend and we are also looking forward to our first camp-out this summer! The girls seem to have a great time together and I love being a troop leader. Girl Scouts offers so many opportunities for girls to make friends, learn great skills, build their confidence, and discover who they are -- it's been an experience that my girls and I will treasure always!

Do you have a daughter interested in becoming a Girl Scout? Or are you interested in volunteering? Go to the official Girl Scouts of the USA website at to learn more!