Friday, September 23, 2011

Wohelo; or why I'm feeling conflicted over the Girl Scouts

I've signed the Princess up for Girl Scouts.  Daisies.  Those are Girl Scouts in kindergarten.  Yeah, I didn't know either, never having been a Girl Scout myself.  In fact, I have very conflicted feelings about signing my precious daughter up for Girl Scouts.

I was a Camp Fire Boy and Girl.  I mean I was a Camp Fire Girl, I suppose.  But the organization is Camp Fire Boys and Girls.  That's what I meant.

See?  There's a logo.  It's a real thing.

I don't think it exists anymore, at least not in the same form I knew it in.  That's too bad.  It rocked.  First, it was girls and boys.  Together.  OK, mostly girls, looking back.  But there were boys!  There was the potential for boys, always!  Can the Girl Scouts say that?  No.  Just a bunch of girls doing girly stuff.  Lame.  

Plus Girl Scouts looked like this:

And nobody likes this girl, right?
We were a much scrappier bunch.

Oooh!  Look how diverse and inclusive!  Is that boy...grey?  Should somebody help him?  Is he breathing??  Even if he's not, that's cool.  Because we welcome all types.  Girls, boys, kids in wheelchairs, and the undead.

The Camp Fire motto was Wohelo.  I know, it sounds like a Native American word.  OK, it sounds like somebody tried to make up a Native American-sounding word.  And that's exactly the case!  Wohelo is a clever mashup of "Work, Help, Love."

There was a song.  I still remember the words:

Worship God...oooh oooh oooh...
Be faithful, give service, and knowledge pursue;
Be trustworthy ever in all that you do;
Hold fast onto health and your work glorify;
And you will be happy in the law of Camp Fire!

We didn't earn patches, we earned beads:

And our uniforms!  Oh man.  Well, in the earlier years we had this red, white, and blue getup:

Cute, right?

But after that!  As we got a little older, we learned to sew (it didn't stick, in my case, as you know), and we got to make ceremonial dresses.  Indian dresses.  Native American.  I don't know, ok?  We sewed them out of some vaguely fuzzy tan fabric, and they had fringe.  And we decorated them with all our beads.  I think I still have mine.  I wore it for Halloween one year.  One year when I was in college and very, very skinny.  I can't find a photo of of a real one online anywhere that really looks like mine but this is basically what it looked like:

No, I'm not joking.  But we didn't have feathered headpieces.  Because that would be silly.

We sold candy, and we sold it at the same time of year the Girl Scouts were peddling their crack cookies.  I had a speech:  "Would you like to buy some quality chocolates to help support Camp Fire?  We have delicious Almond Roca, Smooth Mint Patties, and Almond Caramel Clusters!"  Standard response: "Do you have Girl Scout cookies?"

We hated the Girl Scouts.  With their crisp green tablecloths and their recognizable uniforms and their cookies, those cookies.  Oh how we hated those cookies.

So it's with mixed emotions that I take my daughter into the world of Daisies.

At the first meeting on Tuesday they took the mothers aside to fill out paperwork and discuss books and uniforms and snack schedules.  I had to fill out an "adult registration" form so I guess that means I'm now a Girl Scout, too??  I'm not sure about that.  Also the adult registration form required me to disclose my age, in the form of choosing a range.  Now, we all know the standard age ranges are 18-34, and 35-whatever.  Right?  Not on the Girl Scouts adult registration form.  Their ranges were as follows:  18-29, 30-49, 50+.

As you know, I am, gulp...30.  So I couldn't check the first box, you guys!  I had to check...THIRTY to FORTY-NINE??  No.  No no no.  I am not in the same age group as 49-year-olds.  So already, I feel the Girl Scouts are mocking me.

While the mothers were being ridiculed for our ages (or maybe not...most of those other moms looked like they might be 18-29. And laughing at me behind their manicured hands, with their glossy blonde hair and their designer shoes and their...waistlines), the girls were off somewhere presumably singing songs and learning life skills.  I found out afterwards that they had made "promise hands," little foam hands forming the Girl Scout sign:

On the foam hand is inscribed the Girl Scout Promise:

On my honor I will try
To serve God and my country
To help people at all times
And to live by the Girl Scout law.

"On my honor"!  My innocent little girl has promised on her honor to "live by the Girl Scout law."  Or at least to try to live by the Girl Scout law, I guess, technically.  So without my knowledge or consent, under the guise of eating grapes and singing "Make New Friends, But Keep the Old," the Girl Scouts of America have indoctrinated my daughter.  I mean, we weren't even registered yet.  I thought I had time to scope things out and make an educated decision.

But, no, they had her in their grips for 10 minutes and she made a promise hand.  There's no going back now!  The promise is made and she's sworn in.  Somewhere in Girl Scout headquarters her name has been written in blood and she's bound by the Girl Scout law.  I'm not totally clear yet on what all is encompassed by "the Girl Scout law."  I'm hoping it doesn't include ritual sacrifice.  But I don't know that for sure.


  1. "the undead" Ha! Darcy was a Campfire Girl.

  2. Surely you jest. I heard somewhere your aunt is a Girl Scout leader and your cousin is a way cuter Girl Scout than the one above!I may have overheard your aunt say she herself was a Campfire Blue Bird, and Girl Scouts are waaaay cooler.You should talk to her. She thinks the Princess's Daisy leader is messing with you.

  3. I'm fairly certain Daisies don't do ritual sacrifices, but I could be wrong. I was, after all, a Camp Fire Girl. I didn't even know about promise hands. Anyway, I'm pretty sure they have to be older before they get to the ritual sacrifices.

  4. Well, ok. Now that you've figured out the Girl Scout Secret, we'll have to, well, you know...


  5. You know, I come from a city that had a Rough Part of Town and I'm am 101% sure that I saw that hand signal in said Rough Part of Town.

    And I'm sorry, but Thin Mints sound 101% (going with a theme here, as I like to be a quality commenter)than Almond Roca.

    (It's a good thing I'm too lazy to sign up MY kindergartner for Girl Scouts. I'm barely surviving tap/ballet as it is and that's very barely. Also, there are no snacks allowed in the waiting room.)

  6. @Kate
    I'm not gonna lie. Almond Roca suuuuucked and I even now have a box of Thin Mints in my freezer. I said I hated the's more of a love/hate thing. There's some self-loathing involved, but come on. Thin. Mints.

  7. "Because we welcome all types. Girls, boys, kids in wheelchairs, and the undead" - This cracked me up!! :)



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