Fat Old Girl Scouts

Today I will give a commentary on my weekend with a bunch of fat old Girl Scouts.

It was billed as a getaway for adult volunteers: $30 including food and lodging. I expected troop leaders my age and younger. When I saw that at least half of the participants were over 65, no longer active at the troop level, and more overweight than me, I immediately made a judgment: "What can I have in common with these has-beens? This looks like the Rec Room of a nursing home!"

Within minutes I realized I couldn't be more wrong. These women weren't just welcoming and lively and fun; they were smart and witty and irreverent. One of the first activities was making sure 'Aunt Mary,' turning 80, and everyone else in the house got "laid" with a Hawaiian lei.

Throughout the weekend, I had a blast relaxing, attending craft workshops, eating surprisingly good food for Camp Stonybrook, laughing, and listening wise women with rich and rewarding lives.

Aunt Mary knocked my socks off. She looks 60 and still serves the Scouts in many capacities. She had to retire from leading Outdoor Training after 35 years when she had some health issues, now overcome by warm-water aerobics.

Many of the other women were also inspiring. They told stories, joked and teased. They stayed up until 2 or 3 am playing games. There was no alcohol allowed or needed; they were drunk on life. I was particularly inspired by how many were still happily married after 30, 40, 50 years.

While there was nothing Council would call 'training,' I learned much about being a successful Girl Scout leader in particular and an assertive female in general.

I was recently told by a former client that I can be "too direct" when I am not getting promised information in the face of a deadline. The R & R weekend was a reminder that strong women are celebrated in some quarters. When Girl Scouts need something, they ask for it, go get it, or make it out of rocks and twigs. No whining, no hand-wringing, no male-bashing.

Long live the Girl Scouts and Happy Monday.

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