Important Lessons I Learned from Girl Scouts
I had a great time being a Girl Scout. I’ll have you know, from Troop 386, I was the only Brownie to get Brownie of the Month twice. I wanted every badge, to join every activity, and to make everyone my friend (even the girl who got put in the corner for picking her nose—she was just misunderstood). A lot of those memories were brought back to me when I saw this article about cookie sales supporting Girl Scout troops with a new focus STEM education and careers for girls.
This is so awesome! I remember learning how to bake, braid, ski, dance, and so on, but we never worked with microscopes, talked about biology, or did anything relating to math. I always think that I would have done more in the sciences if it had been emphasized as a possibility for me, instead of just art, English, and princessdom. Still, I very fondly remember my time in Girl Scouts, and I learned plenty of things that have helped me to this day.
Here are my top five things I learned from Girl Scouts!
- Don’t be afraid to ask. I was terrified of adults as a child. I never wanted to ask for anything because I was afraid they’d sneer or yell or something. It didn’t make much sense, but I was really shy. Girl Scouts helped me get over that. Since I wanted to do well with cookie sales and didn’t have parents who would go do it for me (which is good!), I had to walk around my neighborhood, talk to my nice old lady neighbors, and rack up some cookie sales. People were more than happy to help—all I had to do was ask. That helps me now because I’m the one who will go to the boss and bring up complaints or talk about things that aren’t necessarily easy or uncomfortable. Sometimes, all it takes is asking someone to do something for you.
- Work together. We were always challenged with projects that included teamwork. We had to solve puzzles and raise money. Plus, we occasionally had to band together and beg our troop leaders to let us do something really fun, like when we slept over at the official Girl Scout house. Even when I got stuck in a group with the nose-picker, I had to learn how to work together. And I think the simple lessons in leadership that we were taught helped me later become the person who isn’t afraid to take charge, and and will speak up when no one else has the courage to make a plan.
- Do the right thing. We talked a lot in Girl Scouts about how to handle tough situations, how to stick to your guns and stick up for others. Before bullying became the common discussion it is today, we talked about strength in numbers. Because of this, I’ve always felt self-assured and confident in my moral compass.
- Learn it all. I don’t know if it was just bragging rights or wanting to have the most pieces of flair, but I wanted to get every badge under the sun. I wanted to be one of those girls who needed another sash just to fit them all. Even when I didn’t care about cross-stitching, I learned how to do it. When I didn’t know anything about jazz dance, I wasn’t afraid to learn how to do it. To be honest, this is how I have an English degree yet have become a marketing specialist. When you have the desire to learn and the drive to educate yourself, you can learn it all, and get ahead in any field.
- Be nice. Our troop leaders did not allow rudeness or mean comments. Even when Megan got put in the corner for picking her nose, we were nice and were expected to bring her back into the group as soon as she was allowed. I know it seems like such a small thing, but being nice means all the difference in the world. It’s the reason that I have a lot of friends, have never had any bad blood at work, and is one of the main reasons people just plain like to be around me.
I really love the Girl Scouts and I hope that I can get connected with them sometime in the future and give some of my talent back to an incredible organization that helps so many young girls grow up to be strong Career Girls!