Back in 1912, Girl Scout founder, Juliette Gordon Low made the famous statement, “I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all America and all the world.” Since then, millions of girls have followed our founder’s lead, embracing the spirit of Girl Scouts. Each time your girl participates in a Girl Scout activity, leads a community service event, or even just wears her Girl Scout uniform around the neighborhood, she’s showing the world that her heart beats Girl Scout green. Here are some of our volunteers’ best tips and ideas on how to celebrate your Girl Scout spirit!
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In our troop, we try to offer different ways for girls to showcase their Girl Scout Spirit. From parades to always wearing a troop shirt everywhere we go, our troop loves showing off their Trefoil spirit. We also have found that creating troop traditions that are unique to us but embrace our Unicorn Troop crest theme has helped the girls take ownership and great pride in everything they do.
Having a troop that is steadfast in their approach to making Girl Scouting a family experience has helped us create special opportunities for everyone. Some opportunities include our “Peanut Brother Patties” (patch program created by the girls for their brothers when we camp and do family events), Family Camporee (where everyone is a Girl Scout for the Weekend), and Troop Spirit line of clothing.
I instill in my Girl Scouts from day one how powerful it is to be a Girl Scout in the community. They are well-respected and can make a real, positive change in the community. The number one rule we have in our troop is that when we are out representing Girl Scouts, we always wear our vests… Their vests are so decorated with patches, badges, and pins, and I want them to feel as proud of that as they do of any of the athletic trophies in their rooms.
It’s super important for the girls to walk in our annual Fiesta Days parade, a weeklong event celebrating Vacaville’s Hispanic culture and history. When I organized this gathering, I insisted that it was a no-cost event so that we can encourage as many girls to walk as possible. We needed to show up in force at all levels and represent Girl Scouts in the community. The girls get a rousing welcome to the parade and cheers from everyone. It’s great for them to hear how loved they are in the community…
Leadership and mentorship are also very important, and as my troop has expanded to Daisies this year, I have taken every opportunity I can to blend my troop and give the older girls the opportunity to teach the younger girls the Girl Scout traditions. My girls are all doing cookie booths together now and they are loving working alongside one another. We have a great sense of teamwork and pride in my troop and I hope that it carries on through the years.
Our Girl Scout Daisy troop took a field trip to experience the celebrations at our hometown’s Lunar New Year festival. They watched the lion dance and martial arts demonstrations, then we all shared a Chinese food lunch where the girls listened to moms of Chinese and Vietnamese descent share how their families celebrate Lunar New Year.
In all honesty, being that our troop consists of nine high school sophomores, they aren’t too keen on showing off their Girl Scout pride around their peers—the “coolness factor” has set in! But if you find them helping at an event for younger Girl Scouts or if they are out selling cookies… they are more than happy to wear their vests with their numerous badges and awards with pride and show their Girl Scout spirit! This is a time for them to be “humble,” and know for themselves what they have and will accomplish because of Girl Scouts. Over the years they have participated in so many service projects and take action projects, placed memorial flags at the local cemetery, marched in parades in full uniform, and earned so many awards… including some of the highest. This is their time to honor themselves and all that they have accomplished in their own way, whether anyone else knows about it or not.
We’ve got spirit, yes we do!
We’ve got spirit, how about you?
These words were a big part of my Girl Scout experience as a girl member. Memories of the activities I participated in came flooding back the first time I went to an event as a leader and I heard this same chant that I had done at camp many years ago. My girls got so excited as their responses continued getting louder and louder. It meant a lot to me to realize that a new generation was there to help keep our Girl Scout traditions alive.
Spirit is not a cookie-cutter experience for everyone, because no two Girl Scouts are alike. It is a feeling inside that helps guide you through this program. It is a realization of the sisterhood of a world-wide organization full of girls and adults who have the same passions you do. It is a way of incorporating learned skills to help improve yourself and make the world a better place. And sometimes it is just being there for someone who needs you.
I know some experienced Girl Scout adults who wonder if they still have it after “all these years”. I truly believe the Girl Scout Spirit never leaves us. Sometimes it may take a break, only to pop out in the most unlikely places. Sometimes it sneaks up on us with little reminders, like when you hear a song or roast a marshmallow. Sometimes it’s a gentle reminder to share the past with the future. I was recently in Rome for a training and took a picture with me of me from a trip I had taken with my Girl Scout troop when I lived in Naples in 5th grade. I stood in the same spot, with that photo and cried. I was able to share that experience with the rest of the group afterward and the spirit was strong.
You don’t always feel it but know that it is always a part of who you are. It can be what helps inspire your girls or it can be the calm voice reassuring you that you are doing your best. Just know it’s there whenever you need to use it. It only takes a spark to remember:
“I’ve got spirit, yes I do. I’ve got spirit, how about you?”
What to do next?
Amanda Gee—Amanda is the Communications Specialist for Girl Scouts of Northern California, where she keeps the website, social media, and email up-to-date with the latest and greatest Girl Scout news. Amanda joined the Girl Scouts in first grade; her fondest Girl Scout memories include building a butterfly garden for her Bronze Award project and eating way too many s’mores around the campfire. When she’s not typing away at her computer over a cup of Earl Grey, you can find Amanda hanging out with friends, biking along the beautiful Alameda Bay Trail, or trying to pick up some new skill or tidbit of knowledge.