Friday, March 11, 2011

On my Honor

Tomorrow is Girl Scout Day. And other than conjuring up giant thinking bubbles above my head - (full of yummy, delicious cookies)- my thoughts wander back to those innocent days when I wore the uniform of a scout.

Somehow I skipped right past the Brownie part. Maybe it was the unattractiveness of the brown dress and the ridiculous beanie. 
But, I truly suspect that it was because I hadn't worn my Mom down enough to let me join this giggly group of girls who created miracles from milk cartons and pine cones.

That took a few years.

And when she eventually agreed, everyone my age was going green... Gloriously moving up to the emerald berets and light green dresses- accessorized with knee socks, a flashy sash- and the great Girl Scout Handbook.

However, I was one of the few girls who couldn't afford the proper official attire. I usually wore a white blouse with my troop sash, and...I don't know...some goofy skirt, maybe? I do remember getting a pair of knee socks, which- instead of comfortable cotton- were stretchy nylon- and they crept down inside my penny loafers even before the Pledge of Allegiance was over. 

I hated those socks.

I have come to believe (in my middle aged wisdom)- that I might have been a wonderful seamstress, a wildlife biologist, or a famous storyteller if I hadn't spent almost all the meetings pulling up and fussing with those darn socks! And that stupid sash that kept slipping down over my flat chest till it rested partially cockeyed around my waist. 

I must have looked like a ragamuffin.

I suppose I envied those girls with the fancy uniforms- their sashes crowded with gobs of badges -(the edges attached with perfect French embroidery)-that proclaimed their efficiency in everything from hiking to cake baking..
In comparison, there was my badge. drooping from four or five little round badges that had been safety pinned in place.

Actual photo of my sash
In 2009, I wrote the following blog about my Girl Scout memories:

Oh, that takes me back....
Way back to about '67 or '68
when I stayed after school
to be part of the Girl Scout pack-
to learn the art of twisting pipe cleaners
and paper mache'
and how to tie a tourniquet in case
someone got snake bit.

I was part of history.
Of Troop Number 44.

I liked holding up my three fingers
and reciting the pledge
like I was going away to war
or something.

I think mostly that
I liked having cookies and Kool-aid
so I could go home and tell all my
brothers and sisters
and make them jealous.

"Na-na-na-noo-noo! I haahadd Koool-Aid
Aaaaand you-ooo-ooo di-dunt!!"

But it was also pretty cool
that one of our Girl Scout Leaders-
-Mrs. Bugal-
had blue hair.
She was nervous sort of woman
with clothes that smelled like moth balls
and a little sweater chain that
held her sweater on her shoulders
while she thumbed through
the Girl Scout Handbook.

Of course the highlight
of the whole scouting year
was camping out at the
Girl Scout Little House.
We cooked bacon
on an inverted coffee can,
learned to fold a flag,
and sang really neat songs
that I never heard in church.

It made the summer fun.

I earned about five badges
during my time as a Girl Scout.
One was for story-telling,
one was for gardening,
one for camping and exploring
and the last one for sewing.

I cheated on that one.

I had my Mom sign a piece of paper
that said I sewed on a button,
hemmed a pillowcase,
and mended a sock.

Any moron with half a brain
could figure out
that I really couldn't sew-
because most of my badges were
safety-pinned to my sash!

(Let's just say I wasn't the
neatest little scout
in the pack).

And, yes, there was the thrill
of Girl Scout Cookie Time.

(I usually sold two boxes).

But I loved going home
and telling my brothers and sisters-
I baked these coo-ook-ies
and you-ooo-ooo di-dunt!"
Happy Girl Scout Day.
Hope your memories are as
cool as mine!


sisterlinda said...

If you think about it, you really did earn those badges (except for sewing) You love to tell stories (and write them) you love gardening,camping and exploring(except for heights)...maybe you were on the path to your future. Who knows what you would be doing IF you had just earned a couple more dozen badges!

Mary Vaughn said...

Yikes Girl Scouts are everywhere. Last night daughter & I sorted cookie orders for her troop. any hundreds of boxes.
Glad your memories are happy one.

Beth Zimmerman said...

I'm trying to lose 100 pounds between now and the end of October (sigh ... I know ...) so I am attempting to turn a blind eye to all those cookies popping up on street corners everywhere! And as I recall ... I was a pathetic little scout with a sad little sash and the minimum number of badges! (My mom wouldn't lie for me!) :)

Margaret Hall said...

Dang! I hate it when LIFE and work, and volunteering and just daily routine keeps me from my FRIEND's blog~!!! When I dart in and out of your page, I try to see the topic and wish that I could sit with a great cup of green tea and peruse the write~!!
Anyway, still on the move, but now I wanna' READ your words~!!
In Missouri, I was a Girl Scout..Went the route of troop, the profiecency badges, that "adorable" sash that was cockeyed, and that GREEN! I even went to become a Summer Camp Counselor at a GS camp at Lake Ozark...Fun times, thanks for the memories~!!