8 Reasons Why I’m Proud to be a Girl Scout

When I was a little girl in pigtails and mismatched outfits signing up for Kindergarten, my mom convinced me to sign up for Girl Scouts, too. Back then, it required weekly meetings with crafts, eating snacks, and memorizing a pledge. As I grew up, it became a time to hang out with my friends, go on field trips, and sell cookies. There were times when I wanted to quit—when one of the girls in my troop bullied the rest of us, or when working on a service project was just too much on top of schoolwork—but today, I’m proud to have stuck it out, and to be a Lifetime Member as of this semester.​ Lately, though, I’ve been really bothered by a comment I heard a few weeks ago: “You’re a Girl Scout? That’s so lame.” Of course, I disagree, and there are over 60 million other Scouts and alumni who would back me up. Girl Scouts is a vehicle of empowerment and change; a lifetime influence that turns dedicated girls into efficacious women. There are so many reasons why Girl Scouts is a valuable experience in a girl’s life. Ask any Scout and she’ll happily tell you what scouting has done for her; here are my reasons:

 

1. People Skills

When you go door to door asking strangers to buy something they could probably do without (although we could debate the necessity of cookies) it sort of forces you to cultivate excellent communication skills. Volunteering, community service, and the dreaded camp counseling gig push Girl Scouts to be able to communicate effectively and persuasively. It’s made it so much easier, for me to talk to professors, do well at job interviews, and make phone calls.

 

2. Organization

When you have multiple events to plan a year on a strict timeline with your millions of other activities and schoolwork on your mind, you really learn how to manage your time. Especially for bronze, silver, and gold awards, when you have to log hours of work, Girl Scouts are queens of utilizing every hour of the day to maximize productivity. This is truly a blessing for any college student.

3. Random Life Skills

I am the one in my friend group who can reliably tie a better-than-mediocre knot, ask for help in a public setting, and even start a fire if need be (pro tip: tampons are wildly effective as fuel). I didn’t learn these skills with the expectation that I’d be using them every day; the Girl Scout motto, though, is “Be Prepared,” and you can never predict when you might have to clean a wound or throw together a makeshift compass.

 

4. Subtle, Implicit Leadership

Girl Scouts is a lot of teamwork, meaning your troop works collaboratively on most projects. Leading a group of younger girls in an activity, though, or organizing your troop into task forces, can instill an underlying sense of leadership in even the most passive follower. I never really considered myself one to take charge, but reflecting on scouting moments (like teaching groups of twenty girls how to sign “Happy Birthday” in ASL) has made me realize how capable I truly am of stepping up and being a leader.

 

5. Teamwork

As mentioned above, Girl Scouts includes a lot of teamwork, especially with your troop. Something that applies to schoolwork, too, is how to delegate tasks in a group based on each individual’s unique talents. This is the most valuable skill I have, and I never would have realized it if not for Girl Scouts. Being able to create effective working relationships, too, is essential to those perennial group projects, which I’m so glad that Girl Scouts has taught me how to navigate effectively.

 

6. Girl Power

As you might imagine, an organization of dozens of million of women abounds with female empowerment. Girl Scouts is a very progressive entity, often at the forefront of tolerance and inclusion. For example, Girl Scouts accepts transgender girls and advocates for the rights of our LGBTQ+ members. Being a part of a group run by women, for women, can do great things for young girls surrounded by female leaders and role models.​

7. Those Sweet, Sweet Thin Mints

Everyone loves cookies, and Girl Scouts happen to be in control of the market. Need I say more?

 

8. Friends

My Girl Scout troop is a group of intelligent, dedicated, kind-hearted women who also happen to be some of my best friends. Some of us started as Daises together in Kindergarten, and just as we’re now Lifetime Members, I know we’ll be lifetime friends.

 

So if wearing the uniform, reciting my cookie-selling speech, and spending my weekends serving my community are the “lame” caveats to the lifetime of skills I got from scouting, I’ll take it. I’m proud that being a dedicated, hard-working woman is part of my identity, and I wouldn’t trade that for anyone’s notion of “cool.”

 

Image credits: Barbara Yeager