Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Spaz reflects on being a Girl Scout Leader

As I've mentioned before, I'm a Girl Scout leader. I never really intended to be a Girl Scout leader, actually. When little 1st grade Munchkin and I went to her school for the Girl Scout round-up so she could become a Brownie, I remember distinctly there were leaders there trying to recruit new leaders from the pool of mothers that showed up with their eager little girls.

I thought to myself "No way in hell."

We signed all the paperwork and paid some dues and in a few weeks we got a call from a wonderful lady saying that Munchkin was going to be in her troop and that we were going to meet and all that jazz.

For the first few years while Munchkin was a Brownie, I was a helpful mom to the troop. I got registered and I drove the girls places in my minivan and I handed out stuff at meetings and I tried not to get in the way.

And then just before the girls were about to start 4th grade, I got a call from that same wonderful lady, who I had gotten to know by that time, saying if someone (me) didn't step up and help her out with this troop that the troop would have to disband.

"Do I have time to think about it?"

And that was that.

It's been almost 4 years since I got that call and I can honestly say that being a Girl Scout leader is one of the most rewarding, wonderful things I've ever done. I've had the opportunity to get to know these amazing girls - each with their own little personalities and joys and struggles. I've been so lucky to watch them grow from little girls to beautiful young ladies. Saying yes to this is a decision I will never regret.

In the past 4 years my co-leaders and I have been more active than your average troop. We've planned multiple events for our service unit, badge parties, and camps. We've spent hours, days, months pouring our hearts into making activities awesome for our troop and the other troops that attend our events. Our houses are messy, our husbands are exasperated, and our children need their mothers back.

So last weekend we hosted our last event - a Hunger Games Training Camp for our council. We had 12 troops come and compete and it was absolutely awesome. The girls who came were age 11 and up and it was really great to get to work with the older girls who have stuck with scouts past the time when a lot of girls move on to do other things. Every single girl I had the opportunity to work with last weekend was a pleasure to speak with. They were kind, they were polite, they were easy-going and friendly. They were strong and outspoken and confident in themselves.

This event was almost a year in the making and it took more planning than any other one we've ever put on, but it was worth every hour and every tear we put into it. The girls had a great time and they learned so much about themselves and what they could accomplish. My co-leaders are truly amazing and I could not be more lucky to get to work with them.

But now we're hanging up our event hats and just going back to having our troop and focusing on what our girls need to get out of Girl Scouts and what our girls need to get from their moms. Our girls are going into 8th grade this year and some of them will complete their Silver Award and continue on with Girl Scouts and some of them will move on to other interests. I'm so proud of all of them. I'm happy to be starting a new chapter with them, but sad to leave that old one behind. Change is bittersweet.