The Girl Scout Promise
On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country, to help other people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law.
On this day in 1912, Juliette Gordon Low organized the first Girl Scout meeting. It took place in Savannah, in my home state. The 18 girls present called themselves Girl Guides. They went on to meet weekly, participating in enrichment programs, service projects and outdoor activities. Now, there are more than 3.7 million members.
I’m proud to say that I was a Girl Scout and a leader. I started in Brownies in the second grade and wore the trademark chocolate-colored dress and knee socks. When I graduated to a Junior in fourth grade, the color changed to a shamrock green. We always wore dresses back then. I don’t remember wearing a uniform as a Cadette in sixth and seventh grades. When I started high school, I dropped out of Girl Scouts because it wasn’t cool anymore. My loss.
As a Junior, I visited the Juliette Gordon Low house and wore my first pair of pantyhose to celebrate the occasion. What a mistake! Never, ever wear pantyhose in Savannah in the summer. The humidity will leave you dripping.
Selling Girl Scout cookies funded trips like this for us. Back then, there were five options—Thin Mints, Do-si-Does, Tagalongs, Samoas, and Shortbread. You wouldn’t know it now, but shyness held me back as a kid. I never came close to being the top seller in my troop. My mom would end up buying the lion’s share of my commitment and freezing them.
While I stank at sales, I did excel at merit badges. I was the only girl in my Junior troop who earned every single badge. I still have the sash to prove it.
A close friend and I formed a Daisy troop when our daughters entered first grade. We led the same group of 10 girls for five years. Every Monday after school, we’d host some sort of educational meeting. We’d usually invite a subject matter expert to speak. We organized a field trip each month and camped each Spring. I have thousands of pictures of those sweet girls and am friends with most of them today on Facebook. What an awesome experience.
To celebrate National Girl Scout Day, I encourage you to take the group’s slogan to heart:
Do a good turn daily.
Were you a Girl Scout? If so, what’s your favorite memory?