The Little Girl Who Hated Girl Scouts

The Little Girl Who Hated Girl Scouts

I couldn't have been the only one.

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I was in a Brownie troop when I was younger - the step before Girl Scouts. I was in it for maybe three years, before I decided that I would rather go play with my brother and his Cub Scout troop I spent significantly more time with the Cub Scouts than the Brownies. I wasn't any more of a tomboy than the next girl, either - the Cub Scout program was simply more fun. And as I've gotten older, I still find myself perplexed about why this was. Even though it seemed that the girl and boy scout programs should work as equal counterparts, the Boy Scouts seem much more prestigious, active, and successful.

Don't get me wrong- the Girl Scouts of America is a wonderful program, and very highly esteemed. They teach honesty, integrity, manners, and other very valuable traits to young girls. Most of the things we participated in, however, were very feminine. I'm not against that in the slightest- but it was all we ever did. We planted flowers, sold cookies, helped the elderly, did arts and crafts- overall, very domestic activities. Our meetings were short and sweet, just like us. We had a couple moms lead the troop, met in our elementary school's gym after school for an hour or so, wore our cute brown vests, and either did little crafts to keep us occupied or struggled to pay attention while the moms read from their handbooks.

The only large event I can even remember was a "culture day," also held in our gym, where each troop from the area was assigned a country, and they all dressed up like their country and made ethnic food (which, now that I think about that, seems kind of problematic). Of course, I'm not disputing these activities - I think they're important parts of growing up. However, there is no reason why those activities should be reserved for only the Girl Scouts, or why those should be the only activities Girl Scouts do.

Boy Scouts are similar in the philosophy of their program. They're founded on the ideals of honesty, integrity, bravery, and service. Being a Boy Scout is a very big deal - remarkably bigger than being a Girl Scout. Everyone knows what an Eagle Scout is - but rare is it that someone can name the Girl Scout equivalent: the Gold Award. When one of my close friends received his Eagle Scout Award from building bookshelves for an underprivileged elementary school, there was a large ceremony, where everyone dressed up and gave speeches, that his relatives traveled out to attend. There was no such ceremony or congratulations for another one of my friends when she received her Gold Award; many of us didn't even know she was still a girl scout. Additionally, Boy Scouts' meetings are very formal and serious: their mandatory uniforms are more elaborate, their ceremony much larger, consisting of a large group meeting, individual troop meetings, and flag ceremonies. It is no wonder that the Boy Scouts seem more serious, more esteemed than the Girl Scouts. Additionally, the activities are much more adventurous and skill oriented, consisting of fishing, camping, tying knots, sports, and building or creating various things. They went on many more large and interesting trips, such as sleepovers on naval ships, sailing excursions, cake baking contests, and the famous pinewood derby - where the boys and their fathers' craft toy cars out of a block of wood and race them. Where was this large variety of activities for the girls? The only way I got to participate in any of those was because of my brother. Not only is the Boy Scout program more active, outdoorsy, and admired, but it's also more balanced.

Both of the programs were founded long ago, on relatively the same platforms: integrity, honesty, service, etc. However, it seems as though the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts have been stuck in the 1950's. It's 68 years later, now, and girls are still being shoved into the roles of the homemaker while simultaneously shoving bulbs into the soil, and the boys are out learning about the world and how it's at their fingertips: either in a piece of rope or in a block of pinewood. These societal rules and norms of the past are far overdue - and this is not coming from a feminist teenager who's trying to pick a fight with the older generation, but merely from the little pig-tailed girl who didn't understand why she was being forced to knit potholders when all she (and the rest of her troop!) wanted to do was climb a tree.

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34 Things I Should Have Brought To College At The Start Of Freshman Year, But Didn't

To the incoming freshman from the rising senior.
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Coming from a rising senior at the University of Dayton who has lived in an over-sized double dorm room, to a suite-style quad dorm room, to a house with virtually no storage space sharing an octagon-shaped single room (and single closet)... These are the random little things no one thinks to bring to college or put on these lists, but they will make your life on campus a million times better. I ended up buying these items long after I started college, and they were a big help. Don't make the same mistakes I did.

1. Shoe organizer

These are great for various items such as toiletries, snacks, and, of course, shoes.

2. Under-the-bed storage bins

During college, most of my storage has been under my bed, so this is a must.

3. Photos

To remember the happy times with your friends and family. Add to your collection over your college years.

4. String lights

Just to add a little something extra to your space. The dim light is totally relaxing.

5. Makeup wipes

For when you're too tired after going out to actually wash your face.

6. Extra sheets and towels

Trust me, you're not going to want to wash your sheets and towels right away so you can use them immediately. Bring back-ups.

7. Tide pods

These are awesome. Plus they smell heavenly.

8. Drunk dorm/microwaveable snacks

For when you come back after going out and the dining hall has already closed. Ordering Domino's or Jimmy John's night after night is NOT a cost-effective option.

9. Gatorade

For when you're too dead in the morning to walk down and get one from the dining hall.

10. Keurig and coffee

Just in case the dining hall runs out of coffee during finals week. Believe me, it can happen.

11. Chip clips

You will accumulate many of these from free vendors and events on campus, but somehow, they are no where to be found when you need one.

12. Paper towels / Clorox wipes

You can never have enough.

13. Rain boots

So you'll be able to make it to class on those rainy days without having to sit in soaking wet socks and shoes for 50 minutes (yikes). And you can jump in all the puddles you wish.

14. Alarm clock

If you're like me and could sleep the whole day if you didn't have an alarm, your phone alarm just doesn't cut it sometimes.

15. Back study pillow

Even if you don't think you will use it, you will end up wanting it.

16. Command strips

These are the only things that will stick to most dorm room walls.

17. Rug

Especially if your room has a cold tile floor instead of carpet.

18. Air mattress or sleeping bag

For your friends visiting you on campus, or if you ever go on a trip.

19. Disposable dishes

At least while you live in a dorm with a community sink.

20. Red solo cups

Because you don't want your morning-after milk or apple juice to taste like last night's $8 vodka.

21. Costumes/holiday wear

This is something I totally didn't even think about when I first came to school. Now I have an entire bin JUST for costumes and holiday decor.

22. Crazy daydrink clothes

If you have a few jerseys, you're set. If not, take a trip to the local goodwill with your squad and pick up a few things. The crazier, the better.

23. Towel wrap

If you're like me and just like to chill in your towel after you shower ( and a robe is too hot for you), these are a must. And they're super cute.

24. Wristlet/clutch/small purse

You won't want to lug around a large tote while you're out with friends or doing daily activities.

25. Comfortable heels

Don't let this be you!!!! I've been there, and nothing will ruin your night of dancing at the club like shoes that give you blisters and disable your walking by the end of the night.

26. Business casual and business professional clothes

And make sure you know the difference and when each is appropriate.

27. Water bottle

In college, your water bottle is your best friend. You never go anywhere without it, and it actually helps you to drink the amount of water you're supposed to drink each day (maybe).

28. Blender

If you're a fan of smoothies (or frozen margaritas) and want to make them at home for less.

29. Flashcards

Flashcards are a great way to study. If they're not for you, buy them anyway just in case you want to try them out. Or if anyone on your floor is desperate for them, they will be eternally grateful.

30. Mini fridge

When you're sharing a fridge with 3+ other people, things can get pretty tight. I recommend buying this with your roommates so you can share the extra space.

31. Calculator

Just in case you change your major and have to take math again (like me).

32. Thermometer

So you can know for sure whether or not you have a fever.

33. Drying rack

Because you're actually not supposed to put everything in the dryer, who knew?

34. Rubbing alcohol

Works wonders for getting those impossible Thursday night Xs off before your Friday 9 a.m.

These things have helped me make it through three years of college, especially freshman year. Hopefully, I have helped you prepare for your college years somehow. Good luck and have fun!!!

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Cover Image Credit: oregonstateuniversity / Flickr

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To The Furry Friends That Helped Me Cope, You'll Always Have A Special Place In My Heart

Where would we be without our precious fur babies?

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A big thank you goes to my two loves, Booboo and Peppa. Booboo is an adorable Chihuahua that acts nothing like one and Peppa is my beautiful white lemon drop Beagle pup. During my Sophomore year of high school, I was going through a really tough time with trying to cope with anxiety plus the intense curriculum that year entailed. There were many nights I sat in bed bawling, feeling stupid because I could not for the life of me understand chemistry. Booboo would always come and sit in my lap, and just look at me wagging his tail before he would try to cuddle me as best he could. He has licked away many tears, as has Peppa.

My family got Booboo in August of my senior year of high school. My mom rescued him from a patient's home who was about to take him to the pound. I was getting ready for summer band when my mom comes into my room holding Booboo. He had the sweetest face and gave lots of love right away. To this day, even though I have a pup of my own, I will still always consider him my baby. He helped me find myself and learn to love myself. He was there for all of my hard work and exhaustion in high school. When I go home to visit my parents, he knows it's my car and comes running to see me.

Peppa went through a tough break up with me and she sat there with a paw on me at all times, on standby to show me love. I was three hours away from home and three hours away from my best friend. It was from that moment on that I knew Peppa was always going to have a special place in my heart.

There are studies that prove that dogs help people with anxiety and depression cope, but I had the pleasure of experiencing it myself. So, here's a thank you to the furry friends who impacted my life for the better and always love me. Some days I don't love myself but when Peppa wakes me up with cuddles, I fall in love every time. When I come home each day, Peppa barks repeatedly and jumps on me because she's so excited that I'm home and its one of the best feelings in the world. And sometimes I can feel a panic attack coming on and I show many different signs, or usually none at all, but my girl can always sense them and she comes and sits up next to me or playfully bites my hand.

Without my pups, I wouldn't be who I am today. Heck, I might not even be here today. So hug your pup a little closer and show them extra love, for they love you more than probably anyone ever will.

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