I am a working mother of a beautiful girl. When she was little my job required me to commute to work so we would leave early enough in the morning for me to drop her at daycare in the morning and then I would make the 30-45 minute drive to my office. As my daughter got older it became apparent that she would not be able to participate in any extracurricular activities as we left early and got home late and the activities geared toward her age group usually took place in the afternoons.
The summer my daughter turned 5 I was still struggling with trying to find some sort of activity she could participate in as an only child I really wanted to be able to provide her an avenue for making friends and doing something other than just going to daycare and coming home. I thought about Girl Scouts, I knew there were Girl Scouts in my community since I always made a habit of buying cookies from them when they had their stands set up. However, I did not know where to find them.
I started doing some online research and found the Girl Scouts of Utah website and learned that girls could register as Juliettes meaning they did not have to be part of a troop. I thought this might work I could help her earn badges and at that point that would be better than nothing. I also found a Mom & Me camp and immediately registered to attend with my daughter, I thought it would be a good way to learn a little more about Girl Scouting (I was never a Girl Scout myself). I also learned there was a parent meeting taking place in a town approximately 2 hours (one way) from my home and made plans to attend.
Little did I know that these small decisions to find an activity for my daughter would lead me on a new adventure of my own. At the parent meeting I learned that there was a meeting taking place in my hometown later that fall to form a new Daisy Troop and the Girl Scout rep encouraged me to attend. Prior to the meeting Emily & I attended the Mom & Me camp at beautiful camp Cloud Rim nestled in the Wasatch Mountains. Emily thrived in the environment and I thought this is for us. Since I had agreed to attend the local Girl Scout meeting I showed up at the appointed date and time fully expecting that whatever was decided the time would never work with my schedule regardless.
I found myself sitting in a room full of women looking at a list of approximately 15 girls that desperately wanted to be Girl Scouts and not one single person at the table would step up to the be the troop leader. I was absolutely appalled most of these women were stay at home moms and from my perspective as a full time working mother probably had nothing better to do and were too lazy to help these girls. Can I just say I have no background in working with children, I have no great knack for working with children to say that my friends were completely and utterly shocked when I told them I was pregnant would be an understatement. And here I sat staring at a list of girls and not one woman in the room would stand up and lead them. That is until I found myself uttering the words “I’ll do it but it has to be on Saturdays because I work during the week”.
My daughter is now going into her 5th year as Girl Scout, she will be Junior this year. That night my troop was formed, and while I have gained and lost girls, and lost and gained co-leaders we have been steady. I have learned and grown and failed sometimes simultaneously. But, what remains the same is my commitment to do this for my daughter knowing that other girls benefit from my time and efforts as well. I am still a work in progress in learning how to lead them and manage my co-leaders so that all of our strengths shine through and help the girls grow into beautiful young women. It’s a challenge I accept and I hope that one day they will all look back and say she wasn’t perfect but she was always there for us.