5 Girl Scout leaders you know (or maybe are)
I have three daughters (and one son) so you won’t be surprised to know that I have been a Girl Scout leader for 10 years. Today is World Thinking Day, a Girl Scout tradition which generally entails thinking about the global “sisterhood” of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides (as they are called in many other countries). In fact, there is an event saturday in town you and the kids may want to check out. But this thinking day, I have the women of Girl Scouts in mind. As a leader, you do interact with quite a few other leaders over time. There are leader meetings, community-wide events that include several troops and, really, when you look at that email list sent to all the leaders in town, many of the names turn out to be moms you already know. I even saw a high ranking school administrator on there! That said, there are some we will all recognize. I preface this by saying that volunteers are inherently good people and without them, so much of what we all enjoy about Madison simply would not exist. And I should also add, I have been every one of these types at one time or another.
When you see this leader’s troops at an event, say the Madison Holiday Parade, their vests are sagging under the weight of all their fun patches and badges. More crowded than John Mayer’s tattoo-sleeved arm, these vests are proof that this troop is DOING STUFF. This leader has been making plans and planning trips and she wants you to know! Fun fact: Badge-lovin’ leaders are also often scrapbookers.
This leader doesn’t call it a Girl Scout meeting if there aren’t foam stickers involved! Every. Single. Time. your daughter comes home from a meeting, she’s got a collage of a kite/valentine/Daisy petal just crammed with foamies that will stick approximately until they enter the car. Fun Fact: McFoamys will also allow kids to put gummy worms on their Fro-Yo. Ewwwww.
This leader knows what the letters in SWAPS stand for (Special Whatchamacallit Affectionately Placed Somewhere, mmmmmkay bitches?) and she’s not afraid to make 200 of them. Her Pinterest board is full of charmingly small yarn balls and miniscule chinese food containers. She will teach her troop how to put the tiniest of googly eyes on the fluffiest of pom-poms. She knows where to get the special safety pins that you can slide stuff onto the side with no functional sharp point, and she ordered them two weeks in advance. Fun fact: SWAPS Queens will just stare at you blankly if you mention those SWAPS making kits on makingfriends.com
If you are a leader, you probably met this mom when you started your own troop. They tend to hang around even as their girls have aged out and fill much needed registration and training positions. We love these moms! Those squirrels who just run into the middle of the road and get run over generation after generation need something like the well-seasoned leader to tell them how to handle the tough stuff. I remember one time another leader confided she was having trouble with a girl in her Brownie Troop who just wouldn’t behave. I said (speaking from personal experience) “You crouch down so you are eye-to-eye, get right in her grill and say ‘If you don’t listen to me right now’ — and then cut your eyes over to the craft scissors — ‘I will’ —drop to a whisper here — ‘tell your mother.’” Problem solved! Fun Fact: Well-Seasoned leaders are a good pool of women to draw our next presidential candidate from.
The Gril Scats Leader
Sure, we all get into this gig because we want to spend time with our daughters and their peers. And there’s a lot of that. But there’s also a lot of administration. Girls gotta be registered, dues collected, bank accounts started. There is a lot of support from the community to get it right, but it turns out there are no Girl Scout police out there if you should happen to fall behind. I have heard that leaders once considered changing the name of their troop to Gril Scats, so late were they with getting their administrative act together. Fun Fact: There probably actually is a Girl Scouts police, and you can’t hide behind a misspelled name, so the Gril Scats leader is really a suburban legend.