When my troop disbanded after fourth grade, I didn’t know it was an option to continue Girl Scouting independently of my troop. I “quit” Girl Scouts, and I thought that was it. To my own surprise, I came back into Girl Scouting this summer, when I became an intern at the Downtown Gathering Place. My friends were also surprised and asked me if I am even a Girl Scout.
I came in on an amazing time in Girl Scouting. Everyone is so energized about the 100th anniversary. I had mostly forgotten what was so special about Girl Scouts, but no one else here had, and the 100th anniversary is the opportunity to show ultimate GS pride! My co-workers and my environment helped to quickly remind me.
I cannot pinpoint the exact moment when I started to feel like a Girl Scout again. Perhaps I felt it when I rediscovered my bridging kit from Brownies in the back of my closet this summer. Maybe it was when I led alumnae through a tour of the Gathering Place, heard their recollections of Girl Scouting and remembered my own. Maybe when I recognized a Girl Scout camp song! However, I think that building excitement for the Cookie Classic helped me feel like part of Girl Scouting the most.
As part of the preparation for Cookie Classic, I talked to some amazing alumnae who were so excited about the possibilities of the day. These women had been disconnected from Girl Scouts longer than I had, but it seemed they couldn’t wait to feel like a Girl Scout again. I felt like I shared that with them, and their energy was contagious! Soon I recognized myself as a Girl Scout, just like those I reached out to. I realized that despite folding away my sash and eight years of separation, I will always be a Girl Scout.
I will be there on Sept. 8, celebrating the 100th anniversary. I am excited to meet and talk with other alumnae, reunite with Girl Scouting in full and help with Girl Scout’s ToGetHerThere campaign for the new century. I am bringing my friends and will show them my new Girl Scout pride. I am even running the 5k – it’s my way to keep up my health living this summer.
After the Cookie Classic, I will be starting college soon in the area, and I am excited to continue my role with Girl Scouts as a volunteer. I hope to become involved in a local troop and encourage girls to stay involved in Girl Scouts. I don’t want them to have to wait eight years to realize everything being a Girl Scout offers and teaches. And now, when people ask me if I am a Girl Scout, I have an answer ready: “I am a Girl Scout alumna, and proud!”
By Kristin Binder, 18
Do you have any questions about being a Girl Scout alumna, working for Girl Scouts, or the Cookie Classic? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org!