March is Girl Scout Month at Camp Tecumseh. To learn more contact Jamie Mitchell.
It was 9 o’clock on Saturday night and a troop of Cadette Scouts and I were working on earning the Night Owl badge. We had worked together all day, and as we took turns at the telescope, I could not believe how quiet they were as we all stood gazing at the blanket of stars above us. Stars are always a big hit at camp. When folks come out to camp for a weekend, they are often coming from the suburbs or cities thick with light pollution. On a clear night, the stars never fail to impress. The recipe for success is simple: Take these stars, and hang them over a handful of Girl Scouts on a crisp, March night.
March is Girl Scout Month at Camp Tecumseh. While scouts are always welcome to camp during any of our retreats weekends, the month of March is reserved for creating experiences that enhance the Girl Scout mission and bring two storied organizations working towards the greater good together.
March is personally a favorite time of year, as my staff and I get to work one-on-one with scouts and leaders to accomplish tasks of all sizes. Whether it’s a race down the Black Hole slide or earning a badge to wear home, the smiles on scouts’ faces are priceless. We do not take the privilege to serve scouts lightly.
There is a limited amount of time that one will remain an active scout. There are a finite number of experiences available to craft an honest, fair, friendly, helpful, considerate, caring, courageous, strong, responsible, respectful, wise, benevolent, and sisterly Girl Scout (Girl Scout Law, anyone?). The Girl Scout mission to build “girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place” is so mammoth, yet so critical in helping to shape women of effect in our world.
One Saturday afternoon, I was working with a Brownie troop to earn their Letterboxer badge. Thankfully, the cold that is all too often characteristic of an Indiana winter had begun to thaw and the sun worked hard to melt the remaining snow on the grounds. An hour in, the Brownies were were so close to holding their new badges in hand. There was just one more task before us. The scouts had to follow clues that had been placed around camp earlier that morning in order to locate their hidden badges.
In our last hour together we had learned the art of reading clues, and this troop was going to have no problem. However, one of the troop members had recently broken an ankle prior to coming to camp. While the injury had played little influence earlier in the afternoon, the now melted, muddy trails would be a perilous journey for her weakened joint. In the 30 minutes it took to complete the scavenger hunt, I saw more patience and concern from this troop of scouts than I have ever seen in a group of 8-year-olds. They had come this far in their badge journey as a troop, and they were not about to finish it minus one. With their badges waiting, the girls looked after their teammate as well as any adult could have. There was so much more than a badge gained that afternoon.
It can be easy to get caught up in just how much can be accomplished in a weekend at camp. You can participate in all of the traditional activities offered while still making time to earn a badge or two—the days are packed full! It is our hope that a scout’s heart and mind are further enraptured by the joy, the camaraderie, and the love that is so characteristic of scouting and of Tecumseh.
March is designed in a way that scouts and their leaders will be taken on a journey together, as one unit. The reaffirmed sense of team is illustrated by the collective shouts of joy upon earning a new badge as a troop. The picture of trust appears as a troop emerges from the trails after a night hike to Ghost Cabin. Consideration for one another is demonstrated by the scout who offers to take others’ dishes to the kitchen after breakfast. These snapshots are what Girl Scout Month is truly about. The activities are simply the tools we use to build up our Girl Scouts.