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Girl Scout Leader Appreciation Day

     April 22nd is Girl Scout Leader Appreciation Day.  Although I am obviously no longer in Girl Scouts, I want to say a big "Thank You" to my Girl Scout leader who led me from Daisies through Seniors in troop 252.  You took your own personal time, and nurtured, taught, and cared for each one of your girls.

     There are many things I learned in my years with my troop leader.   As young girls, we were taught to respect anyone older than us, whether they were the parents of our friends, teachers, or those who were much older and have seen many things in their lives.  While growing up, I did not got into trouble very often.  It wasn't necessarily that I was afraid of getting in trouble, but I was afraid of disappointing people.  I was taught in Girl Scouts, that I should learn from people who are older than me.  Giving back to elders was a big thing.  Something our troop always loved to do was to sing at nursing homes.  Every Christmas, we would get songs together and go sing and try to brighten somebody's day.

    One of the things that we did often was go camping.  I loved camping.  Because of my leader, we got to experience the outdoors a lot.  It was my favorite place to be.  I learned how to build fires, cook food over a fire, clean latrines (yuck!), tie knots, and more.  Being outside in the woods felt like home to me.  Even now, I love walking in the woods.  It brings me back to all the feelings of wonder and excitement I had as a young girl.  I even dragged my oldest out in the snow to take a walk in the woods behind my house, but she wasn't as thrilled as I was about it!

     My GS leader, taught us to be friends to everyone.  As one of the girl scout songs goes "make new friends, and keep the old, one is silver and the other's gold." She made sure that we treated everyone as equals.  That no matter what we looked like, or where we came from, we were all friends.  We were taught to be friends to people we didn't know either, and that there was good in all people.

     Much of our time was used completely tasks to earn badges.  It was always a friendly competition to see who could earn the most badges.  Doing things around town, or completing various projects, taught us how to be a better person, while earning us a new badge to put on our vest.  Whether it be earning a badge on "the media" or "weather watcher" or "money sense", there were always lots to choose from.  The best part was, you could choose which one you wanted to work on.  Our GS leader always encouraged us to worked together and help each other.  We learned quickly that with friends, we could accomplish anything.

     I have so many good memories of being a girl scout.  Our leader went above and beyond,  giving us many opportunities that many of us may not have had.  One of my favorite field trips that we went on was the Boston Children's Museum.  We spent the day exploring and playing, and then got to spend the night in the Dinosaur Room!  Between selling cookies, camping out, caroling at nursing homes, having great "field trips", volunteering around town, and just being with a great group of girls, I was always proud to be a Girl Scout.  Some of my best childhood memories are from those times, and I have my leader to thank for all of it.

     So once again, Thank You, for all you did, and still do, as a leader and a friend!