Why I Always Wanted To Be A Boy Scout

Why I Always Wanted To Be A Boy Scout

“Girls just wanna have fun”, but sometimes, boys do it better
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Don’t get me wrong, girls have a lot of fun. I love being a girl, and I always have. I was the three-year-old girl who loved collecting and playing with Barbies, and who refused to wear anything that wasn’t a shade of pink or purple. But sometimes, I really didn’t (and still sometimes don’t,) like the girl-life at all. I was also the girl who hung out with all of the boys in preschool. We played with cars and Power Rangers, and built towers with blocks. I even had a train table and a case full of Hot Wheels at home.

I was a Girl Scout K-6th grade, and it was fun while it lasted, but honestly, I mostly lived for the cookies and camping. The community service projects were only meaningful for so long until my young self wanted a break and to go make s’mores and live in the woods. When I say I lived for those weekends, I mean it. I spent the Girl Scout years counting down to the next camping trips, and then soaking it all in when it came. Hikes? Count me in. Cooking crew? Yep, I’m there. Campfire and stories? Absolutely. I couldn’t get enough of the building, the hands-on, and the exploring. I soon discovered that there was a group of people who did the things I liked most about Girl Scouts. I then quickly discovered that that was Boy Scouts: a “tougher”, rough and tumble, outdoorsy group to which I could not belong. It was like an Elite College I would never be smart enough to get in to, or the different countries I could never say I was born in, because I wasn’t, even if I love visiting them.

I’ve watched my brother grow up 5 years behind me, and heavily involved in Boy Scouts; he’s working to be an Eagle Scout. He built Pinewood Derby cars and raced them, went on camporees and cooked and explored, and learned First Aid, archery, and shooting at summer camp. I so longed for those things growing up, and have lived through him during his time growing up, reminding him how lucky he’s been to have these opportunities.

Once I started 6th grade, the camping elements (and my other favorite parts) of Girl Scouts started to dwindle and my homework and extracurricular loads started picking up, so I decided to end my Girl Scouting career. I don’t regret being a Girl Scout – I made friends, strengthened existing ones, and did get to have some pretty cool experiences. But I don’t regret quitting either. I had as much fun as I could get from it, and it could no longer provide me with what I wanted; it was time to pursue what I wanted in other ways. I took woodworking classes in school and loved them so much I continued all the way through Senior year of High School, when I built a full size, 3-person bench in my independent study period. I learned lighting and set and grips in theatre, and I definitely got my share of mud and sweat running cross country and playing soccer all year ‘round. Since high school, I’ve been camping, hiking, and canoeing in the great Adirondack State Park that I’m lucky to have within a stone’s throw of my college.

Don’t think that my pink and purple Barbie self died with 3 though. I’ve been happy to continue dancing, twirling in dresses and skirts, and playing dress up with my best friend. All in all, no regrets. But I won’t deny, while I absolutely love being a girl at times, there has always been a part of me that wishes I could have been a Boy Scout.

Cover Image Credit: Ellie Pinto

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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Sometimes Life Brings You Down, But You Have To Get Back Up

"Knock me down nine times, but I get up ten." - Cardi B

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When I was younger, becoming an adult was my only dream. I could not wait to be an independent woman who lived life on her own terms and rules. However, having lived as an adult for almost three years, I have come to realize that adulthood is not what it is made out to be. I have gotten to the part where life is finally hitting me hard in the face — I now have to pay my own bills, do my own tax returns and the worst of all, apply for jobs and get rejection letters.

I had always thought life would be as easy as what I saw on TV shows.

If I worked hard enough, when I graduated, everything I wanted would come to me as easily as the snap of a finger. But now I'm learning that that isn't true. I'm learning that sometimes even if you work harder than you've ever worked, things will not happen. And that's fine because it just means that it isn't your time yet. Sometimes when I see my friends get accepted for the same job I applied for and got rejected, I find myself asking: "What exactly am I doing wrong?" But now I'm realizing that is just life. Sometimes things do not happen when you really want it to, but that does not mean that it will not happen, it just means its not yet your time.

When I fall into these moments of despair and anger, I keep reminding myself that things will most definitely work out and I channel those sad feelings into something positive. I try to look for what I did wrong — if I actually did something wrong — or I try to learn from others to improve myself. Sometimes life fails us when we need it the most, but that's how it is. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to keep pushing so you can reach it.

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