Wednesday, January 29, 2020

What Girl Scouts Meant to Me

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By: Autumn R.  



Early On 
I joined Girl Scouts when I was in second grade. I don’t remember much from my troop when I was younger. I remember we met in this little house with a playground in the backyard. The little house was at some church near where I lived. The girls in the troop were Girl Scout Brownies up to Girl Scout Cadettes. These girls are the ones that got me interested in the patches, the badges, the whole shebang. I loved it. I was with them from second to fourth grade. 

An Experience  (Not Recommended) 
In fourth grade, my family moved from Ladson, South Carolina to Suwanee, Georgia. I had to leave my old troop behind, but my mother didn’t want my Girl Scout career to be over just yet. She found a troop in the nearby area and signed me up to be their newest member.  
Now, my memory of this troop and the time, while I was in it, is shoddy. Namely because of how awful of an experience I had. Most of the girls in the troop were kids of one of the leaders, and to say they were entitled is an understatement. They rejected the way I spoke or interacted because it wasn’t like how they did things. I tried my hardest to get them to like me, but they wanted nothing to do with me.  

The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword... 
In seventh grade, my mother got an email from the head troop leader saying it would be best if I didn’t come back. My mother was appalled and quite angry that they were kicking me out for not “reaching out to the girls” when they hadn’t even attempted to get to know me. It was a long and hard journey to find a new troop, as I was now a Girl Scout Cadette and most troops would disband around this time. With a stroke of luck, she found Gamma Gamma Sigma, a service troop dedicated to seeing older girls through the end of their Girl Scout careers.  
In the same timeframe, she saw a page on the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta website about a writers’ workshop. As I was constantly getting in trouble for writing in class, I think she hoped this would give me a creative outlet for my writing needs. Sorry to say, Ma, all you did was fuel the fire. I joined the Lime Green Giraffe in seventh grade and found people who were just like me. People who could ramble for hours about which character was the most underrated from Harry Potter. These people were a family and I was the newest sister to be adopted into the fold. LGG has been one of the most wonderful things to happen to my life. I don’t know where I would be without it. 

...But Sometimes the Sword is Quite Sharp 
In my junior year of high school, I fell into a pretty bad depression. I looked, talked, walked just fine, but I was crying near every day and felt like I was dying. Nothing interested me anymore, not even writing. I withdrew from everyone and hardly shared anything. I was a mess, for lack of a better word. Without LGG, I’m certain I would’ve completely given up on writing at all. Something told me I had to keep writing. I volunteered for articles even though I knew they would be bad. My writing sucked that year, but I kept that pen moving across that page. I needed to. It was the worst thing at the time. I was just clicking keys, but it worked. When I finally got my feet under myself again, the stories I had been working on were long dead, but new ones were in the making. Several, actually. I started writing for leisure again and it was such a freeing experience. My articles kept me thinking, kept the ink flowing (pun intended). 

A Special Thank You 
Marnye, Jo, Melissa. Without you three, my creative vein would’ve run dry for the last time. I’m eternally thankful for you guys and all my fellow writers at LGG for pushing me to keep writing. You gave me my words back. I can’t thank you enough. I really can’t. Without a shadow of a doubt, you will be in my author’s notes in all of my books. 
Girl Scouts kept me from falling into a deep hole. It gave me a way to keep myself amongst the chaos. 

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