Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a proud Scout Mom. Typically the first question someone asks me when I haven’t seen them for a while is “When are Girl Scout Cookies on sale?” I am an advocate for girls in scouting.
When Scribber was going into Kindergarten, one of the first things I did was sign her up for Girl Scouts. I became a leader, and we established some of our most amazing friendships.
However, a few years ago it was announced that Boy Scouts would start allowing girls in. I was pretty vocal about how stupid I thought this was. We had that already. Girl Scouts. (Yes, I have to admit this. I was NOT a fan of Boy Scouts letting girls join, there wasn’t a need for this.
The Day of the Girls
Fast Forward about 18 months, from announcement to “Girl Day” as I’d taken to calling it. I continued to complain when it would come up. Not realizing just how lucky we were that our troop was girl-led and had adult leadership that had close ties to Boy Scouts and would incorporate some of the more “rugged” aspects of the program into our meetings and camping trips. We went camping. Our girls pitched tents and had pocket knife safety. My co-leader reminded me it had been ages since we’d really focused on the actual Girl Scout Curriculum outside of Journey Books because our girls didn’t want that.
Then, about two weeks before Boy Scouts officially opened the doors to girls, my co-leader called me and broached the subject again. Her dad – a Scout Master for a local BSA Troop – was wondering if my sixth-grader would join his own granddaughter as one of the 4 initial girls to join BSA in Southern Colorado.
If you haven’t noticed? I’m a joiner. I am a yes girl. I really struggle with that two-letter N-word. (No is very rarely in my vocabulary – something I’m working on.) But I was so vocally against this idea. So I really had to dig deep and think. In the end, when it came to my issues with girls in scouting? My husband and I agreed we needed to do what we always do, let our girl decide.
I asked Scrib, and her response? If her scouting BFF was doing it, and Mr. E was in charge? She’d give it a try. So I put my foot in my mouth and signed my tweenager up for BSA.
A Life-Changing Adventure
Here we are, one year into our BSA adventure and I can’t believe I was ever hesitant about this. We’re still incredibly active in Girl Scouts (Thin Mints anyone?) But we’ve fully embraced the BSA way of life and are on our way up the ranks.
I have to admit, my adorable daughter joining Boy Scouts was the best thing we ever did. (Yes, we still call it Boy Scouts – despite knowing that it’s “BSA” – it helps us differentiate in our daily lives.)
This past summer my one-handed, super-shy homeschooled kid? Came out of her shell in ways I can’t even begin to describe. She’s pushing her boundaries and gaining confidence at a level I wasn’t sure would ever happen.
She can tie any knot faster than most of the boys, start fires and pitch her tent. Orienteering, First Aid, and Safety? She’s got those badges. Mountain Hikes? Camping Trips? Check and check.
The friendships, memories and life skills she is gaining are things I never could have expected. Letting girls in scouting has changed our lives in so many ways. #ScoutMeIn