Closing a Chapter in the Handbook!

I have mentioned that I am getting ready to say goodbye to my 5th grade elementary school student and launch her off to Middle School.  I thought this would be a good time to talk about my wrap up of another kind.

Did you know that I have been a Girl Scout troop leader for the past 5 years?  One could say that half of the white hair on my head could be attributed to this!  Maybe I thought I could be like Shelley Long in Troop Beverly Hills, but in the end Brown and Green were just not my color.   

I have decided that there should be badges for the troop leaders.  These are the ones that come to mind:

  • a bottle of Tylenol on it
  • a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign
  • one that has ‘many’ empty boxes of Thin Mints
  • a wine glass
  • one that says ‘does your Mother let you do that?’
  • a ‘I Survived the Overnight’
  • and lastly, a big fat ‘THANK YOU – YOU DID GREAT!’

I have mixed feelings about all of this however,  over the weekend we had our Troop “Farewell’ Ceremony.  I am sure this is not an official ceremony that the Girl Scouts promotes but it was time to say good bye to the girls in our troop as my co leaders and I have decided to not continue.

I would not be honest if I did not say I had decided to end my leadership role WELL over a year ago – but I held out my end of the bargin and finished out with the girls.  My daughter specifically.  The deal was – if I went, she had to go – and together we did it.

We started as a Brownie Troop when Coco was in first grade.  The Troop size has always been well over 20 girls.  It was exhausting.  What I remember about back then was none of the girls could read very well and they could not tie their shoes.   I had such high hopes of relationship building and inspiring the girls.

We continued on for two more years (2nd & 3rd grades) as a Brownie Troop (we were grandfathered in while the Council readjusted the age levels).  Three years of Brownies = a LOT of crafts.  A lot of those two years is mostly a fog.  What I do remember is my co leaders and I summing up the end of the meetings by saying ‘that went better than I thought it would‘.  I also remember coming home and crawling into the fetal position for a minimum of an hour after those meetings.

We learned after that – plan more field trips.   4th grade we took a LOT of field trips.  To farms, grocery stores, overnight campouts, animal shelters, banks.  Basically anywhere they would host us we went.

5th grade we decided to go to one meeting a month and make it a tad longer.  I think this worked well for the age group.  We encouraged the girls to work more independently and made them more responsible for what the chose to do.  It did not make it any easier.

SO this Sunday we invited the girls families to come to a Farewell Ceremony and we offered cake as an incentive.   I did not have that moment of  ‘gee girls, look at you all so grown up now!’  Instead I feel confident and happy to be saying goodbye.  I don’t think that is a terrible thing.

There are times I felt during these years that I was getting to know these girls a little too well.  Not all in a good way.  I am looking forward to the break.  I look forward to sitting back and being the parent who gets to see them all lined up for dances in their pretty dresses to see how beautiful they are as they age.  I don’t want to be thinking back to ‘I remember how she used to be’.

Its time.

Saying goodbye can be a good thing!

I hand the baton to the new batch of moms who answer the call of ‘Mom, I want to be a Girl Scout!’  Carry it well ladies!! (And pack the Tylenol!)

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