When I was growing up, I was a member of the greatest Girl Scout troop of all time - Clinton Troop #77. I can never remember a time when I wasn't a Scout. My mom was troop leader of my older sister's troop when I was little, so I grew up tagging along to those meetings. Pretty soon, I joined a troop of my own. (My best friend was a member of that troop, and her mom - who made the most awesome chocolate chip pancakes of all time - was the leader. How could I refuse?!)
In the early years, we did all the Scout stuff that you normally think of - camping, selling cookies, earning patches, learning to canoe. Most younger troops stay pretty active and have members that are glad to participate. But as girls get older, being a Girl Scout doesn't seem "cool" anymore, and so most people drop out.
But our troop was different. I don't know if it was just that we all liked each other a whole lot, or that our troop did lots of neat stuff, but we had a core group of folks that wanted to stay involved. And we were a motley group - a valedictorian, a beauty queen, a photographer/editor type, some drama folks, just a real mixed bag.
And once we got older, our activities started getting cooler. We started going on fun road trips - Atlanta, New Orleans, Vicksburg, the Gulf Coast. We did what we called "night flights," where we'd stay out all night doing various activities - visiting TV and radio stations, watching the morning paper get printed, bowling, shopping at the mall, eating breakfast at an all-night buffet. Instead of attending events at the Girl Scout training center, we started running some of them.
We made instructional videos for the council, singing goofy camp songs (there is some REALLY incriminating video of us out there somewhere) and demonstrating various camp techniques. (I do not exaggerate when I tell you we could have cooked a five-course meal out in the wilderness with little more than an old coffee can, some candles, a cardboard box lined in foil, and a few hot coals.) When we went camping, we'd terrorize the younger troops by taking them on freaky snipe hunts and messing with their tents in the middle of the night. (Look, it wasn't ALL KumBaYa, okay?)
I guess they are particularly on my mind lately because I've found a few of my old scout buddies on Facebook. I hadn't realized how much I'd missed them and the history we share. I might have to plan a reunion sometime soon . . . !