Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Girl Scouting

I was reading Sam's blog this morning at "All Things Quilty and Sewey" and she included a picture of her old Girl Guide uniform. I got to thinking about my days as a Girl Scout and later as a troop leader for my daughters.

I think I joined GS as a Brownie scout when I was in first or second grade and I love it. My two older sisters were scouts and my older brother was a Boy Scout, so I knew it was going to be fun. I don't remember too much of those Brownie days except for the dance my troop put on for our mothers as part of a big dinner and ceremony for them. We had practiced and rehearsed and practiced again until we were ready. We had beautiful colorful costumes to wear, and we got up on the stage of the auditorium and performed the Mexican Hat Dance to the tune of "La Cucaracha" and it was thrilling! It was the first time I'd been on a stage and I thought this was the best thing ever. Any my mother told me that the dancing was the best she'd ever seen!

I also remember "flying up" from Brownies to Girl Scouts and how grown up I felt--at about 8 or 9 years old! LOL I stayed in Girls Scouts for 2 or 3 years before dropping out in the 6th grade. Like my older sisters, I wanted to go camping and have adventures and earn lots of badges. Unlike my sisters', my troop leaders wanted to do crafts. Every week. Week after week, nothing but crafts. I only went camping once while I was in GS--an overnight winter camp in a bunkhouse/lodge near a frozen lake. We cooked our own food and we went ice skating by moonlight on that lake--so much excitement for a young girl! We made hot chocolate after skating and we got to sleep in bunks that night. I loved that overnight and I wanted to do that every week instead of crafts.

I also went to day camp every summer that I was a scout. I learned lots of GS songs (Make New Friends, etc) and games and I learned to sing in a "round." I wonder if girls do that any more? We made "buddy burners" and cooked grilled cheese sandwiches on top. Our day camp was at a nearby lake and we did everything outdoors and I don't remember every having rain. Isn't that strange? One time I was wading in a creek with a stony bottom and a leech or, as we say in the Midwest, "bloodsucker," attached to my foot. I started screaming and carrying on something terrible, begging the counselors to take it off. They (two girls not much more than high schoolers) refused and said I should be a big girl and take it off myself! While I was screaming and they were refusing, the bloodsucker was making it's way up my leg from my heel almost to my knee. Someone finally plucked up the courage to get the thing off my leg but to this day when I see one of those disgusting things, I still feel like screaming--but I don't.

This is the kind of uniform I wore when I was a GS except I didn't have a cute hat and my dress (yes, we wore dress uniforms, no slacks allowed back then) had short sleeves. I think I may have worn my hair in that "page boy" style as well. I learned to tie a square knot from having to do the tie just right and I can still tie a mean square knot--left-over-right-and-right-over-left.

Well, this is a long post, but I got to thinking about those long gone days of Girl Scouting and just thought I'd write about them. Do any of you have GS memories? Please share them if you do, I'd love to hear your stories.

Another time, I'll write about my adventures as a GS troop leader. Just a hint--quilting was involved.


  1. I was a Brownie until I was about 11 or 12. I got lots of merit badges and my Mum sewed them onto a sleeping bag we used to take camping. I have no idea where that sleeping bag is now.

    I'd almost forgotten about Brownies until I read this post. Do girls in Australia even do that anymore I wonder ?

  2. Your post was very sweet, good memories. I was not a girl scout, but did belong to 4-H for a few years. It is how I learned to sew. Bernie