My daughter, Tara, is in first grade and is in Brownies, the precursor to Girl Scouts. I have to admit I was very wary of her joining what I thought was a conservative, all American, clan of secret codes and rules. Really not my thing. That said, its part of the tradition at her school and so I basically went along with it because all the other girls in her class were part of the clan.
The last week has been Girl Scout Cookie week. Wow, what an experience!
Over the last week, Tara has been out selling cookies to our friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Remember Thin Mints, Samoa's and those peanut butter cookies? Its quite remarkable to see the impression that Girl Scout Cookies have on the culture in America when you go out to sell them.
The sales process is fascinating to watch. I have learned so much about people as they interact with my toothless, eager and innocent seven year old daughter.
Some are gracious and get a box, others just ignore the doorbell when they see us outside or bark that they already bought them, others have a nostalgia about when they were young and were part of the clan and order a lot to feed the memories.
And, then the insights into my fellow moms personalities -- those that are out there hitting the pavement with the girls, those who just want to their daughter to sell a few and get it over with, and those that just take the list to their office. Funny how the mom's personalities and world views come out in this effort!
As for me, we did what we could do, and Tara has made us all damn proud. She's knocked on doors and spoke to people in our offices confidently about her offering. She clearly stated her favorite cookies -- Thin Mints -- and thanked people graciously for ordering them. She's proud of her success.
So perhaps I judged Girl Scouts too early. There is no question my daughter has enjoyed the process and feels good about herself. And once I get over my own resistance to pledges and obeying the law bit, the sentiment of the Girl Scout Law is definitely something to aspire to...
I will do my best to be
Honest and fair,
Friendly and helpful,
Considerate and caring,
Courageous and strong, and
Responsible for what I say and do,
respect myself and others,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.
I have to admit -- its makes for a great intent.
Mallika Chopra blogs regularly at Intent.com