In the early 1970s, yours truly was a girl scout. Those were fun times. A small band of girls in southern West Virginia met weekly in Mrs. Williams’, our scout leader, home. You may recall her from a December post on Christmas memories. Growing up in rural West Virginia limited what we could o in our area. We didn’t have malls, restaurants, or movie theaters to hang out at easily. The closest mall was a two-hour drive from our home. Restaurants and the theater were almost nearly the same driving distance.
Joining the Girl Scouts group was really convenient, though. Mrs. Williams only lived 10-15 minutes from my house and if I needed to then I could walk to her home. Her kitchen became command central for our meetings. During the cooler months, we kept to indoor activities. We would have craft projects scattered all across her table without so much as one complaint. What a dear woman!
Once spring arrived, we were outdoors. We would hike up and down the mountains near our home. There were no trails to follow, just a general idea of where to go was all we needed or so that’s the way it seemed to me. Mrs. Williams had everything under control.
As spring melted into summer, then our time was often spent with weekend outings. Although the group made an occasional trip away from home, it wasn’t always necessary. We didn’t have to go far to have fun. Mrs. Williams’ yard served many purposes for a bunch of rowdy girls. We would pitch an enormous size tent in her backyard where we’d have some of our over-night camping. During the day, we’d play games such as Red Rover, Tag, and Hide & Seek. As sunlight painted the evening sky, we’d build a huge bonfire. We enjoyed sitting beside the toasty flames roasting marshmallows, singing songs, or telling ghost stories.
One thing I always liked doing was selling Girl Scout cookies or maybe it just was I liked eating them so much. Whatever the reason, it gave me a purpose…a drive to be competitive with my fellow scout members. Anyone who says being competitive is bad for a kid’s self-esteem is wrong. In fact, it’s the opposite, in my opinion. Was I good at selling Girl Scout cookies? Eh, I say about average. There were girls who could sell the socks off my feet. That’s how good they were OR maybe it’s all the doings of their moms. There’s something to ponder on.
Being in the Girl Scouts was fun and rewarding for the two years I belonged. Like all good things, this came to an end when Mrs. Williams decided to call it quits. We were all heart-broken with her decision, but inside I was certain she had a good reason to step down. I’m thankful, she gave all of us something to look forward to in those early years. She made us believe in ourselves and to realize there was more in the world than what we knew there in the mountains of southern West Virginia.
Have you hugged a troop leader today?