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Discovering Girl Scouts

by Tom Johnson on Jan 13, 2013 •
categories: family

gsutahlogovert_blue541_small_312x320We recently discovered the Girl Scouts program. I have a colleague whose wife used to work for the Girl Scouts, and I've talked to her about it several times, so the program has been on my mind for a while. But we just haven't made the right connections to get involved. I wasn't sure there was an office or troop nearby.

Then we discovered an office in American Fork, and it turns out there are a quite a few troops nearby as well. We joined right at the start of cookie selling season, which I suspect is going to be really interesting.

So far, our kids absolutely love Girl Scouts. We started off doing the Painting and Comic Arts badges, so there's not much to dislike about that. Our kids love drawing and painting, and after a trip to Walmart to buy some new art supplies, they were hooked.

I have a goal this year to help the kids complete one badge a week, apart from the badges the troop works on. The badges give me an opportunity to play a more active role in my kids' lives -- kind of like a framework of activities to do, ideas to concepts to teach them, and so on.

Next week we'll be working on the cookie program badges. I've been learning a lot about cookie sales over the past few days. I think we have to sell several thousand boxes of cookies to fund all of the camps the girls want to attend. We'll see how that works. I think the only way to achieve so many sales would be get businesses to donate boxes to send to military troops, or something of that sort. Just selling cookies to our local neighborhood, friends, family, and workplace is more practical, but probably won't yield that many boxes.

So far the program seems to grab the attention of the girls in such a deeper, more integral way than the Faith in God for Girls program at Church. I can see why Boy Scouts is equally popular. However, in comparing the two programs, Girl Scouts is much better organized, planned, and designed. I also like that Girl Scouts isn't entirely focused on outdoor camping skills, since I think that's a bit of dated focus.

One reason I became interested in the Girl Scout program is due to my calling in Church as an 11-year-old Boy Scout leader. To be honest, I'm disappointed by the disparity of programs in the Church, and feel strongly that the 8-11-year-old girls don't have the same opportunities and activities as the 8-11-year-old boys. The Faith in God programs just don't compare with the scouting programs.

In a way, although I don't like volunteering with the Boy Scouts (I don't have any boys and I'm not interested in the paramilitary, super-nationalistic, ultra-outdoorsy focus of the program), my involvement has prompted me to look into Girl Scouts, if only to find an equivalent program for my girls. And exploring that direction has been worth it. I may have never connected with Girl Scouts were it not for my assignment with the Boy Scouts.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.