A girl shines in Girl Scouting. I know this to be true because I was that girl. - Wendy, a Girl Scout Alumna
Imagine a shy little girl who is about to attend her very first Brownie meeting. There she is, all decked out in her brand new and slightly itchy uniform; beanie held securely by no less than 87 bobbie pins because of her unruly, thick mullet. She promises to wear her uniform to every meeting since she knows her parents spent hard-earned money to buy it. And, her uniform makes her feel very, very important. She hesitantly walks into the meeting room which is full of laughter and chatter from the girls who already know each other.
"Good afternoon, Brownie Troop 299!" says a woman at the head of the school's multi-purpose room. Barely audible, the little girl says "hi." She finds a seat next to a girl she's seen in school but who isn't in her class. In fact, none of these girls are in her class...not a good start for an introverted, insecure girl. The Troop Leader starts the meeting by explaining different activities they will do together including crafts, hiking, making First Aid kits, and OH MY GOSH DID SHE JUST SAY ROLLER SKATING?! The little girl is starting to feel much more comfortable.
A few weeks pass and the little girl dutifully attends each meeting, always wearing her itchy uniform. Her badges are slightly askew and crooked as neither she nor her mother are very good seamstresses. During a cold, wintry meeting, the Leader announces that the Troop will sing "My Country Tis of Thee" at their upcoming holiday party. She arranges the girls in a cluster by height. The little girl, always being the littlest of any group, is front and center. "Oh no, everyone will be looking at me," she worries to herself
At the holiday party, tables are decorated and the aroma of hot chocolate tickles the senses. The little girl's father, a Vietnam vet, is wearing a special military pin and has his camera dangling from his neck. The Troop Leader tells the girls to line up on stage and take their places. The little girl gives her father a concerned look. "You'll be great, honey," he whispers to his daughter. And he snaps her photo (historical proof attached).
There they are, Troop 299, displayed for the whole world to see; the littlest one dead center. All eyes on her. The music starts, she takes a deep breath. SILENCE. No one is singing! There is one girl kind of humming but she is saying the wrong words. Someone better do something! And suddenly, a tiny voice bursts through the silence, "MY COUNTRY TIS OF THEE!!!" It was the little girl! She didn't even know she could do that, and yet here she was, leading the group in song and cheesy choreography. Finally, the rest of the troop followed along and the crowd went wild with approval. And I haven't shut up since. J
Through Girl Scouting, I found the courage to use my voice. I found the confidence to make my father proud. And I found my character...okay, well I've always had character.
Girl Scouts helps other girls - shy and outgoing - to become their best selves.