(pictured- my actual Girl Scout certificate of membership, for some reason with my signature crossed out)
I was a terrible Girl Scout. I only joined because I thought they all looked so cool in their green vests that had cool patches on it. Also, Girl Scout Cookies. I thought those were pretty cool too. I literally had no idea what it meant to be a Girl Scout, and back then when I actually learned, I was a little pissed.
First of all, you don’t just get to sort through a bin and pick out the badges you want to decorate your vest with. You actually have to do things to earn the badges. Like, standing outside in the freezing cold for hours outside of a hardware store selling cookies, only to have thrown up all of the Lemon Coolers when you got home.
I didn’t like the meetings either. I can only remember one specifically- our super-mom troop leader stood in front of all of us in her clean, beige house, and lectured us on the importance of wearing panty hose in winter. Then her daughter stood up and modeled them. I thought that was stupid. I couldn’t believe an 11 year old wore panty hose.
I loved the trips, though. Like, I felt like a moocher when I would no longer attend the meetings, but was 100% there for the trip to Hershey Park.
Then there was this two day sleep away camp location I was jazzed to go to. When we got there, I was so disappointed. First of all, there was absolutely no electricity. This meant we had to cook our mac and cheese on a burner and use flashlights to get to the latrines at night. YES, LATRINES. I’m still shook by this experience! It’s literally pooping into a hole that’s piled high with other people’s poop! I can’t even think about it! One night my friend dropped her flashlight into the poop hole! Insanity!
One night, at around 3am, we found that the scouts in the next tent would not shut the hell up. They were loud and obnoxious, so we paid their parents a little visit. We asked cutely and sweetly if they could tell their kids to be quieter so we could sleep. And do you know what those awful, Kate Gosselin haired moms told us??
“We can’t control what they do.”
Huh. Okay, I thought, I’ll deal with it myself.
I acted like a true Girl Scout the next day, and lead my small group of friends into the woods to collect skunk cabbage. I was proud I remembered where it was and what it looked like from our nature walk the day before.
We cut the cabbage at the roots so the smell would leak out.
We put the cabbage in their tent.
Our tents then feuded for the entire day, with back and forth snarky quips and stink-eye glances. Ultimately, I knew we had already won- our skunk cabbage prank was tops. I felt like a badass Girl Scout gone rogue, using her skills learned from meetings and camp to become an ultra-villain. An ultra-villain… in panty hose.
To my dismay, my fellow rebels BETRAYED me and became friends with the noisy, annoying girls in that tent by the end of the camping trip. On the last night after we all ate dinner on the big camping ground, all the scouts put their sleeping bags over their heads and ran around the inner circle of the campsite. It was absolute anarchy, but so much fun. That’s when the betrayal happened. With the anonymity of the bags over our heads, I guess they didn’t know they were bonding with those girls, and convinced me to play with them too.
I reluctantly shook their hands and moved on.
Or so they thought.
Years later I sit at my computer, plotting one final act of revenge. For I am …
THE REBEL SCOUT