In digging through my memories, I suddenly hit upon Girl Scouts. I faithfully buy my quota of Girl Scout cookies every year. You would think this memory should have come several months ago as I ate a whole box of mint cookies (not all at once mind you, just several at a time) and as I munched … well here it is.
Girl Scouts became a part of my life as my three girls reached Scouting age. We moved west and as I looked for a scout troop for Amelia and a Brownie troop for Katie, I found myself very much involved. It started when I tried to find a Cub Scout group for Bill.
“Oh, will you be a den mother?” was the response I got. I had been a scout briefly as a teen-ager, but I knew nothing about Boy Scouts, or much about boys, in fact, having grown up with one sister and mostly girl cousins.
“I am working with a Brownie troop,” says I.
“Oh, well then here is the information about a den for him.” They did figure I could not do both. Bill joined his den briefly, and later when he reached Boy Scout age he was in a very active and wonderful troop.
After our first year in Bellingham, we moved to a new house which meantnew schools, and thus a new search for troops nearer to home. Once again I was involved, first assisting and then as the leader. As my girls moved into the Cadette and Senior levels, I remained behind with the Junior troop.
Oh the memories. Thirty girls singing all the songs I knew. The games they played, camp outs—-
This memory I can’t resist sharing first:
There was one girl in our troop who wasn’t particularly liked and was always on the outside of whatever was going on. She was the last one selected to join in any activity. She just didn’t quite fit in and try as we could, my co-leader and I, had to constantly find a way to include her. She was a 5th grader and a classmate of some of the girls as they all attended the same school.
This was a time before special needs children were integrated into the classroom. They were usually placed in a separate classroom and often in a different school than their neighborhood school. This particular school had no special class for these kids. At that time the term “special needs” was not used.
At some point, mid year, testing was done and this particular child was declared “special needs” ( don’t ask me why it took so long to figure this out). However, she remained in the school and with the same teacher but help was provided for her… maybe the start of integrating the special education into a regular class.
The girls learned of this. How could they not as J was taken out for special help but remained for most of the school activities. This helped the girls in the troop realize that J couldn’t help who she was. Suddenly she was the first selected for the games, the first to be chosen as a tent mate, the first to be chosen to be in a patrol.
I was so proud of my troop as they found a way to include J in everything. This was true Scouting at its best.
It is interesting that my daughter’s mind turns to Scouting at the same time mine does. I read her blog about camp and returned to the start of my Scouting story. There is more to come. So many memories and so much fun.