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Entries in Girl Scouts (1)

Wednesday
Jan182012

I am a Girl Scout

More correctly, I was a Girl Scout.

There’s really no deep sex-changing story in this post.  To the contrary, it was a bit of an administrative “thing.”   You have to be a member of the Girl Scouts to be on their Board, and I was on the Board of one of the Boston area Girl Scouts Councils.

Why did I do it?

My daughter was a Girl Scout, and having dad come along to Scout meetings was, in a word, awkward.  Besides, my ex-wife was attending the various functions.

So being on the Board was a way for me to help support my daughter, and help the organization.

The Girl Scouts are a vehicle for young women to fully develop their potential.  Like you, I’ve seen the Girl Scouts at the grocery store entrance selling their (tasty) Girl Scout Cookies. 

What I didn’t realize was the magnitude and benefits of the program.  What I envisioned where some families running around in minivans picking up cookies.  What I discovered was a $700 million business, with the proceeds supporting local scouting efforts.

Through the effort, young women learn Learning Life Skills of:

  • Goal setting
  • Decision making
  • Money management
  • People skills
  • Business ethics

One of the biggest board debates every year were the cookie prices.  The local council sets the price, and factors include history, completion (other councils), costs, etc.  Yes, the board meetings often had cookies served.

Was I the only Dad in the Girl Scouts?  I was the only one on this council board, and certainly not the only one volunteering.  It really is one of those things were you get more back than you put in.

Did I hear all the rumored conflicts around religion, sexuality, etc?  Yes, and never had any evidence of any of it.  It’s reasonable to suspect something somewhere in any organization this large, and the sense I had is there would be little tolerance for any behaviors inconsistent with the mission of the organization (especially children’s wellbeing.)

As a Dad, did I bring the obligatory sign-up sheet to work and post on my door?  Yes.

Did I schlep the cookies into the office when they came in?  Yes.

Some recommendations for you:

  • Actively support whatever activity your child participates in.  If your child is stuck in front of a video display (TV or monitor), get them involved.
  • Volunteer to help the organization.  Any volunteer effort can be as much as you want, and so if it is getting to be “too much,” scale back (don’t quit.)
  • When the kid knocks on your door, or is at the grocery store, or you are asked at work….please purchase.  Every box counts.

For me, I’ll be the one with the Girl Scout tie on (yes, there is a whole section of men’s clothing on the Girl Scout website.)

Get out there and buy some cookies!