On My Honor I Will Try! by
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(218 Stories)

Prompted By Scouting

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I was never a Brownie – I don’t remember why,  I guess it was just another example of my parents’ negligence.  (See Tennis Woes)

Instead,  when I was in 4th or 5th grade,   too old for Brownies,  they signed me up for Girl Scouts.   But most of the other girls in my troop had been Brownies first and had “flown up” in a ceremony that sounded very special to my envious 9 year-old ears.

To be honest I don’t even remember what we did at those scout meetings other than memorizing the Girl Scout Promise.

“On my honor I will try / To serve God and my country / To help people at all times / And live by the Girl Scout Law”

And other than selling Girl Scout cookies,  I don’t remember what I did to earn those coveted badges.  (I do remember that one of my badges was for sewing,  but since my stitches weren’t very neat I insisted my mother sew my badges on my uniform sash.)

And I remember that many of the girls in my troop were also in my class,  and we proudly wore our Girl Scout uniforms to school on the days we had our after-school meetings.

However one classmate who wasn’t in my troop was my very best friend Myra.   And although I shared all my secrets with Myra,  and we hardly ever had a fight,  it bothered me that she wasn’t a Girl Scout.

For would you believe –  my very best grade school friend Myra was a Campfire Girl!

Dana Susan Lehrman

 

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!
www.WorldThruBrownEyes.com

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Tags: Girl Scouts, Campfire Girls
Characterizations: funny, well written

Comments

  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    You point out a real dilemma, Dana. You didn’t join the scouting movement as a beginner, so didn’t have the advantage of the built-in friendships and knowledge of the rituals and ceremonies already ingrained in those who had been Brownies, and your best friend was in the competing Camp Fire Girls. But it sounds like you made the best of it anyway.

  2. Laurie Levy says:

    Like you, I have little memory of my times as a scout, although I do remember wearing the uniform to school. I don’t remember Campfire Girls being an option at my school. The entire experience made very little impression on me.

    • Thanx Laurie, true I have little memory of what we actually did in scouting, but I do remember enjoying the experience and the sisterhood – maybe partially because I was an only child until I was 10.

      Somewhere there is a home movie my father took of my troop having some ceremony in our back yard, I’m carrying a flag and grinning from ear to ear!

  3. Dave Ventre says:

    I wasn’t in Scouting very long, but I do recall the us Boy Scouts had a pledge we recited that referenced the Girl Scouts.

  4. John Shutkin says:

    Nice memories, Dana. Particularly remembering the oath. (We sure invoked God a lot in our youth, didn’t we?)
    And I vaguely remember Campfire Girls, but have no idea of what they did. Were they a rival to the Girl Scouts?

    • Thanx John, the Campfire Girls were indeed a rival – all be it a friendly and innocent one – to us Girl Scouts.

      They surely did all the same stuff we did – but sold candy instead of cookies!

      On a serious note, I believe there’ve been no horrid exposes about those two girls’ scouting groups. More women in leadership positions just might mean a less violent and more humane world!

  5. Suzy says:

    Great story, Dana! I remember the GS promise as being “On my honor I will try/To do my duty to God and my country/To help other people at all times/And to obey the Girl Scout law.” Slightly different -“my duty” and “other people” and “obey” but certainly the same idea. Apparently it was changed to the wording you quote in 1972, says google.

    • Suzy, I did think I remembered the pledge slightly differently when i looked it up, thanx for explaining!

      This was a great prompt evoking sweet memories but also reminding us of the awful revelations we learned in recent years about the Boy Scout organization. A travesty.

  6. Khati Hendry says:

    I remember that oath well. I don’t think we had Campfire Girls in our school, but good to know you were best friends with one, turf or no turf. I learned from Google that the American Boy Scouts leader sponsored the Campfire Girls organization because he thought the Girl Scouts /Guides were not domestic enough. For my taste they were all far less enticing than the activities for the boys (didn’t know about the militaristic aspect then), back when gender roles were more constraining. Fortunately some things have evolved.

    • Thanx K, this prompt should have evoked only sweet memories as it did for me, but it has also reminded us how the Boy Scout organization was somehow subverted from one that can serve youth so wonderfully, to one with quite despicable policies and practices.
      I haven’t followed the situation but hope reform is going on there.

  7. Marian says:

    Love the uniform, Dana, and I remember girl scouts in my class reciting the oath. There were Camp Fire girls, but they were in the minority compared to girl scouts.

    • Thanx Mare, I did remember the oath almost verbatim – and that was close to 70 (gulp) years ago!

      I lost touch with Myra after we went on to different high schools, wonder if she’s ever written about her Campfire years!

  8. LOL, Dee! I liked being a Campfire Girl instead of a Girl Scout because I thought our uniforms were so much cuter!

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