My daughter, Carolyn, is nine years old and she became involved with Girl Scouts a little over one year ago. Like most parents, I wanted to make sure my child was involved in extra-curricular activities. I wanted this activity to offer a social outlet as well as an alternative to simply watching television during her down time. My older daughter is an avid equestrian, and many times during the year our lives revolve around riding practices. I wanted Carolyn to have something to call her own, something she could be proud of so she wouldn’t feel like the tag-along to her sister’s events.
Carolyn tried many activities, but with every activity she would come up with a reason why she hated it. At the end of the day, I was left with a myriad of barely used outfits, equipment and wasted registration fees, and more importantly, my child was still no closer to finding her niche. What was I missing?
I started writing a list of things I knew Carolyn liked to do – singing, playing with her friends, visiting new and interesting places, arts and crafts. I asked myself what group could she join that encourages individuality, friendships, singing, exploration and creativity? The Girl Scouts, of course! I placed the call to GSCNC that day.
Carolyn absolutely LOVES being a Girl Scout. She looks forward to our meetings, trips and other activities. She is building friendships with girls that are meaningful. I have witnessed Carolyn’s world growing over the past year. Her eyes are being opened to new concepts, social issues, and a better sense of who she is as a person.
This past summer Carolyn attended a camp called “Fun Factor” at Camp Potomac Woods. To my surprise, when she returned, she excitedly recounted all of the fun she had at camp. She wants to go to “Fun Factor” and go to “Pony Tails,” a horseback riding camp, next year. I reminded Carolyn that we tried horseback riding as an activity before and how she did not enjoy it. Carolyn looked at me and said “Mommy, Girl Scouts makes everything more fun!”
Carolyn’s exuberance and love of scouting has inspired me to become involved with Girl Scouts as a volunteer. The opportunity to play an active role in the lives of my daughter and the other girls in our troop as they continue their discovery of themselves and their local and global communities is something I couldn’t pass up. To be involved with a group of dedicated women and girls who give so much of themselves has truly been inspirational for Carolyn…and me.
Editors Note: Holly Gray Brown is a co-leader for Troop 4664 in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.