Thursday, March 19, 2015

I'd Rather Be A Boy Scout

I was never a social kid.  Oh, I was friendly enough, I guess.  Rather bossy, if my report card comments are any indication. But we moved so often that it seemed pointless for me to even try to make friends. Why bother?  I chalked my reticence up as being practical.  I was content to stay in my room and read, anyway. Books don't leave a person, or forget about you the moment you move with your family someplace else.

My parents were having none of that.  I was going to participate in group activities, my mother decreed when we moved to Germany, and not even the Pope would dare argue with my mother when she issued an edict as firmly as that.  My parents signed me up for...Brownies.  They signed my brother up for Cub Scouts.

I was eight.  I thought that the Brownies were just like the Cub Scouts, and I was excited.  The Cub Scouts were cool, with all their awesome badges about making stuff out of wood and skulking about the forest identifying birds and other critters.  I happily imagined the fun I would have, binoculars in hand, locating a rare blue-bellied whatever in the Black Forest of Germany.

The Brownies were NOT like Cub Scouts, I learned to my chagrin.  This was the early seventies, well before Girl Scout cookies were a thing.  Women were still considered to be too fragile for such rough activities as exploring!  No, we girls were expected things.

Cook stuff.


Look pretty. 

Sitting in the meeting, looking around me, I felt like I was an alien.  The other girls looked actually happy, and(gasp!) interested in what to me sounded like actual housework.  I was horrified, and my tiny brain was not a little insulted.  Why did the boys get to have all the fun?  Sure, I had no idea how to use a knife, but I felt that learning to whittle was a valuable skill that would take me far in life.  On the other hand, I was not fond of needles just on general principal. And what was with all this "looking pretty" stuff?  The Boy Scouts didn't even have a "Take a Bath" badge, and boys can get pretty stinky.

I felt a bit gypped by the entire set up.  I had to go, however.  My mother had issued an edict, and that was that.  I earned a few badges, including one for a rather bloodsoaked sewing project.  I did have a few fun times, however, and being part of the Brownies meant that girls actually showed up for my birthday party.  I earned my Junior Girl Scout Wings, and then my mom said that I could quit.  My brother didn't even make it that far.

I still pester him about that.

Head over to Mamakat's Writer's Workshop and read more about National Girl Scout Day, which was the prompt I selected. 


  1. I also earned my wings and that was it. I don't remember much about it. Funniest part though is that now, as a Mom, I have attended and done some of the coolest things ever as a Boy Scout parent. Whitewater rafting, camping, hiking, 15 mile bike latest endeavor (if I can make it though the ridiculous amount of town paperwork) is coordinating a camp out on one of our islands. The boys will canoe in, camp two nights, fish, etc. and canoe out. Should be a great time... if I can ever get the town to get back to me of those stupid permits!

    1. See, I would so love to be doing all that fun stuff. I would even actually go camping in a real tent! I've mentioned boy scouts to my son a few times, but he's not yet interested, unfortunately.

    2. Youngest got into it when his friends did. He's teetering now, as it's been WAY too cold for many of the fun things, so once spring/summer gets into full swing his interest should be back. Cub scouts is the way to go honestly, there's a lot of "paperwork" for badges in Boy Scouts, which my son hates. He's all about going kayaking, but actually completing a packet that proves he knows what he's doing, TOTALLY different story. :)


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