When my daughter was about 4 years old, I started to notice Facebook posts of friends with kids around her age and the activities they were signed up for. Ballet, soccer, swimming – you name it. I started wondering if we should be signing her up for an activity too. Honestly, I never want to overload her “schedule” (in quotes because, really, what 4 year old has a schedule?) with multiple sports or activities but I also don’t want to limit her interests. And besides, maybe she’ll find something she’s passionate about and will stick with for years to come.
In the years since she was 4, we’ve tried soccer, dance, and gymnastics. However; nothing has stuck. We let Emily decide if and what she’d like to do because we don’t want to force her into something just because we think it’s something she should do. On the flip side, we want her to understand the responsibility of signing up for something, showing up and following through with the commitment. With this philosophy in mind, we’ve learned not to pay for more than one session at a time (which I was ever so grateful for when she decided not to continue with dance and I had almost signed her up for all 4 sessions at once to save some money!).
Recently, we’ve signed her up for a Girl Scout Daisy troop. I saw a Facebook post about a troop forming and emailed the leader for information. I talked to Emily about it and told her all about my experiences with being a Brownie and a Girl Scout. It brought up such fond memories of troop meetings and activities and making friends and camping. Emily knew some of her classmates who were Daisies and she was excited to join as well. Done and done!
Being on the other side of scouting is a whole new world! Paying dues and buying the tunic and the proper badges and then ironing on the badges was something I obviously didn’t have to do when I was a scout. I now appreciate all that my mom had to do while I was a scout. I mean, she sewed on my badges! I still have my sashes and those badges are not coming off, decades later! My mom went to most, if not all my meetings because they were usually held after dinner. She even went on my camping trips. My daughter’s current troop holds the meetings directly after school which makes it difficult for me to attend but I’m going to try to attend at least 1 or 2 this year.
As much as a pain it is to iron on those badges (Anyone who has had to iron on the daisy with all those individual petals? I feel ya!) and to sell cookies, I really hope this is something my daughter will want to continue with. Being in Girl Scouts taught me about community service, friendships, above all else it taught me how empowering it is to work together with other girls. When it comes down to it, this is what I want my daughter to take away from this experience.