Saturday, October 08, 2005

Well, I'm Awed

When we moved out west, Younger Girl got involved with Girl Scouting. We found her a lovely troop, with a bunch of nice girls and two women who acted as co-leaders, and it was all swell for about a year and a which point both of the leaders felt that their professional commitments were overwhelming their ability to do the job properly, and they ducked out. There followed a year when YG wandered in the wilderness, doing some Council events but otherwise having no scouting home. The Moms of her troop kept talking about someone picking up the reins--a teacher from the school which had housed Troop 406; one of the Moms; a leader supplied by the Council. All I knew--because you have to have a little self-knowledge in the Mom biz--was that it wouldn't be me. I'm good for the odd afternoon here and there with a bunch of kids; I'm a fine support person, but I would almost certainly throttle someone if I were in permanent charge, and I don't believe that's The Girl Scout Way.*

So, on Tuesday of this week I decided we should stop waiting, and called the Council, explained the situation, and got the name of the leader of a troop that was open. As luck would have it, they were having a camp out last night at a nearby Girl Scout campground (in San Francisco proper! This is so not New York!) and if I wanted to fill out all the paper work to reregister YG and myself, she could attend that. So we loaded up the truck, I brought my pen and money for the various fees, and within twenty seconds YG had insinuated herself into a crowd of kids. When I left her there, she was happily stringing Froot Loops and pretzels onto red licorice strings as "survival necklaces" to much while they hiked. I'm sure I will hear tales of adventure when I pick the kid up in three hours.

But what awes me is the new Troop leader. She's not just in charge of the Juniors (YG's level). She manages a troop of Daisies (the kindergarteners), Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, and Seniors. This is essentially the equivalent of voluntarily and without pay running a one-room schoolhouse. And she apparently loves it. True, she apparently has lots of Moms helping out, and doesn't seem shy about delegating, but even so: Wow.

Update: The girl had a swell time, despite blustery winds and very little sleep. She's totally gung-ho about the troop, met some nice girls...and is already planning for her part in the Troop trip to England in 2007, when she's a Cadette. Holy cow. Definitely not her mother's Girl Scouts. A trip to Westchester was considered hot stuff in my day.

*of course, when I was a kid I was briefly a Girl Scout, but quit because I was repeatedly mugged for my dues money by a fellow Scout...


Anonymous L.N. Hammer said...


11:21 AM  
Blogger Janni said...

I know leaders like this. They are amazing; I don't know how they do it--especially since, unlike me, most of them have kids of their own, too.

I had a brownie/junior troop for a while, and that wound up being too much. I'm happy with my group of six girls now, willing to add a few more ... but not back to the 17 which was once our troop size, even though that's not considered all that large.

I like those survival necklaces. Must try that some time, with our troop or with some younger kids!

11:53 AM  

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