Being a Girl Scout Leader has been the most rewarding role I have held outside of “Mom”. I just sort of fell into it--it was never my aspiration. I never thought I’d have the time or would know enough about the program to do it on my own. My youngest daughter started as a daisy in kindergarten. That is the typical age to get involved.
She was part of a troop that met weekly after school. I was not working at the time and was able to take her to 3:45 pm meetings. She. Loved. It. Her troop leader did things like hold teddy bear picnics and all sorts of wonderful crafts. She was held accountable for wearing her uniform and bringing in her dues weekly. Her troop leader was firm on teaching the kids that it was their responsibility to remember to wear the uniform sash, not Mom’s. I think that accountability makes them feel important and responsible.
For her second year as a Daisy, typically first grade, I went back to work and was not able to get her to the meetings right after school due to my work hours. That was when I decided to start my troop. I reached out to my local service unit who encouraged me to become a leader as there is a need for them. I signed up for a background check and had to do some training that is offered at different times for different areas. After that, you find a venue and plan your meeting times. I have a busy family so my troop meets every other Sunday evening.
One of the perks you have as a leader is the freedom to pick the days, times and frequency of your meetings. Every troop is a little different, so if Girl Scouts is something your daughter is interested in, I would suggest she attend a few meetings with different troops to see with which troops she vibes! Some troops are more active than others, some do more crafts, some do more outings, some are very STEM-oriented. That is the beauty of this fantastic worldwide sisterhood! We are all a part of the same organization, but we are all encouraged to be our own unique selves.
As fun as cookie sale season is, there is so much more to us than cookies! We encourage girls to be includers and a sister to every Girl Scout. BE KIND ALWAYS! We have a lot of amazing outings and I stress to the girls that they want to leave every place they visit better than when they got there.
We talk about heavy subjects like bullying, sharing our stories with each other, and discuss why bullying is not cool ever. With that, they are learning to trust each other when we share our feelings and thoughts. Those sacred talks don't leave the group.
I encourage you to find a troop for your daughter, or even to become a leader yourself! I am having the best adventures that include behind-the-scenes tours at a sea turtle hospital and the Columbia Zoo, Native American Pow Wow, dolphin cruises, boat tours to learn about our local tides, mommy and me tea parties, daddy-daughter outings, and museum tours. We give back in significant ways such as collecting stuffed animals for teddy bear drives for police cars and caroling with the elderly.
I have eight girls who go to separate schools. They are all so uniquely different with very different styles and interests, yet they are all sisters. It is an honor to be their Girl Scout leader.
Please visit Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina for more information on becoming a Girl Scout or a Girl Scout leader.
Amanda Eayrs is Mom to four kids from age 7 to age 23 and will soon be a glam-ma!