If, when we started our Girl Scout troop in 2011 with a crew of adorable kindergartners, someone suggested I would still be leading the troop eight years later, I would have told you that was unlikely.
Because, frankly, who is still a Girl Scout by the time they hit high school?
Turns out there are quite a few, and, what I didn’t realize until recently is that, frankly, most of the true benefits of Girl Scouts kick in just when we are most inclined to quit.
That’s because, while over the years our girls have learned many great lessons about independence, individuality, creativity, entrepreneurship and community, the opportunities for volunteer hours (a requirement for graduation), leadership development, independent learning, and to demonstrate commitment to an activity – all great factors for anyone thinking about college and college applications – are fundamental benefits to scouting in high school.
Being a troop leader when the girls were younger was easier. Not only did they (and I) have less on their schedules and more time meetings, the patches and activities were more clear cut, and easy to achieve.
As we muddled through middle school, I often questioned if Girl Scouts was worth the time and effort. But then we’d have a meeting, or activity, that brought our girls together, and I would be reminded of the bonds they have formed through a lifetime together.
Approaching high school, I will admit that I don’t really know what being a Girl Scout troop leader looks like in the coming years. I believe I will be less leader, more advisor, but am prepared to adjust to whatever the next four years brings.
Because I do know this – being the leader for my daughter’s troop has been one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done as a parent.
Not only has it given me a chance, in whatever way I could, to pass on lessons I hope will serve them in the future. I have also been granted a front row seat as our girls grow from adorable Daisies into accomplished, confident young women.
And I’m looking forward to being part of their journey as they take the next step – high school.