Friday, September 2, 2011
I was a Girl Scout for three years. To be more accurate, I was a Brownie for two years and a Junior Scout for one. I gave up on the whole scouting thing because I didn't like my troop leaders in 4th grade.
I LOVED my Brownie troop though - my mom was my troop leader! She and Mrs. Sievert (a good friend of my mom's) had us do really fun stuff like ceramic ornaments and field trips. I remember enjoying it immensely. My sister Jen was in the same troop for a year with me (she's a year younger than I). That made it even more fun.
I always admired the kids who could make it through to the bitter end. I don't know many girls who did (my college roommate Pia is the only one who comes to mind) but a lot of guys made Eagle Scout, the highest honor the Boy Scouts bestows. It shows true diligence and determination to get this far!
For the three years that I was a scout, I remember heading to the White Store to get my uniform and sash (sadly, the White Store is long gone - I could do a whole post on that store alone!). I loved the autumn ritual - the dress, the socks, the sash, the merit badges (I didn't have many of those), the pins - it's the only time in my life I've ever worn a uniform, and there's something to be said about it. You do feel different when you're all dressed the same - you're part of a club.
As an adult, through the foggy goggles of nostalgia, I of course have romanticized my Scout days. I LOVE finding old or new memorabilia. Most of what I have consists of scouting handbooks but I managed to find some troop letters - our local hardware store is the new scouting uniform headquarters. As far as the older stuff, there is a LOT of history here! As you can see, I have books from various scouting eras and you can see the changes in uniforms and ideas. I remember thinking how dated our literature was when I was in scouting - I was in the Scouts from 1976-78 and most of the pamphlets and handbooks were from the mid-Sixties. During that time period 10 years was a CHASM - I don't think a pamphlet from 2001 would look so dated to kids now (or would it?).
But now, of course, is another matter. I love it all! I've used some of the scouting stuff to make some art, too. People really seem to respond to it - I guess we all have a fondness for our scouting days!