Celebrate International Friendship Day August 1, with Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts is a great place to make lifelong friends. My best childhood friend recently moved a short drive away. I felt excited; she had been teaching internationally for almost a decade, while I had been busy getting married and starting my family.
We lived in the same town growing up, and shared many activities, primarily Girl Scouts and swim team. We started in the same brownie troop in the mid-90s, her fearless mother (and my adopted one) was our leader. We have remained friends through all the time between, sometimes talking every day, sometimes skipping six months. Regardless of the time and distance we usually pick up right where we left off.
We’re lucky to have that kind of friendship, I realize. We both have weird senses of humor that help us gloss over awkward moments. Complementary? Maybe. Annoying to our friends? Maybe. This visit, we jostled making plans for a for a few weeks, trying to fit in a chunk of time large enough to do our reunion justice.
But last night we made it happen! We got together for tacos and karaoke, and to my surprise, along came the high school scrapbook I made for her in summer of 2006 (and completely forgotten about). I gave it to her the summer after graduation, after our then senior troop returned from a week-long cruise on the Mexican Riviera.
While some of the overt cheesiness of high school emotions and writings were cringe worthy, the remembrances also caused some of the deepest belly laughs I’ve had in years. I had (and still do have) an amazing sticker collection! Looking at the pictures, seeing the silly smiles and candid shots, there was a common thread running through all.
Girl Scouts is ultimately what introduced me to some of the best things in life. The great outdoors, traveling, strong sense of community, challenging yourself, making a good friend, grit and perseverance. The realization that I was one of the group, a valued member of the team. Most importantly, having these experiences, and learning to apply that sense of self-worth to other areas of my life has been invaluable.
We are just one example of the kinds of friendships made through Girl Scouts—positive, enduring, uplifting. A friendship that you can revisit throughout your lifetime, picking back up at a moment’s notice. Growing together in our troop of varying personalities, we learned, explored, played, and ran the whole gambit of emotions together. We poked fun at each other and tried to laugh at ourselves. We grew up together. Now we are looking forward to the future—barbeques on Sunday nights, concerts, and camping trips.
There is little part of me is still a brownie Girl Scout, in my sash and beanie, holding hands for the friendship squeeze and feeling connected to girls outside of my family for the first time. Even more so the high school Claire, looking forward to the future. That version of myself highly approves the scrapbook I am making for the next chapter of our adventures together!
Share your stories about the friends and adventures you have had in the comments!