More than just a co-leader!
We often talk about the benefits that girls receive by being members of Girl Scouts. New skills, confidence, and life-long friendships, just to name a few. We never really talk about what adults get out of Girl Scouting.
There is the stress of managing a group of 10-12 (or in my case 22!) little girls who come from all types of backgrounds, and have all different abilities. There is challenge of communicating with parents and making sure that everyone gets the note-call-text-email about the next event. There is also the joy of cleaning out and then dedicating your garage and your life to a million boxes of Girl Scout Cookies for two months (that in itself is a another story).
None of those things are the items I am writing about though. What I am writing about is the wonderful friendship that I have gained as an adult Girl Scout.
I grew up as a Girl Scout. I loved every moment of it. I wanted my daughter to have the same opportunities and experiences that I did. When she was in kindergarten I patiently waited for the paper work to come home that told us when the Girl Scouts would be at her school to sign up new members. That paper never came home. Before she started first grade I started to inquire about the troop, only to find out that there was not a troop at her school and if I wanted her to be in Scouts I would have to start the troop. There was a dad who would be interested in helping if I would lead the troop. Something I could totally do, especially with the support of another parent who wanted to make sure that the girls had a great program.
After that first year, the dad decided that he still wanted to be involved, but perhaps “the moms” who were involved in the troop should take over the leadership role. Since then, I have had several other co-leaders. In the fall of 2013 I found myself looking for another co-leader. I was holding out for a parent of a new girl
Then the call came. They had a co-leader for me! The mom of a homeschooled kindergartener wanted her daughter to be involved in Girl Scouts. She was willing to be a co-leader! I was super excited! I called this mystery lady as soon as I got home.
There are some events in our lives that we know are noteworthy. The birth of a child. The wedding of a friend. The passing of a loved one. We never really know though how the people we meet will impact our lives. We don’t make note of the date that we meet every single person for the first time. This, however was a day that I wish I had made note of. The day I called my new co-leader was the day I met one of my dearest and closest friends, Jacque Korell.
The phone call to Jacque led me to discovering that this new person in my life lived less than a block away from my family (12 houses to be exact). We drove past her home every day! Since the day was beautiful, I walked to her home with the bag of Daisy items that she would soon inherit. Once arriving to her home we both realized that we went to the same church! She and her daughter also frequented the lane I cashiered at in the local grocery store where I worked. She was excited about this new adventure, and I was excited to have someone who shared my enthusiasm.
Fast forward 2 1/2 years. I honestly don’t know how I ever lived without the friendship of this dear woman. She and her daughter have brought so much joy to my family, and have helped us more than I can even begin to tell about. In addition to being a fabulous Daisy and Brownie leader, she is a wonderful friend.
We both have keys to one another’s house. I keep a car seat in my van just for her daughter, and her dog has her own dog bed at my house. We have worked on birthday gifts together, taken trips out of town together, and just hung out in the back yard together. Our families have spent holidays together, we have introduced one another to new people, to new hobbies and to new foods and recipes. We have shared books, movies, and sometimes even prepare meals for our separate households together.
We have driven 5 hours for Girl Scout Cookies together. We have had sleepovers and movie marathons when the kids and our husbands were gone. We have gone to restaurants and crazy high school football games together. Many times in the evenings we find ourselves chatting on messenger or texting one another after all of the kids are long asleep. Whenever one of us says “Hey! I have an idea!” we both know that we are in for an adventure!
We work together. We scheme together. We plan together. We celebrate together. We mourn together. We laugh together. We cry together. We are friends. We are Girl Scout sisters.
Being a Girl Scout as a child, and then as an adult I have gained many, many things. The most important, and valuable thing that I have ever gained in all my years of Scouting is my friend! Thank you Girl Scouts for giving me Jacque as a friend!