Staying Fit: Leading a Multilevel Troop to Earn a Badge

I am really excited about this meeting plan;  I think the girls are going to have a blast!  The big feature of the meeting is that I have a friend who is a yoga instructor who is going to come lead the girls on an hour long yoga-for-kids class!  So I’m building the meeting around that.

I should also tell you that I have a multi-level troop;  we have two Brownies, 6 Juniors, and 2 Cadettes.  So I’m trying to plan badges that all three levels have fun with and earn their level badges with.

Rocking their multilevel troop!  Two Brownies and two Juniors shown!

First, let’s take a look at the basic badge requirements for each level that will be attending.

What do they have in common?  They each have a component to move your body.  They each at least allude to stress (for Brownies, they talk about what to do if someone is bugging you).  There is a healthy eating component in each of them. “Get the truth about health” will go along with “meet a health helper” (for information about staying healthy), and “Find out how what you eat affects your skin.”  Well, we’ll talk about how what you eat affects everything.  

I confess I’m not a big fan of the “Eating for You” badge.  That’s a lot of investigating what diet effects and seems a bit repetitive to me.  So we’ll weave in the “diet effects all the things” throughout everything.  My troop likes to keep things moving!  This isn’t school!

Eating for you is also the only one that doesn’t have an exercise component. Which seems a bit odd to me;  we will definitely add that in for them and talk about how food is fuel.  I want my girls to understand food as fuel and what things they love doing that need fuel!  So I’ll talk about that a little bit, but I confess I am changing the badge a bit.  On the bright side my two Cadettes didn’t do the Staying Fit badge so there won’t be overlap for them. 

So, here is my plan:

  1. Exercise stations and/or Simon Says.  Here’s a link to the Simon Says worksheet I printed out, but you could easily make this up on your own.  I also found a great exercise bingo game but doubt we will have time to do that.  Mostly I want to warm the girls up with some unusual and fun ways of moving their bodies, get them silly and loose, for the next step.  Which is…
  2. Learn how to de-stress.  For this we will do a silly scrunch and relax progression I found here.  This will probably only take a few minutes.  The sillier the better;  my girls LOVE silly.  
  3. Food nutrition worksheets:  OK, somewhere there exists a troop of girls that love doing worksheets and writing and things like that.  That troop is not MY troop.  So I’m going to try to divide and conquer;  maybe split the groups into two or three groups and have them work on it together.  They don’t even have to write the answers down;  just go through it, think about it, and be ready to talk to the rest of the troop about it.  My goal is always to avoid making Girl Scouts feel like school.  If the group effort doesn’t work, I’ll wait until they are eating stuff and go over it with them then.  (Captive audience, mwahahaha!) 
  4. Yoga class!  I have an instructor coming to lead the girls through a fun kid focused yoga session.   We’ll have snack after yoga, so we can talk about the other things.
  5. Thinking about ways to get their families exercising.  I am never sure about things like this.  Many of my girls have families who are busy or preoccupied with other things and they straight up are not going to exercise with their kids.  But, it’s worth a try.  So I will send home some ideas for them.

We’ll also talk about how they feel afterward, how they felt before the exercise and how they felt after.  We’ll talk about how they feel when they run very fast or do some other activity they love to do, and why they feel so good when they do it.  Hopefully they will learn a bit about how exercise and healthy foods contribute to overall health.  I’d also REALLY like to add in a bit about flu season and washing hands, but we will see if I can squeeze it in there.  Meetings are only 2 hours long.  

Another idea I don’t think I have time to work in is a Healthy Bodies Jeapardy.  Maybe we will do that at our next meeting (after this one) as a follow up/review.  

Well, that’s it;  I’ll report back and let you know how it went!  

Fun game idea for the girls

I’ve been so busy doing Girl Scout stuff that I’ve had no time lately to write about Girl Scout stuff! But I did want to share this idea because it was a huge, huge hit at our last meeting and I think it’s so versatile and the girls loved it!

Last meeting we were working on our Detective badge (for our Juniors, Special Agent for our Cadette, and Senses for our Brownies) and one of the things we did was play a living Guess Who game. Have you ever played Guess Who? My girl used to love this game!

Guess Who? Fun for Girl Scouts!

I came up with the idea based on ideas I saw on a lot of other pages talking about ways to earn the Detective badge.  Honestly I threw it together at the last minute and thought we’d give it a shot and see how it went.  But the girls loved it!

Essentially I printed out pictures of all kinds of characters;  everyone from Minnie Mouse to Olaf to Buzz Lightyear to a puppy (you always need some unexpected wildcards!).  I cut out the characters and to play the game, taped one to the back of each girls shirt.  So the other girls could see who she was, but she had to ask them yes or no questions to figure out who she was.

Sounds so simple, but sometimes the biggest hits are!
They wound up playing again and again and I wound up having to scribble some new names on a piece of paper just to keep it interesting.  I added “Juliette Gordon Low,” of course, plus Wonder Woman and lots of others.

Tonight I’m planning to do a game of Cookie Guess Who to get the girls psyched for cookie season coming up soon;  I will have them each be a cookie.  But there will be wild cards;  like Oreos, Chocolate Chip Cookies, maybe an ice cream cone or a hot fudge sundae!  I like to keep them guessing.  You can make this as easy or as hard as you like for your girls depending on their age and interest.  This is going to be one I try to keep in the back of my mind if we are ever at a loss for something to do (which honestly rarely happens) or waiting in line or something!

Click here for the pdf of Guess Who Characters with 12 characters, and click here for the pdf of Cookie Guess Who guest starring Oreos, chocolate chip cookies, and animal crackers!

Have fun and remember, the girls are always here to learn and grow and HAVE FUN!

More spiders, because who doesn’t love spiders?

Hey now, stop shrieking.  Put down the blowtorch!  You do not need to take an ax to your computer screen.  It’s *just* spiders.

Feel free to take a few minutes to laugh at Superwoman’s skit about being scared of spiders, here.

OK, now take some deep breaths people!  How am I supposed to deprogram your girls from being terrified of spiders, if you are terrified of spiders? Really though you can be terrified, just keep it on the INSIDE.  See?


How do you go about deprogramming spider/bug fear from girls?
Well it’s a process.  It kind of stinks that fear of spiders/bugs gets so bad to begin with!  But Halloween is coming so this is a great time to present some spider related activities to help your girls handle arachnids in their midst.

  1. Spider Stories!
    One of my first steps when the girls were younger (Daisies, Brownies… but don’t let them kid you, Juniors love stories too!) was reading my girls some stories about spiders.  AAAAGGGhhhhh Spiders, is a good one.   Also I’m trying to love spiders!  On a side note, my girls (still) love it when we are camping if I bring stories to read to them at night.  I was too tired this last time and we stayed up too late;  but I had stories in my backpack ready to go.
  2. Spider facts!
    I compiled a list of spider facts for the girls which I felt would help support my “don’t be so scared of spiders” message.  Yes, I essentially researched to affirm my own desired outcome.  (Does this count as fake news?) There was a purpose to it though!  Like from a page like this one with a whole bunch of spider facts, I pulled out “Most spiders are harmless to humans.”  More fun facts to discuss with the girls?

    • Spiders use their webs to catch bugs to eat, especially mosquitoes!
    • The presence of spiders in your house is a sign that 2,000 fewer bugs per spider will be there every year.
    • Spiders can’t see well and can’t see us until they are very close;  and then we look like terrifying GIANTS to them!
      ~These three facts were pulled from this nifty link!
  3. The Human Spiderweb!
    This one is so fun, the girls ALWAYS love this.  You basically take some yarn and string it around obstacles to create a web.  We actually did this outside and I brought some chairs out to create our web on, and some pillars from a nearby deck, and a tree.  The yarn went high, low, around, back, and created, well, a human spiderweb!  Then the girls get to try to climb through it without touching the web.  So fun!  Another idea is this game “Untangle the spiderweb.”  One other idea that is really fun is the “Web of Connection.”
  4. Pet Spiders
    I also had each girl make a pet spider.  I found this really neat tutorial on pinterest, of course!  The one I used was similar to this one except it used pom pom balls to make the spider body;  but honestly that wound up taking forever to dry, so I think this one would be better.  I also let the girls decorate the legs with pony beads (perfect fit for pipe cleaners).  We also made ours into rings, like this tutorial.  It’s been a few years now since we did the pom pom/pipe cleaner variety and I just came across this idea which I think my girls would love now that they are a little older.  (You could do it with younger girls too, but they will need more help cutting out the cardboard shapes.)
  5. Normalize spiders and bugs!
    I talk about spiders and bugs all the time during our meetings whether they are inside or outside.  I try really hard to normalize the idea that just because we see a bug, we do not have to automatically kill it.  I talk about how I take spiders outside (whenever I possibly can, sometimes it’s not possible).  I constantly restate that to a spider we are terrifying giants! It does seem to help them get more comfortable with the idea of spiders and other bugs being around.

Now if I could only find a way to keep the gnats away from my face…

I can’t close this post without sharing a(nother) funny spider story.

Year ago (back in the dark ages), when I was only about 18 years old, I was a counselor at a camp I’d attended for many years.  One day I was walking by a cabin of girls about 9 years old and I heard shrieks and screams and complete and total chaos and panic.  So I went in to find out what on earth was going on.  When I got inside, the girls told me there was a spider, and of course I, with my newly adult skills, was totally exasperated. Oh, a spider, is that all?  We’ve got this.

But then.

Yeah I always seem to say “Oh, it’s only a spider,” and then Mother Nature decides to bonk me on top of the head with the complete outer limits of what a spider can be.

Oh, it’s just a spider!

So yes, of course, this was a freaking giant monster of a spider and it was on a girls BED.  On her comfy comforter.

You couldn’t kill this thing on her bed.  It would be like squashing a MOUSE on her bed.  I mean, just, EW!!!!!!  No!

By this time I had one shoe off, and was trying to be the calm adult, and formulate a plan.   I decided to knock the spider off the bed, onto the floor, where I would then SMASH IT with all due haste.  (I was not yet in my be kind to spiders mode of thinking;  though even if I had been I am not sure I’d have been able to get this thing to rehome it!)  So I moved forward with my plan.  Threw a shoe at the spider to knock it off the bed, and….

You know what happened next right?
The darned thing disappeared!
How a spider that big could hide, I do not even begin to know.

By this time I’m hopping around on one foot scared to death that my shoe-less foot will land on the spider, and the ten 9 year old girls in the cabin with me are completely freaked out and shrieking and then my calm just completely broke way and I wound up just as freaked out and shrieky as the 9 year olds.  Not even joking.  Another counselor had to come rescue us!  I am not sure we ever found that spider!

So yes, in general I try to teach and demonstrate CALM around spiders (and other bugs), but even I have my moments.

I hope you like crazy bug stories, I seem to have a lot of those!


A Tale of Two Spiders

Warning!  Post contains spiders!

I took my girls for our fall camping kickoff last week, a day after our first meeting of the year!  They were so, so excited, and so was I;  I managed to reserve a campsite that we all love at our local Girl Scout camp, the weather was supposed to be beautiful, and most of my girls have some camping experience now.

However, once we arrived you would have thought we were at a slasher film festival for all the screams.  “EEEEEEEEEKS!  SPIDERS!”

No, DON’T kill it with fire!

I am used to having to deprogram girls when it comes to bugs, especially spiders.  Most of them have had very little contact with bugs except to see their parents scream and kill them and talk about how scary they are.  So being in the great outdoors in THEIR HOUSE is a whole new thing.  Except really for these girls, it’s not;  a few just dig their heels in on the spider thing.

I had no time for this spider hysteria, however.  We had wood to collect so we could eat dinner!  We had food to cook, deserts to plan, sleeping areas to organize!  No time to run screaming through the woods because you saw a spider.  Finally I told the girls “NO MORE.  Don’t tell me about a spider you saw;  we are outside in September, they are EVERYWHERE.  They are also terrified of you.  Leave them alone, that is all.”

I must have sounded pretty serious about it because that was the last screaming I heard about a spider.   A little while later, after the girls had chosen which glen shelter they would sleep in, one of them mentioned to me that there was a “pretty big spider,” on the ceiling of the shelter.  I said “that’s fine, just don’t worry about it,” and forgot about it.

We did so many fun things on this trip!  Girls cooked our walking tacos from scratch, starting with raw beef.  Like a bunch of cooking bosses!  They all helped with the fire, those who wanted to practiced lighting matches,  and after dinner we made “dump cake.”  I hate the name dump cake, but it is delicious!  Then we cleaned our campsite, made hot chocolate, and went stargazing.  It was quite chilly out so after that we returned to our toasty fire to chat until bedtime.  After chatting for a while, two of the girls got sleepy and retired to their chosen shelter.  The rest of us continued chatting a while longer.

Finally I got tired enough that I herded the rest of the girls to their shelter for bed.  I had an extra blanket to throw on a pair of sisters I knew had very lightweight sleeping bags, so I grabbed the blanket and my flashlight and went in.  After I covered them up, I thought… I’ll just take a look at that “big spider.”  By this time, all girls are in bed and two are asleep.

I point my flashlight up at the ceiling and just about pass out at the sheer size and majesty of the spider up there.  I am not even joking when I say this thing was a monster;  roughly the size of my hand, and sitting on a giant egg sac, with its eyes just glittering in the light of my flashlight.

Spiders at Girl Scout camp
Oh look, she found a friend!

WOW.  That is quite a long way from “screaming over every little spider,” to “sleeping beneath a monster spider of epic proportions” in one day, isn’t it?

I think if I had seen it sooner, I would have encouraged the girls to pick a different shelter.  On the other hand, there was a Spider of Similar Size in the adult shelter too; it’s likely they were in all the shelters (though I did not check)!  Which I discovered upon returning to that shelter where my co-leader was already all nuzzled up inside her mummy sleeping bag with her face directly under the monster spider of OUR shelter.  That’s right, that would be my co-leader who is terrified of spiders.  (But she does an admirable job of hiding it for the girls!)

Look at how her eyes are twinkling at us!

I made the executive decision to not mention it to her;  odds are that the two empty shelters had similar spiders anyways, and it’s not like we could get them OFF the inside of the roof, way up in the eaves like that!

I did wonder a little bit about the spiders moving during the night;  probably not poisonous but could still bite.  I did not think they would though, especially given how chilly it got;  they didn’t seem very active.  So I went to sleep.  When I woke up, our spider hadn’t moved and neither had the girls, thank goodness!

Over coffee the next morning, I told my co-leader I had a confession, and then told her about the spider.  She was shrieking NO WAY as she sprinted into our shelter to see.  Then she told me she would have slept in a chair by the fire if she’d known!

So that’s my tale of two spiders.
I will confess that these spiders pictured were not from our camping trip.  But I was in the same location a week later for a training, so I stopped by to see if I could get a picture of that same monster spider on the egg sac.  I didn’t see her, but the two giants here posed so prettily for me I couldn’t resist them.  They are the same type of spider;  I believe probably a dark fishing spider per this link.   Let me know what you think!

My final last words on this camping trip are;  check the rafters well with a flashlight FIRST, and… don’t forget the can opener, lest you wind up engaging in an Old Man and the Sea type struggle with a can of desert.

Who brought the can opener?

Disclaimer: No spiders were harmed in the writing of this post or during our camping trip.  The person engaging in an Old Man and the Sea type struggle with a can of desert was none other than myself, with my trusty pocket knife and a vegetable peeler which died a sad death that day.

Girl Scouts and Radical Inclusion

First I need to say that this is not an official Girl Scout blog;  I am just a person with her own opinion and feelings and thoughts about current events. 

One of the things I love about Girl Scouts as an organization is that they believe in, encourage, and practice, radical inclusion.   That means that Girl Scouts is meant to be available to *every* girl, and every family.  Where there is an obstacle facing a girl, Girl Scouts will do what they can to work around it, conquer it, or smash it.

When Girl Scouts was one of the first organizations to take a stand on behalf of transgendered children;  I was incredibly proud.  But the Girl Scout legacy of inclusion goes back much further.

“Beginning with that first small troop gathering of 18 culturally and ethnically diverse girls, Juliette Low broke the conventions of the time by reaching across class, cultural, and ethnic boundaries to ensure all girls had a place to grow and develop their leadership skills.”

So when I saw a discussion of Girl Scout leaders begin regarding the presence of a Confederate Flag in a leader home making a family feel uncomfortable, I was more than a little shocked to see responses like these:

“That parent is a troublemaker and was probably snooping.”
“It’s none of her business what a leader has in her home!”
“Let her go start her own troop if she is so uncomfortable!”
“If she’s offended by the Confederate Flag she is an idiot who doesn’t know history!”
Insert your favorite defense of the Confederate Flag here.

These comments were all made shortly after the horrifying events in Charlottesville, VA, where Nazis and racists joined forces to terrorize a community and our country as a whole.

Where Nazis walked proudly in our streets terrorizing and demonizing people of color, immigrants, Jews, LGBTQ people, and more.

Nazis.  Actual NAZIS.  Doing the Heil Hitler salute and more.  Murdering an innocent protester.

We don’t get to choose the time we live in.
We do get to choose how we respond to that time and the circumstances of that time.

If you ever wondered what type of person you would have been when Martin Luther King Jr. was leading his peaceful protests, or what you would have done when your Jewish friends were being rounded up into ghettos, when they were forced to wear yellow stars and finally when they started disappearing, or what you would have done when screaming crowds terrorized little girls just trying to go to school? If you have ever wondered those things without having been alive then, you get to find out now.

You get to choose now, what kind of person you want to be.  Which side of history you will want to be on.

You have a gift in that you have seen these battles play out before in America. You’ve seen how they turned out before.

I believe in our country, and I believe there is a forgone conclusion in this fight.  We have already fought these wars and told the world where we stand.  We all know how this ends.

It’s going to take an army of love and kindness to conquer this much hate.  It won’t be pretty or polite all the time, it can’t be.  Being quiet and polite is what has let it fester and grow in our midst.   Nazis and racists are not free to terrorize people.  That is not what free speech is for.

I don’t know if I can make anyone think by writing this post.  I am sure some will read this and be angry.  I hope if you are angry, you sit with it and think about *why* you are angry.  I hope that I can make one person think about how to be kind and include, instead of taking a stand on behalf of hate and exclusion.  And I know that I have to try, and I have to not give up.   I can’t BE in this organization founded on an idea of radical inclusion and not say these things, not feel these things, not be these things.

There is no scrap of fabric that would conquer my desire to ensure that girls and their families feel welcome in my troop and my home and everywhere we go together.  If I were the descendant of someone who fought in that horrific “Civil” war, that war that killed more Americans than all our other wars combined, that war of blood spilled for the right to OWN OTHER HUMANS, that shame of our nation;  if I were, I would certainly not be displaying that flag with pride.   Anymore than the descendants of Nazis would display the Nazi flag with pride.

Let’s think, let’s strive, let’s march onward and INCLUDE and be kind and teach our Girl Scouts to do the same, and that army of love and kindness and inclusion will march on and change the world for the better.


Things I learned at Girl Scout Camp

I haven’t written in several weeks because I’ve been so busy with Girl Scout Camp!  I volunteered to be a unit leader at 2 different camps, and aside from the sheer exhaustion following the experience, I learned some definite lessons.

  1. During the overnight, you need more food than you think you need.   I found that the meals provided by organizers fell way short of myself and the capability of my little plague of locusts, um, I mean, girls.   After being provided bready pizza, bagels, and subs that were mostly bread I felt like I’d been carb loading.  We need protein!
  2. Don’t be surprised to hear multiple people talking about how “different” and how much “tougher” the boys in the boys unit are.  (The camps I volunteered at allow sons of staff to have their own unit if they are over 5.  Under 5’s are in the pixies unit, both boys and girls.)   If I had a dollar for every time someone within Girl Scouts told me how much more brave, adventurous, and generally gross the boys are, I’d be rich.  It’s definitely disheartening to see that type of sexism AT GIRL SCOUT CAMP.   From my experience, girls come in all varieties and so do boys.  I’ve met quiet boys who love to read, and I’ve met crazy boys who never stop making noise… and the same for girls.   The group of children in front of you doesn’t represent ALL children.  Stereotyping genders hurts both boys AND girls (but especially girls in so many ways).   If you’re interested in more on this topic, here’s an article to start with;  but always ask yourself if they behave that way because it’s who they are, or if that is what they have learned they are SUPPOSED to do?
  3. Don’t start a war with a kid at Girl Scout camp.  OK, I know this sounds a little silly.  I feel silly having written it, much less having gotten myself into that situation!  But I encountered a pack of girls who would just flatly ignore me every time I asked them to do something.  They had a leader they rallied around and talked about me and the whole nine yards.  Drove me completely crazy!  My initial instinct was to pushback and put a serious smackdown on that type of behavior, which got me nowhere.  When I got home that evening (day camp), I was thinking and thinking about it.  I realized I did not want to be in a battle of wills with this girl.  We are at a 2 week day camp f’goodness sakes!  Both of us just want to have fun.   I decided I’d stop nagging, take ALL the pressure off,  and start “catching her being good,” and it turned the whole thing around.
  4. On that note, 2 weeks is not enough time to deal with major behavior issues;  nor do most of us really have the training to tackle those kinds of things, even if we did have more time (volunteers, remember?).  So… distract, deflect, redirect, repeat.
  5. It’s hard;  REALLY hard, for kids to be good listeners and focused when it is a zillion degrees outside.  It’s hard for adults;  it’s even harder for kids.   So try to be understanding and patient if they are having a rough time.
  6. Even if you don’t think you have any girls who are trying not to drink water as a way to avoid the latrines, you do.  (Yes, I did.)
  7. Air fresheners don’t fix the latrine situation, but they do help a tiny bit, and they surely can’t hurt.   They get pretty rank!
  8. Girls will rise (or fall) to meet your expectations;  if you expect them to be unable to do anything, and do everything for them, most of the time they will just accept that.   Don’t do it!  It’s more work for you and the truth is that most of the time THEY WANT TO DO this stuff for themselves.  That is a large part of what they are DOING in Scouting.  Even Daisies can be instructed on how to practice fire safety and put a small piece of wood in the fire safely, and the confidence they gain from that lasts a lifetime!  This also fits perfectly with a progression of skills.  Always focus on what the girls CAN do instead of on what they can’t.
  9. Bring more gimp and craft supplies than you think you need.  Lots more.
  10. Have fun, and don’t take anything too seriously.  (Aside from safety stuff, of course!)  This is all meant to be fun for both volunteers and kids attending!

This isn’t everything, of course!  Just a few things that are on my mind right now after finishing my first summer volunteering at Girl Scout camps.  I had so much fun, and I love working with and getting to know the girls.  They are all their own people in such amazing ways, even when they sometimes drive me bonkers!  The hugs, smiles, and confidence they gain is worth all of it.

You know you’re a Girl Scout leader when…

  1. There is a mysterious bag full of random recyclables, lids, and plastic straws, hidden somewhere in your kitchen.
  2. You have stashes of to-be-reused plastic zip bags on your desk.  Next to your purse, and also in your Girl Scout bin.
  3. If you had a penny for each time a parent told you they were “too busy” to do a thing (ANYthing… including respond with a YES or NO to a text), you’d be rich.  Not like, Donald Trump rich.  Really rich, like Bill Gates rich!
  4. You’ve become adept at starting a campfire while handling girl conflicts and answering endless questions.
  5. You buy a giant milk carton jug looking thing of goldfish to share with your Girl Scout campers and when it is empty, find yourself staring longingly at the container wondering what on earth you can make out of it.
  6. Your craft room rivals the local Michaels.
  7. Your craft room has thrown up and filled every room of your house with craft supplies.
  8. You can sing the “Moose with Juice” song in your sleep.
  9. You know why we stand on our heads on October 31st every year.
  10. The number of minutes spent carefully composing clear, concise emails with all the information that parents need is directly opposite the amount of time said parents spend reading those emails.
  11. You find yourself thinking of your troop/campers at random times of day, and you miss them;  even the ones who drive you crazy!
  12. In spite of all the stress and lack of “thank you’s”, you still love leading your girls;  the magic that happens when they are together is worth all of it!
  13. Finally… if you were interrupted in reading (or, for me, writing) this post six times because parents swear they didn’t get that mail, or email, or text… You are definitely a Girl Scout leader!

Camp Out Scream Out

The first time I took my girls camping, I was in for so many surprises.  Of course!  At the time my troop consisted of several girls who really spent so much time with me and my daughter, at my house, that I didn’t give a second thought to taking them on an overnight.

I did have one girl who was relatively new;  but she seemed so enthusiastic I didn’t think it would be an issue.  (Ha!  Ha!  Oh the naive Girl Scout leader!)
We actually weren’t even really camping;  we were at a service unit encampment that was held at a campground with what were, essentially, dorms.  They had real live floors and roofs!  They even had heat and bathrooms.  With SHOWERS!  The height of luxury!

After a busy day running around outside, we got the girls ready for bed pretty uneventfully.  Eventually all the giggling gaggle of girls was tucked in bed and I read them some stories.  Finally I left the room, leaving them to sleep with a night light.

I was a bundle of nerves.  I don’t sleep well away from home to begin with and the cot I was on was very uncomfortable.  (Of course.)

I had juuuuust finally started to drift off when I heard blood curdling screams coming from the girls room.  I leapt up and raced in, heart pounding, prepared to do battle!

To find all the girls sound asleep and motionless.  I walked around peering at them all in disbelief;  was I imagining things?

Back to my uncomfortable cot, tossing and turning and finally starting to drift off, when, again, BLOOD CURDLING SHRIEKS!  I ran in AGAIN to find all the girls still sound asleep.

This time I decided to stay in the room for a while, though, and what did I find? Eventually, I discovered…
One of my girls was a sleep screamer!

If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I don’t think I could have believed it or imagined it.  But she would actually open her mouth, scream at the top of her lungs, and then just sleep on as if nothing had happened.  The even more amazing part of that was that none of the other girls (or leaders!) woke up with the screaming.  I absolutely could not believe it!

The next day my screamers mom came to pick her up and I mentioned that her daughter had been screaming in her sleep.  Her reply?  “Oh yes, she always does that at sleepovers.”

Huh!  Perhaps something mom could have mentioned to me BEFORE giving me repeated heart attacks in the middle of the night?

Girl Scout Crazy!


Like most other Girl Scout leaders out there (and I am not talking about our heroes, those leaders who came to scouting because they just WANTED to), I became a Girl Scout leader because there was no one else. The nice lady from our service unit essentially explained to me, “Well, if you want a troop you can have a troop! You just have to lead a troop.” Accompanied by the very famous “It only takes about an hour a week,” which is epic in it’s very Little White Lie-ness.

Now here I am four years later, much grayer, about a thousand percent snarkier, and completely enmeshed in Girl Scout life.

I volunteered to work at two (TWO!) Girl Scout camps this summer. Thus I am swimming in swaps, because I need roughly 150 for each camp.

I just got back from taking three girls to the Hershey Park Girl Scout Camporee. (Needed swaps for that, too!)

I’m fully enmeshed in the Neverending Service Project of Doooooom. (But there is a light at the end of that tunnel; we’re done this Saturday. DONE.)

In a nutshell, yes, I am crazy.

Girl Scout crazy!

Or maybe just Girls Who Are Scouts crazy. Since I don’t always love the Girl Scout program as it’s written. But that’s a rant for another day.  Besides, what I do love are the girls and the magic that happens when you get the girls together at the right time, in the right place, and with the right support;  and that is really what this blog is all about!