Once upon a time, I was a Brownie. Yes, I was a proud member of the Girl Scouts. Although, I remember not liking it much. My sash wasn’t full of badges like the other girls.
Everyone had a speciality -- dress making, knitting, etc. Plus, it always was hard for me to share my secrets with a group of girls I hardly knew outside our weekly pow-wow. But, with the badges I did earn, I remember my Mom and Grandmother bringing out the sewing machine in pride to sew them onto my chocolate brown sash. That was enough motivation to keep attending our meetings and trying my hardest to be the best Brownie in my troop. Then…it was cookie time. Cookies were involved in this?! Ok…I was listening now. Although I was a little disappointed to learn we were not baking them ourselves. This would be my first chance to sell something. After sampling the cookies, I fell head over heels for the Thin Mints. I went door to door in my neighborhood selling my heart out. I did it all by myself and I walked around tall and proud to be a Brownie. I impressed every neighbor with my motivation and persistence. It lasted up until the day of our weekly meeting where our troop leader announced the number one cookie seller in our group. I learned that the winner had beat me by over two hundred boxes. I was devastated. Life was not fair. I heard the gossip that her Mom was the one who actually sold them for her. My spirits were down. I watched Troop Beverly Hills over and over…and over. But Brownie graduation was approaching and I was to become a more mature vested Girl Scout.
I met one of my lifelong friends, Joyce, in Girl Scouts. At the time, I didn’t know it. We were both caught up in trying to be popular and be friends with the popular girls -- you know, the ones who had their Moms sell their cookies. As you grow older, you realize that there is no badge for being popular in Girl Scouts. Even though I never did sell the most cookies, I walked away with the values that Girl Scouts helps to foster. I became an excellent cook and baker. I became a good listener and friend. I started my own jam-making business based on old fashioned family traditions. I became a pharmacist who spends most of my free time volunteering to help others in need. I am an advocate to my patients for healthy eating and living. I am a woman who loves to spend time with my husband (as long as it doesn’t involve camping).
The legacy of Girl Scouts lives on in each former member. So I challenge you to bake your favorite Girl Scout cookie this year and buy a box of your favorite Girl Scout cookies (from a Girl Scout) , grab a glass of milk and have a cookie tasting night with your girlfriends…maybe even one you met when you were a Girl Scout.