Thursday, June 30, 2011

Everything I really need to know I learned from my Daisy Scout

This past weekend, my daughter became a Brownie. She was baked in a cardboard oven as a Daisy, and popped out in her brown vest, ready to take on all the new adventures of Browniehood. I’m so proud of her for being a scout, and for all the good work these girls have done over their past two years as Daisy Scouts.
The Daisy Scouts are the kindergarten and first-grade arm of the Girl Scouts, and help initiate young girls into the world of scouting. We played games, sang songs, ate lots of snacks (some healthy, some not so much…) and learned about everything from guardian angels to the American Revolution. Our little girls made snack bags for the homeless, took Christmas gifts to dementia patients at a local senior care facility, and donated cookies to our troops overseas.

I’m amazed how many times my daughter will reference lessons from her Daisy meetings while doing everyday stuff. When she sees friends being unkind, she’ll say, "She's not being a sister to every scout!” Or she’ll pat herself on the back for turning off lights or putting her plastic bottle in the recycle bin, saying “I’m using resources wisely.” She proudly displays her Daisy vest, adorned with colorful petals, each representing a lesson learned from the Girl Scout Law.

It got me thinking: the lessons these young scouts learn are applicable to all of us, every day of our lives. They could even apply to, say, writers. Take a look at the Girl Scout Law they’ve been studying over the past two years, and you’ll see what I mean.

I will do my best to be
honest and fair – in what I write and in my critiques of others’ writing.
friendly and helpful – by offering advice and mentoring to students and colleagues who ask for it
considerate and caring – by lending support to fellow struggling writers
courageous and strong – so I can continue to hold my head high when the rejections start pouring in
responsible for what I say and do – on, say, a blog, or a work on nonfiction that could mar someone’s reputation (mine included)
and to
respect myself and others – and never get down on myself or my colleagues just because we haven’t published anything recently
respect authority – by considering the advice of agents or editors who offer it, even when I’m sure my work couldn’t possibly be improved
use resources wisely – by doing my research and only querying agents or editors who may actually have an interest in what I’ve written, rather than querying blinding and wasting everyone’s time
make the world a better place – by writing works that uplift, educate, entertain, offer insight, or otherwise make a positive impact on my readers
and be a sister to every Girl Scout [writer] – by feeling genuinely happy for my colleagues when they experience success, rather than white-hot jealousy that it wasn’t me - not that I’d ever feel that way J.

Words to live by, I think. So glad my daughter does.

1 comment:

Elizabeth-Anne said...

Love the post and the application. I could just take your rendition of the Girl Scout Law and use it as my to-do list!