Thursday, July 15, 2010


If a true sense of value is to be yours it must come through service.
On my honor I will try
To serve God and my country
To help people at all times
And to live by the Girl Scout Law
Of course, it's been years since I was a Girl Scout (I made it as far as Cadette), so I had to look up the Girl Scout Law. But I still remember holding up three fingers and reciting this at the beginning of each Troop meeting. As a Girl Scout, we earned badges that we later sewed onto our vests or sashes. I didn't make it very far; I joined Girl Scouts because my friends were in my Troop, and I had a lot of fun.
That changed in my last year of Girl Scouts. Because many girls quit Girl Scouts or found that they wanted to focus their time on other activities, our Troop was much smaller, so we merged with another local Troop. This other Troop had a leader who was all about earning badges and selling many cookies, and at that point when it became work and about the importance of earning badges rather than learning about oneself or spending time doing things that were important to you, Girl Scouts was no longer fun. So I dropped out after that year (must have been 7th or 8th grade).
But here's the thing: after I left Girl Scouts, I was still quite involved in a lot of activities, volunteering my time with different organizations that focused on those in need, and I didn't need a badge to prove that I was worthy of that activity. I felt good about myself and felt that I was doing something worthwhile. For many years, I did volunteer work, and although right now my time has been pretty tied up, I still feel pretty good when I do something for someone else. I feel this way, because I'm doing something because it's important to me, and not because I have to earn a badge or proof to show that I did something.
That feeling is more meaningful than the Girl Scout badges, in my opinion.

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