Saturday, January 26, 2019

When You Want to Quit Girl Scouts: Some Thoughts from Someone Who’s Been There

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By: Lime Green Giraffe Webmaster, Meghan K.

Can you still remember what Girl Scouts was like when you first joined? How fun it was, how easy everything seemed and how it felt like the whole world was open to yo?  But now things have changed; you’re tired, frustrated, lonely, and quite frankly, you just want to give up. You’re seriously questioning whether or not it’s worth it to continue with Girl Scouts at all.
It’s perfectly understandable to wonder if you should stick with Girl Scouts, especially if you’ve been in it for a long time. After all, as you grow up, some of your interests and priorities change and oftentimes, Girl Scouts is one that tends to do a complete 180. My troop had 15 girls in Girl Scout Cadettes, but in Girl Scout Ambassadors, we’re down to four. Some girls’ interests have changed, and they’ve found that Girl Scouts just wasn’t the place for them anymore and they felt that they can do more interesting things if they left.
I’ve been there, to be honest. Throughout middle school, I was there a lot. Actually, I spent most of fifth through seventh grades wondering if I really wanted to keep going with Girl Scouts or if it might be better to just drop it altogether and try something else; between choppy relations with the other girls in my troop and meeting times conflicting with the other things I wanted to do, it was starting to look like I should just call it quits. (Spoiler alert: I stayed.)

I can’t tell you whether to stay or go; that much has to be up to you. Ultimately, this is your life, not mine, and what worked well for me over the years may not be relevant to you and your situation. But what I can do is share with you some things that have kept me in Girl Scouts and give you some things to think about before you decide to not renew your membership.
There are a lot of reasons why I’m still in Girl Scouts today. The first is that I naturally want to stick things out as long as I can. I don’t like to feel like I’m “giving up” on something that might turn out better than I think. This is especially true if I’ve already been involved in it for a long time. Call it optimism, call it persistence, call it being just plain stubborn—call it whatever you want, but it worked for me, and kept me staying in Girl Scouts even through some of the hardest times.
I’ll admit that some of that optimism and persistence came from keeping a promise to myself that I’d made as a Girl Scout Daisy. When I was in kindergarten, I promised myself that I would stay in Girl Scouts until the very end (Girl Scout Seniors at the time). I’ll admit that it was a hard one to keep, and for a while I wondered why it mattered to me so much. But when I thought about it, I was reminded of how exciting Girl Scouts had been for me when I was a Daisy and how much I wanted and needed to hold onto that hope, anticipation and innocence. That promise reminded me to keep looking for the next adventure and as long as I kept looking forward, I could always see something else that made Girl Scouts worthwhile. It also reminded me to be aware of why I joined Girl Scouts in the first place.
But the thing that’s kept me in Girl Scouts more than anything else is the sheer amount of options for older girls. Girl Scouts is one of the few activities that I didn’t age out of once I started middle or high school. Honestly, the doors really opened for me as a Girl Scout Cadette.
Since I started wearing my khaki vest, I’ve been to an online safety workshop held by the Department of Homeland Security, I’ve been behind the scenes of both the Tennessee and Georgia Aquariums, I’ve attended two seminars on law and becoming a lawyer, I’ve been part of a robotics team, and I’ve toured Lockheed Martin, as well as being part of the Lime Green Giraffe. I’ve also had the opportunity to mentor younger girls and pass on all the knowledge that I’ve learned over the past 12-years, paying what was given to me forward And that’s just the tip of the iceberg; some of my Girl Scout friends have been part of amazing mentorship programs, gone to space camp and been on some amazing Destinations. I’ve heard people talk about scuba diving and learning to code. There is so much for older Girl Scouts that I haven’t even touched on: you just have to find them.
As I said, ultimately, I can’t make this decision for you. Whether or not you leave Girl Scouts is up to you and you alone. But before you make that decision, take a moment to think. Think about the past. Ask why you joined Girl Scouts in the first place? What were your favorite things about being a Girl Scout?. Think about the present—the opportunities that are just opening up for you now that you might like to try. And, of course, think about the future—all the things that you’re going to do or you might be able to do if you stick with Girl Scouts a little bit longer.
Good luck, sister Girl Scout. Your adventure is just beginning.

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