March 12, 2012, marks the one hundredth anniversary of Girl Scouting. I, like so many others, was a Girl Scout as a child, and I am presently in my 7th year of being a Girl Scout leader. Girl Scouting has played an important role in my life, and now I watch as it makes its mark on my daughter’s life. She is currently a Cadette Girl Scout, and greatly desires to go for the Gold (the highest award in Girl Scouting). She has made lifelong friends though scouting, and has learned numerous skills. She can pitch a tent, cook outdoors, and organize a sing-a-long with the best of them. This past January, my daughter went on pointe in ballet, and I watched as she independently and efficiently knew how to sew on her ribbons and elastics……that was Girl Scouting. I listen to her talk about helping special needs kids at school, her desires to work in with the preschoolers at church, and her begging me to give my spare change to the homeless on the street…..that is Girl Scouts. She listens when conversations come up about the environment and our mark on the planet, and tries to make a difference, even if it is just picking up a piece of trash on the street….that is Girl Scouts.

I was talking with someone recently about all the activities that children are in nowadays. It seems to me that kids are in so many competitive activities. Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to competitive activities; both my kids participate in activities that drive them to want to be the best. While I believe there are definite rewards to those types of activities, I wish more kids could participate in non-competitive/skill building/social activities such as scouts. In Girl Scouts, my daughter learns to interact and work together with her troop mates. There is no competition to see who built the fire first or is best at hiking. It is about enjoying life, working together, learning skills, and seeing beauty….the beauty that is all around you and inside of you.  Happy Birthday Girl Scouts! Juliette Low, you would be proud!