Thursday, February 5, 2015

How I Got My Cookie On (My Rookie Year as a Girl Scout Leader)

Last year, I stepped up and out of my comfort zone and led my oldest daughter's Junior Girl Scout Troop.  I had never stepped up to lead anything in my life except to be a guide in VBS and it took me years to learn how to do that comfortably.


I learned a lot about myself during this year.  It was a transformative year of growth which was anxiety provoking, painful and frustrating yet pushed me to do things that I was very much capable of.  The person who I thought was going to be an active co-leader with me, was not.  It took about 2 months of waiting for her to call, email, and text me back to realize, she wasn't going to be as active as I had anticipated.  I was very angry at the situation, but knew someone had to lead and that someone was me.

So I learned how to lead over time, sometimes painstakingly.  There were lots of uncomfortable moments and sometimes hours.  But I did it!

Girl Scouts requires lots of paperwork. LOTS! I learned to stand up and speak.  I learned the art of communication with parents to get what I needed. I learned how to set up a Sign Up Genius Account. I learned that the Girl Scout organization responds better to emails than phone calls.  I learned that the Scouts I led did not want to take the 5 Girl Scout steps and "talk something out" to earn a badge.  Fourth and Fifth graders just want to have fun. They want to be hands on.

I learned.

I learned that people love Girl Scout Cookies and selling them is really no big deal.  I learned to listen to my intuition.  I learned that the child who annoys me the most is the one that I can learn the most from.  I learned even if you accidentally put all of your paperwork (including signed parental forms and uncashed checks) in the recycling, you can recover.  It is just a blip.  And I learned there is no Girl Scout Police.  I can break the rules including moving the Cookie Booth to a better location so that we sell more cookies.

So yesterday, I had to finish putting Riley's badges on her Junior sash. She could care less but I am proud of each of these badges.  I earned every one of them!!  I am proud of them.

And now I am co-leading Mallory's Brownie troop.

But after this year, no more.  The learning needs to be in a different area!

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