Making First Impressions
Being the first one there, I introduced myself to the troop leader and proceeded to become her least favorite parent.
Offhandedly mentioning that I wasn’t aware of this level of scouts, I recounted my days as a Girl Scout and Cadet (the middle school version). According to my experience, Cadets do not wear their uniform to school on meeting days but instead covertly stand behind a tree until Mom leaves the carpool drop off lane at which time they cram the vest into a back pack. This is called smart planning to avoid getting beaten up.
Her snarled, annoyed response to my story was “It’s only as cool as you make it.”
At this point I realized she was saying that for the benefit of her close-to-middle-school-aged daughter that was sitting on the couch behind me. Attempting a recovery, I quickly mentioned “I loved the cooking badges.”
Since she was never a girl scout herself, I forgive her for the lack of first hand experience with this horror. I’m sorry but there is no making that sash cool in middle school. That girl is going thank me one day for my wisdom.
Boy was I glad to see my friend walk in the door so I could leave that conversation behind.
It’s all about the cookies
Amazed at not having been thrown out, I sat on one of the couches, and the meeting began. Raising my hand to ask the most important question, I was thrilled to hear that we would be selling Girl Scout cookies. Whoo hooooooo!! My son later asked if that meant we could purchase with a discount. Sadly that isn’t how it works.
I hate camping.
Not a fan. My idea of camping is a tent in the living room and me not in it. I like electricity and don’t find it relaxing to act out pioneer days.
My dislike of camping ironically stems from childhood experiences at Girl Scout camp. The brochure would have described it as:
Enjoy a rain-filled weekend in a mosquito-infested, muddy campsite featuring a three hour terrifying tour of the inside of the car during a record-breaking lightning storm.
Your taste buds will delight in a non-melted s’more cooked over a wet bonfire.
Experience chaffing from wearing wet clothes while hanging up clothes to dry on our state-of-the-art clothes line.
Wait till you see our latrine! Doesn’t it just sound fancy?
With all the fun included, it is hard to believe you also take home with a BONUS camping badge for the back of your vest where your long hair will cover it for the next two years.
So you can imagine my horror when I scanned the agenda’s list of upcoming events and saw the word “CAMPING”. I started eyeing the exit door options and plotting an escape plan until I learned that Daisies aren’t allowed to camp overnight. Great! They only go from 7am until 7pm. What? 12 hours? I’m a one hour and go kinda camper. I made a mental note to plan a “vacation” for that day. “Sorry we have plans that weekend. Darn because I was really looking forward to that.”
After forking over $44 in cash, I was handed a vest and a stack of patches. Back in the day, everything required sewing on patches by hand. Thank goodness for the invention of iron-on patches because I’m about as handy with a needle and thread as an elephant.
Little one couldn’t wait to get home to transform the plain vest to the patched version, so I warmed up the iron and spent the next ten minutes getting them out of the vacuum-sealed containers.
How hard could they be to iron on?
The first patch was a breeze.
The second ended up turned at a 45 degree angle. Crap!
The more I looked at it, the more I knew that was not going to pass inspection and we were going to get kicked out. Luckily you can reheat the patch and unstick it.
With attempt number two, I only managed to reverse the problem.
Third time is the charm…I think. At this point I can’t even tell if that is straight or not.
Next meeting she will earn the center of the daisy patch for reciting:
The Girl Scout Promise
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.
With all eyes on her, I envision my little girl nervously rambling the chorus to Lady Gaga’s Judas by accident.
I hope we can hang in there until the cookies arrive in February/March.