The Broad is Back!

September 30, 2012

Still a Girl Scout at heart

I was explaining my theory of teaching for a class I was taking, and I stopped and laughed at myself. I sounded like a Girl Scout.

I was a Girl Scout, from Brownies to Seniors, 1968-1977. For the most part, I loved it. My leaders, Mrs. Bechtler, Mrs. Wind, Mrs Tormey, Carol Kumpost (a young woman who led my Cadette/Senior troop–we daringly got to call her Carol) all contributed to the woman I am today.  The skills I learned, the values that were upheld, are things I still use.

I spent summers at Camp Ludington, a Girl Scout camp, learning to macrame, tie dye, canoe, swim, save lives, cook on an open fire, recognize stars in the sky, get along with strangers.  These are some of the best memories of my young life.

So much of the person I am today comes from the Girl Scouts.

Out of curiosity, I looked at the pledge, and it was different.  So thanks to the internet, I found the one of the 60s.

On my honor, I will try to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people at all times, and to obey the Girl Scout laws.

Here are the laws:

I will do my best:
– to be honest
– to be fair
– to help where I am needed
– to be cheerful
– to be friendly and considerate
– to be a sister to every Girl Scout
– to respect authority
– to use resources wisely
– to protect and improve the world around me
– to show respect for myself and others through my words and actions.

OK, so I’m not overly good at the respecting authority thing, but I pay attention to authority. I question it. And it if’s righteous, I respect it.  And I admit, I show respect to authority in most situations.  I’m a Girl Scout.

And other Girl Scouts being my sister has been replaced with other women are my sisters. Men are my brothers. Or nieces and nephews when it comes to students. We’re in it together.

I think it’s a good list. I do believe in God, so doing my duty to God and my country works for me.  I do my duty every day by teaching.  And for me duty is a good word, a fine word, not a harsh word at all.   It’s difficult, but good. See? It’s the Girl Scout in me.

A lot of people attack the Girl Scouts lately for being too liberal.  I don’t have a daughter, so my only contact with Girl Scouts has been buying cookies from friends’ daughters.  So I checked out their page,

Here’s the new pledge and laws:

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.

The Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be
honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to
respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.

No more duty. Not a “PC” word.  The badges are different, but then the world these girls are preparing for is different. Still wish they said duty, but that’s me.  But girls who learn to live by these laws will be stronger girls for it.

Doesn’t seem overly godless as God’s still in the pledge. But what do I know? I think I’m pretty conservative because I still believe in duty, but when I take those online tests, I come out so far liberal I’m falling off the left of the page.

But duty, responsibility, these are words that are at the heart of liberalism. Of course, I’m an 18th century scholar, so for me liberalism is the belief in liberty and equality. And at the heart of both of those ideals is responsibility. We must be responsible for ourselves and we do have a responsibility to help others. Not to cripple them, marginalize them, or disempower them, but to give them the tools they need to be free.

These are thoughts that have been coming up for me in my teaching lately. I feel it is my duty, responsibility, choose your word, to make sure my students have the tools they need to succeed in a hard world. No one out there is going to think they are special or give credit for trying. No one is going to cut them slack.  I sometimes think I’m too hard nosed. Other days I think I’m too lax.

But now I can remember that I’m a Girl Scout. I will do my best, and as long as I’m striving, I’m on the right track.



  1. I found this post while searching “Girl Scouts” on wordpress, and I love to hear a former Girl Scout who still looks fondly upon her Girl Scout days. Just so you know, there are lots of ways to get involved in Girl Scouts even as an adult, like volunteering with your local council, leading a troop, and lots more!
    Your Girl Scout sister,

    Comment by lostflight2 — October 1, 2012 @ 11:05 am |Reply

  2. Greetings, sister! I would love to volunteer, but I work far too many hours per week. Someday, when I work less, I would love to volunteer. I did volunteer with a troop years ago, but you know how life has cycles. This is my “working too hard” period!! Thanks for commenting!

    Comment by maggiec — October 1, 2012 @ 10:56 pm |Reply

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