Last year scanning a vendor’s table at Second Sunday Antiques in Covington, KY my eyes landed on a box of Girl Scout badges. I started thumbing through them when the vendor came over and let me how valuable and hard to find these are. I picked up the Cookies ’87 badge, smiled and said I know a gaggle of girls who earned this one including myself.
When I think back to being a Girl Scout for eight years, I don’t have many badges to show for it. Probably if given the choice between buying badges that I earned or getting the money to put in my savings account, I chose the latter. As much as I like crafts, I was never keen on hand sewing badges.
Early one Spring morning, my seventh grade Girl Scout troop and I found ourselves in canoes on a lake with one purpose: to tip ourselves into the the cold, cold water, swim out from under the canoe and re-board. Once our troop leaders were confident we would be able to handle ourselves in the event of being tipped while canoeing on the Little Miami River, we were finished with the exercise and could get out and change into warm clothes.
In addition to that canoeing experience, Girl Scouts taught me how to plan, budget and shop for a camping trip, how to make a sit upon, camping essentials, fire safety, bicycle safety, horseback riding, how to shake my shyness and sell those cookies, menstruation (yes, one of the most memorable meetings involved our troop leader’s mother, who is a nurse, slicing a pear in half and then coloring the inside with a red marker) and plenty of campfire songs. With the exception of helping others and some crafts, Girl Scouts provided me with the opportunity to be adventurous!
For all I learned in Girl Scouts, I never knew it was supported by the United Way. I am very excited to have a niece who is following in the footsteps of her mother and me as a Girl Scout. I look forward to hearing what memories she will make as part of a wonderful organization. No doubt if she needs help sewing her badges, I’ll be more than happy to thread that needle 😉
United Way of Greater Cincinnati kicked off its 2009 campaign on August 26. To learn more about the 2009 campaign, what it supports and how you can get involved, visit a special site at www.wecanliveunited.org.