Do you remember your first Girl Scout uniform?
The first thing that comes back to me is the smell. My mom took me to Sears, and it was so NEW!
Never had I owned something like this-so green, so sharp, so......important.
There were so many pieces to the uniform, and I just knew I would make my leader proud.
Fact: I ended up not liking my leader. But dang, the uniform had socks to go with it.
Then there was the hat. A hat! What on earth?? With an ensignia to boot. The Girl Scout sign, so all could see that I, small 8 year old me, was a Girl. Scout.
So much to do! So much to learn!
Then there was the sash. Oh my word. That sash.
I wanted to fill my sash with badges! I had thoughts of the sash being so heavy with badges...I would wear them with pride, knowing I had done my best to earn the right to put those little circles on my sash.
Fact: While doing this painting, I couldn't wait to dig out my old sash.
I almost cried when I realized it was gone. Before we moved to our new home, I purged like a madman. Marie Kondo had nothing on me.
I'm not a fan.
I look back fondly on that time. There was everything right about it for me.
I belonged. I had a purpose. There were rules and formation. If you did everything right, you earned something to prove it.
The only badge I really can recall was the cooking badge. It had a little white bottle of milk, a tiny mixing bowl and a red cup. I adored it. I still like cooking.
Fact: I did not sell cookies. I sold calendars, which went for a whopping $1.
My job was to walk the neighborhood, selling them door-to-door. Pretty much, my memory is that this was not the most fun part of the Girl Scout gig.
Dad basically said he handed them out to people at work and said, "Here. Give me a dollar."
He killed it -to the point of selling the most in my troop!
Dad earned an Official Girl Scout Pen Knife, I got flowers.
I know, I hear you groaning. He actually gave me the Pen Knife, cause he thought flowers were stupid for all the work we did. I love that memory of him.
Fact: I think I lasted a year or two as a Girl Scout.
Like many things in childhood, it didn't last for whatever reason and I moved on to other things.
Last year, I found a Girl Scout handbook from 1953. (You can see some of it in the background of this painting.) When I looked through all the badges, I had an epiphany of sorts.
All my life, I've never stopped learning.
As I turned the pages of the handbook, I counted off all badges I would have earned by now, and it made me smile. Writing, cooking, equestrian, reading, gardening, interior decoration, water play, drawing and painting, photography....
It would make a pretty cool sash, don't you think?