I’ve been a Girl Scout leader for years now and I love it. Yes, its a lot of work and all volunteer but it is worth it. The hardest part I have is when our Girl Scouts have had to move unexpectedly… we miss them. But, these things happen and we try to keep them all in touch.
Now that my youngest is in Kindergarten I had to look into his options. He is our unofficial “mascot” and helper for our Girl Scout Troop. This was his idea and the girls run with it. He just loves having fun and his expectations for that kind of program is to be able to do all the things that his big sister does. Every program is different and it seems that the assumption is if you have a girl you go into Girl Scouts and if you have a boy he is Boy Scout bound…
But, there is one for both… Camp Fire USA which is for girls and boys. It’s a non-profit organization that has one main objective: They light the fire within the child so they can become the people they want to be.
That is perfect for us.
I’m the kind of Mom who doesn’t press my own opinion on the kids. If that were the case I would not have supported my daughter being a pretty pretty princess who wore nothing but princess gowns and fairy wings daily until recently. I’m not exactly a girly girl – she is. I embraced that. The kids have had, and will always, find interests that don’t align with my own but I support them regardless. It’s not my decision to tell them who to be – all I can do is help them find the resources to pursue their interests, support them however I can and help them become independent, confident and strong people.
Along the path of craziness they put me on I have some laughs, embrace it and wonder to myself what I have gotten myself into. That is the role of a parent. Fun, isn’t it? I love every moment of it… even when they damage my calm.
Unlike many other kid geared programs that try to mold a child to fit their expectations, I found that Camp Fire USA just accepts the children and families – no matter what. Unfortunately, you don’t always find that.
I also love that Camp Fire USA is for boys and girls. Yes, I love the message of Girl Empowerments from Girl Scouts but at Camp Fire it’s all about kid power. Equality is a big deal for our family. They also include the whole family in events, have an amazing sense of community and their pathway program is very enriching.
I’ve taken many months weighing the options, doing research and when I stepped into the office of our local chapter I knew I found the perfect fit for my youngest. He is beyond excited and so am I.
So, I am now taking on a leadership role as a Camp Fire Leader as well as a Girl Scout Leader. I don’t think there are many who do this. I was honestly apprehensive since I didn’t expect to find many families with boys who wanted their kids to be involved but I did and they are just as stoked as I am.
No matter what controversy there is with other programs I think it simply comes down to finding what is best for your family in terms of expectations and core values. I’m just thankful I live in an area where Camp Fire USA is available to us.
Let’s bring on the new adventures!
Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. I was not asked to write about Camp Fire USA nor was I compensated. I’m actually a little nervous about the groups I organize for finding my blog because… I’m kind of a geek I just felt strongly about the program and wanted to share my perspective.
About Leila DontSpeakWhinese
Leila, aka The Ninja, is the advocate for all things not whining. Parenting is fun when everyone stops b*tching! She is the Mom of a big blended family of four awesome kids. They ninja kick through life together. Oh and she is a total jackass.