Make new friends…

Last Friday the girls attended their first girl scouts’ meeting. I’ve been wanting them to join Girl Scouts for awhile, they’ve been asking to join – really, it’s a wonder it’s taken us this long. When the flyer showed up in the girls’ backpacks, a very resounding “Yes, please,” chorused from Casa de Katie.

I’ll admit, though, that even with all of the anticipation and excitement, I was a little nervous. I’ve talked before about how awesome my own Girl Scout experience was. My troop leader? It is humanly unpossible to live up to her level of awesomeness. But I still expected the girls’ troop leader to try. For instance, there must be singing – what is a Girl Scout troop without singing? My girls already know dozens of songs we sang. Probably there wouldn’t be a flag ceremony – our troop divided into three groups of girls; each week one group was responsible for preparing snack, one group was in charge of clean-up, and one group was responsible for the flag ceremony. The flag ceremony was the opening of the meeting. The six or eight of us who were in our group would each have a role: flag carrier, two on each side of her, one behind her. We’d pick up the flag from where it was stored, and march it to the opening of the horseshoe. There were words that were spoken, we led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance, the Girl Scout pledge, and then we picked a Girl Scout song to sing. Anyway, since our troop wasn’t meeting in the basement of a neighborhood church, there probably wasn’t a giant flag to use for a flag ceremony. I was mostly okay with this. As long as there was some kind of opening ceremony-ish something. And there must be a closing ceremony. Our troop would gather into a circle, cross our arms, and hold the hands of the girls next to us. Our troop leader would impart some final lesson summarizing what we’d learned that night, and then simultaneously squeeze the hands of the two girls next to her. When you felt your hand squeezed, you had to make a wish and then squeeze the girls’ hand on the other side of you. Whichever girl got squeezed on both sides said “Good night, Girl Scouts.” Ta da! So that had to happen, too.

I knew things would be different for Bee and Gracie. For one, our meetings had been moved into the home of the troop leader. So for one thing, there were probably fewer girls in our troop. That made me a little sad because how would they play things like Giant’s House if there weren’t an oodle of kids to break into groups? On the other hand, the troop leader lived in our neighborhood, so we could walk to Girl Scouts meetings. Holla! And indeed they were different – when we walked in, the meeting was already…in progress. There was less structure than there had been in my troop. Everyone just sort of joined in the activity as they got there. Gracie’s Brownies were in the large front half of the house, and Bee’s Daisies were in the back half of the house. The division worked out well. We quickly learned who most of the girls were, and I met several moms. Gracie’s best friend from after-care was there, so she was psyched. It was happy, happy chaos. Everyone was very friendly and talked over each other, and younger siblings played underfoot. If it wasn’t like my troop experience, that was okay, because it was a lot like my family get-togethers where a million people were all visiting at once.

There were a few moments that made me smile: I overheard the Daisies in the back room all reciting the Girl Scout pledge. It’s funny how quickly something comes back to you: all week, the only line I could remember was “…and to live by the Girl Scout law,” but as the teeny tiny 6-year-old voices rang out, I found myself reciting along with them, if maybe half a beat behind. Goodo, there was at least one meeting that opened with a pledge, if not a full-on flag ceremony. And then at the end of the meeting, after the project had been half-cleared, all of the Brownies were asked to gather into a circle (YAY!), hold hands (no crossies?), and they sang “the Girl Scout song,” by which they meant the one that starts “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.” Then a girl was picked (this week it was Gracie) to make a wish, stick her right foot into the middle of the circle to show she had finished, and squeeze the hand of the girl to her left. When every girl had a foot in the middle, they all yelled “GOOD NIGHT, GIRL SCOUTS!” and raised their arms into the air. Go team! Er, or something.

Good times, all around. I love our troop, I love our leaders, and I can’t wait to get into all the fun kind of trouble we have planned for the rest of the year. And if it’s a little different from how things were done when I was little? That’s okay. I’ll learn to adjust. Or maybe just take over for a few meetings. (Oh, like you didn’t see that coming!)

 

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2 Responses to “Make new friends…”

  1. Agent Torklepants Says:

    COOOKIES! =0D

  2. Kathy Says:

    I am so sure you will be a leader in no time. You will love it. I must say – I miss leading this year, but I do not miss delivering all those cookies. 🙂

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