Kaitlyn Rasmussen Contributing Writer
Most girls you talk to will tell you, at some point in their lives, they were a Girl Scout. Many may also inform you that their time as a scout did not last long. Recently, I had a discussion with a co-worker who told me she was a Brownie dropout; a common term I’ve heard over the years: someone who didn’t make it past the second level, leaving the organization before they’ve finished grade school.
In 2016, I graduated from high school and from Girl Scouts, surrounded by my small, close-knit troop of girls only a year or so younger than me. The next year I had the pleasure of seeing all five of them, including my younger sister, graduate. It was a beautiful culmination of years of fun: sleepovers where we stayed up late at night talking, sneaking out of the cabin at 11:00, tricking the adults in the next room into making them believe there was a bear outside; yearly volunteering at the senior citizens home, helping to wrap donated Christmas presents and decorate their tree; too many Cookie Booths to count, bundled up against the cold with smiles on our faces as we raised money to do even more things together; finding the time in our busy schedules to help with the younger troops, in which our leader also ran.
Presently, in my last year of college, I am still in touch with the wonderful woman who ran the troop I graduated from. Since graduating from high school and Girl Scouts, I have continued to help run meetings for the younger troops, watching them go from Daisies in Kindergarten to seeing the majority of them begin 6th grade this year as Cadettes. My heart swells with joy seeing the beautiful, strong, independent young ladies they have become. In September of this year, I even got the incredible opportunity to become a student intern at the Girl Scouts of Connecticut Hartford office, and it has already been one of the greatest experiences of my life.
I say to all the Brownie dropouts out there: when you have daughters, don’t count Girl Scouts out just yet. In fact, enroll them and encourage them to give it a shot. When you give girls the opportunity to be a Girl Scout, you are setting them up to be a strong leader, a role-model, and a risk-taker. You are giving them the greatest chance to be part of a beautiful community where they may meet some life-long best friends; the best person they can be. As you watch your daughters learn, grow, and have the time of their lives, take it from me: you will realize just how special the experience truly is.