Sometimes the world just slaps you upside the head and says "hey! Have you thought about this lately?" Today was just such a day.
Day started with a call from a dear friend during breakfast. I met dear friend when we were 15 (!) at a Girl Scout camp in Germany....Long story short we were part of a 12-girl, 2-leader team from the US selected to represent our country at an arts camp in Bavaria. The trip included living with German Scouting families, sightseeing (including Prague...while it was still communist), and a two week camp where 20 countries (or so, she'll correct me if that's wrong) and over 5,000 scouts (of all sexes, nationalities and ages) gathered. It was, hands down, one of the most incredible experiences in my life. Said friend, and another friend...I'll use their Livejournal names Purlewe and HunterMHolstein for purposes of this post....we've been friends forever. There were entire years and stretches of years where we didn't talk, lost touch, then one day I'll pick up the phone and someone will be in the middle of a conversation that was interrupted five years ago...and we just pick up where we left off. There is one other person in this world who I have been friends with longer, we met because we had the same socks at Girl Scout camp when we were five. FIVE! We stood up in each other's weddings...we meet and have playdates with our kids...I call her mom "mom"... These three people (plus two others...) make up my "mafia of five"...the people I could call to help me move a body. Three of these five were brought into my life because of scouting. I love them so fiercely they might as well be family. They are family...
So then I was out a'drivin and talking to another friend, who happens to be a co-leader of her daughter's Girl Scout troop, and we had a long converstion about Scouting and how the leaders make the experience, and how wonderful it can be.
Then I come home and check my Email. A scouting friend from LONG ago...someone who was one of my leaders at day camp when I was Jr. Counselor...she's found me on Facebook. Wonderful! This is one of those times when I"m glad to be on FB...and so happy that people can find me.
And it strikes me that yesterday was Thinking Day, and that Purlewe and I were talking about that this morning.
For those of you who don't know what that is, I'll quote from the Girl Scout website: "World Thinking Day not only gives girls a chance to celebrate international friendships, but it is also a reminder that Girl Scouts of the USA is part of a global community—one of nearly 150 countries with Girl Guides and Girl Scouts." For me, scouting has been all about community and friendship, and this year I really started to ponder this. When I was a kid ( and now, too, naturally ) I was absolutely blessed to have what I believe to be the best parents ever. They are really really good people. But I also had this incredible community of adults who were interested in me and in my life...many of them were Scout leaders. Some were men, some were women, but they were all devoted to making the lives of girls better. I'm sure they didn't think about it this way at the time, or maybe they did, but they were dedicated to teaching us that we were strong, capable, and able to do what we wanted for ourselves. I have wonderful memories of my leader letting us use power tools to do woodworking in his basement and garage, just because we wanted to...and being so very very patient with us. My Girl Scout leaders during Jr. High and High School were a husband and wife team who did a lot for our community. I don't think they let men be leaders now, but Mr. H. was a big influence on me and a wonderful person.
My community now is still made of people who I met through scouting. As I mentioned, my circle consists of important people that I met here...they are the ones who drop everything when I need it (and as the past year will attest, sometimes I really need it). And I will do the same for them.
So this year I'm thinking, I'm thankful and I owe so much to this organization. It was not always "cool" to be a Scout....I was definitely under the radar for many years in High School. But I never quit, because I had people dedicated to making that experience wonderful. I'm so very thankful for the person they helped me become.
Happy Thinking Day, everyone!