Family Practice: Girl Scout promiseWritten by Shannon Szyperski | | firstname.lastname@example.org
On my honor, I will try
My sister, Michelle, and I spent many years as Girl Scouts with our mom as our Girl Scout leader.
We had meetings at our house, learned about our personal and civic duties and went on many an interesting outing together. Girl Scouts was an important part of my elementary school years and I look forward to going through it again with my daughters.
Having a daughter older than mine, my sister has already had the pleasure of re-experiencing the camping and the cookie sales, the ceremonies and the patch-covered sashes, the mix of progress and tradition. She has taken on her own Girl Scout troop with the same creativity, enthusiasm and integrity that my mom did, showing her scouts that there is much to see, do and be in this wonderful world of ours. She encouraged them to be honorable, dedicated members of something decent, even promising her third grade Brownie troop that if any of them were to remain a Girl Scout through high school, she would take them to Disney World.
Such a commitment is a tall order for a generation used to being rewarded for the smallest of tasks.
To serve God and my country
Girl Scouts are more than just cookies and camping. In fact, my mom isn’t much of a camper, so my troop’s involvement in the camping portion of the Girl Scout experience came in only at the bare minimum requirement.
Our overnight excursions were more likely to include a decent hotel with an indoor pool and breakfast available the next morning.
To this day, I will always take a Holiday Inn over a tent in a field.
Not all Girl Scouts are big campers, but all Girl Scouts should be big givers.
Although there is some looking within yourself, Girl Scouting has much to do with looking outside of yourself and being of service to others.
My oldest daughter is quickly approaching her first Daisy Girl Scout year and I am anxiously anticipating her formal introduction to being of service to her community.
To help people at all times
I recently read a news story about a man who helped to fend off a woman’s attacker in New York City yet was left to die on the street after the attacker then attacked him. Twenty-five people passed him by as he lay on the ground for hours. Even the woman he saved ran away without so much as a call for help.
I can’t imagine failing my humanity in such a way. It is odd to think that helping another human being in obvious distress is something that needs to be taught; it seems instinctual.
Yet, perhaps it is only the repeated uttering by our parents and our preachers and our teachers and organizations like the Girl Scouts telling us that helping is our obligation that keeps the majority of us civilized from generation to generation.
And to live by Girl Scout law
Although a love for camping escaped me, I have retained and continue to utilize many of the Girl Scout values.
The Girl Scout Law is one to live by. It encourages honesty, fairness, courage, strength, responsibility and respect.
These are words that many of us like to spout off here and there, but do we really carry their meanings with us, even when no one else is watching?
Girls Scouts and other similar youth organizations are a practice ground for our children to learn how to live their lives in a decent and meaningful way.
As much as we would like to believe that such a life is intuitive, in reality it takes guidance and hard work.
Our children are filled with the potential for an honorable, decent life of service and commitment.
The Girl Scout promise
My sister recently returned from taking her three remaining Girl Scouts, now in their senior year of high school and weeks away from graduation, to Disney World.
In a world of instant gratification and empty promises, it is nice to know that there are still instances of longstanding commitments fulfilled and promises kept.
That’s what Girl Scouts do.
Shannon and her husband Michael are raising three children in Sylvania. E-mail her at email@example.com.
Tags: Family Practice