Girl Scouts: The Most Notorious Gang In History

gang (noun): a group of people which shares an identity and a common purpose; often know to fight against other groups with similar interests. 

Pouty Meg, front and center.

Pouty Meg, front and center. #RuthlessTroop156

Have you ever tried to say “No,” to a gaggle of five-year-old girls, all of whom are dead set on winning first place in a bake sale competition?

If you were one of the few brave souls who stood up to the corrupt tactics of using seasonal treats to transform innocent girls into tyrannical, power hungry  preteens, you probably did not live to tell the tale.

So we salute you, brave, dead soul, for your attempts to stand up to the most notorious gang in history: The Girl Scouts of America.

To the naked eye, a Girl Scout is a poster of all that is good in the universe: a volunteer at retirement centers, one who spends time picking up trash around local parks, earning badges and patches for being active in their respective communities.

But a closer look into the organization reveals cut throat sales techniques, questionable initiation rituals, and heinously manufactured uniforms.  These girls are highly trained cookie assassins, and they will attack you when you are weakest.

You may think I’m exaggerating.  But I am not.  I am a survivor of the GSoA.  I’ve lived through it, and I’m here to explain why the Girl Scouts organization just a mirage for an undercover street gang of elementary school girls.

According to this article, here is what constitutes a gang:

1.  Organized in some way, often with clear leaders and a hierarchy, and that the members gather to socialize and carry out various activities on a regular basis.

Troops leaders are the head honchos of the Girl Scouts.  These women, usually mothers related to a girl in the respective troop, will coordinate, plan, and execute meetings on a weekly basis.  Discussion topics of relevance include but are not limited to: scheming various sales strategies for seasonal supplies, decorate clothing items with symbols of segmented troop for unique identifier and easy avoidance of “friend or foe” when in the streets.

2.  The shared identity of gang members can be based on ethnicity, culture, class, religion, or another common thread which allows people to find something of interest in each other.

Girls are usually grouped together based on initial elementary friend groups, and or community based neighborhoods, or ‘hoods.’  These girls generally have common interests based on blocks where they live, classes, and school bus routes.

3.  Members may choose to identify themselves with nicknames, tattoos, specific slang, distinctive graffiti tags, or specific styles of dress. 

Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadets – you see where I’m going with this – just climbing the gang ranks. If you didn’t have patches on patches sewn to your vest, you knew you didn’t try and no one respected you.  You had to have a vest so patched out, it looked like a quilt on your back.  Nothing less than perfection was accepted.

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Collectively identified with distinctively unique clothing.

4.  Often, if not always require indicative hand gesture, slogan, identifying sign or graffiti during meetings and greetings.

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Self explanatory.

5.  Seeks to exercise control over a particular geographic location or region, or it may simply defend its perceived interests against rivals.

Girl Scouts are constantly defending coveted neighborhood territory against rival gangs like: other girl scout troops – specifically those within the same elementary school – the dreaded boy scouts, do good church-led youth groups, and/or any extracurricular activity dedicated to the betterment of society as a whole.

6.  Infamous for being involved in activities of questionable legality.

Bragging rights for most cookies sold was essential, prudent, and imperative.  Losing was not an option.  If you had to work twelve-hour sale days, you did it.  If you had to walk eight miles in your fifth grade shoes after soccer practice, you did it.  We learned one slogan, ABC: Always Be Closing.

There were no tears, only triumphs.

Always remember, if you see something, say something.  Girl Scouts are taking over our communities one box of cookies at a time.  Do your due diligence to stop your sisters, daughters, and friends from joining.

But if you have a hook-up to some Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos, hell any of those delicious seasonal treats, email me.  Let’s talk, I’m never above an under the table transaction. 

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Dance Dance Revolution

The first time I can remember being confused by dancing was when my my dad would play Elvis Presley records and jived around my living room in a bathrobe to ‘Hound Dog.”

The second time was I witnessed my mother grooving to the tunes of her youth at a Bruce Springsteen concert.  It wasn’t really dancing, but more of a feet firmly planted, upper body twisting while simultaneously moving arms in a ‘choo-choo train’ motion to the beat of “Born To Run.”

I’m absolutely forty-percent positive my parents were once big-whigs on the dance floor. But after the poor display over the course of my youth, I felt certain that I was destined for mockery when it came to cutting a rug.

It only recently dawned on me that not only do we enter different stages of life as people, but of dancing as well.  Do you ever see an eighty-year old woman dropping into a worm?  No.  Can you picture a four-year-old busting out jazz hands like he or she is the main event at a cheerleading competition?  Not intentionally, that is.

We enter a phase of dance that follows us through specific years of our lives.  From birth to death, there are certain dances that are inherently acceptable and they are as follows:

Toddler

This is when you’re a baby and dancing means grasping firmly onto any surface that will withstand your baby grip and repeatedly trying to sit down whilst not letting go.  It’s like you’re doing wall sits, but there happens to be music going on and your mother claps in approval while filming your half-sits and appropriately titling it “JOSH’S FIRST DANCE!” when she posts it on her Facebook wall.

Elementary School

If you are a girl, you had your friends over your house while you made a choreographed dance to the best hits of the decade.  The amount of times I had my mother sit and film my friends and I doing dance routines that consisted of high fives and somersaults is almost unmanageable.  But it’s a just right of passage to the better years.

Middle School

Middle School dancing is all about the Bat and Bar Mitzvahs. If there was ever an age-inappropriate event it would be these shindigs.  Sure, I had fun, but attending a party that cost ten grand at twenty-two would have been a way better use of my Saturday afternoon. The cutest boys were there, there were cheap, carnivalesque prizes, and a DJ spinning on the ones and twos.  Everyone who was anyone was invited.  There were parental chaperones, so the closest dance you got with a boy was a slow dance to Brian McKnight’s “Start Back At One” and you always had to dance forming the shape of an A to leave room for Jesus.

High School

Prommy, prom, prom.  Is he going to ask?  Am I going to have to shell out two-hundred dollars for a faux satin dress with gaudy embellishments that I will wear only once? The first taste of adulthood comes with a hairdo that never turns out the way you want it, and a first come, first serve atmosphere when it comes to dresses.  You do NOT want to have the same dress.  Also, make sure to get one with forgiving and flowing fabric; you’re going to need it when you’re grinding dirty all up on the overly hormonal boys in your class.  Feet planted, legs alternating, as close as possible, hands around the neck, then move back and forth in sync.  That’s it.  You’ve mastered the art of the high school grind. NEVER MAKE EYE CONTACT.  So awkward.

College

Go to the bar. Get a drink, dance alone.  Dance with a guy.  Dance with a girl.  Dance against a wall.  All acceptable.  As long as when you’re dancing, the drink you’re holding is swaying back and forth uncontrollably and spilling everywhere. You’re a hot mess and it’s okay.  Nothing is expected of you.

Wedding

Suddenly, all the songs that were the hot beats at middle school dances are all the rage again at your wedding.  It’s like you instinctively remember that you are leaving your youth to enter holy matrimony, so the final event on your first day of marital bliss will be to take a trip down memory lane and Cha-Cha Slide and YMCA all over the reception hall.

Parenthood

Is there anything more embarrassing than Dad Dancing?  Showing up with your parents at an event and after the meal looking over to find you dad flailing his arms in the air like he’s sending SOS signals to the DJ. Look over to your right and you see your mother simulating a choo-choo train and everything comes full circle in your life.  You’ve seen the pinnacle of bustin a move, and your future with gyrating does not look pretty.  But hey, at least you can make it look good, right?

Embarrassment is spelled: M-E-G.

When someone says, “Hey Meg, you should tell me the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you.”

I’m very likely going to respond with, “Which time are you talking about?”

I’m a magnet for misbehavior.  Not just for myself, but if you hang out with me long enough, I’m pretty much guaranteed to embarrass myself, my family, you, your family, your friends, your pets, and even people you don’t necessarily like very much.

I could be at a horse race in Ireland with your extended family, and in the midst of an adult conversation, and interject and ask why it’s so windy even though there are no trees anywhere in sight. I could be in third grade, using a calculator on my multiplication math test and ultimately shaming the intellectual reputation of my family by getting caught by my teacher.  Or I could be in college trying to get to class by cutting through a mud puddle that sucked my flats clear off my feet.

All of those things could, and did happen, but those are not close to the most embarrassing moment in my life.

That moment came and went whilst I was in kindergarten.  A mere five years old.

It was the best day of the week, show and tell day. I was prepared, brought my favorite book along with my favorite page already marked with my favorite colored (green) post-it note. I was ready.

We all do stupid things.  And if you don’t do stupid things, here’s a hint.  You’ve done stupid things, you’re just not willing to admit they were stupid.

yeah, none of us really like attention.

yeah, none of us really like attention.

But I digress. My friend Hayden was showing me the latest in Barbie greatness, and this other kid, Kyle had a badass gold encrusted slinky that glistened every time a pocket of sunlight hit a curve, or slink, or whatever. Sarah was showing off her aggressive collection of photos she had taken with Disney characters.

I’ve always been competitive by nature.  I never like to lose, and I always like to be the best. In the kindergarten battle of who’s got what, I was getting completely outdone.  That was not going to be allowed.  Not in my book.  Not in my school.  Not today.  Not ever.

In this game of show and tell, I was going to win.  So, in every effort to steal the spotlight from all the children in the room, I did the only thing I could in order to solidify myself in with all the greatest showers and tellers.

It was at that moment that I decided the best possible course of action would be to take my red dress and lift it all the way over my head.  I would show my fellow kindergarteners my underwear.  And I would win show and tell for life.

Except the only thing I won was a first class ticket and a front row seat in the Principal’s office. Principal Dunlap to be exact. 

Mrs. Camarotta marched me down, clenching my left hand with an adult dismay, to Principal Dunlap’s office.  This woman was the epitome of my childhood terror.  She wore a tight black fitted skirt suit, stockings, and pointy black heels.  Her hair was perfectly gelled, combed, and styled.  It never moved.  Not even when she was angry.  She was an artist of discipline and I was her next project.

Letting go of my hand, Mrs. Camartotta turned and walked out the door after making sure I was seated in the chair facing Mrs. Dunlap’s desk.  She closed the door behind her. Then the lady in black turned around in her swivel chair, and spoke to me.

“Hello, Megan.” She said sternly, “What brings us here today?” I was unaware there was more than one person involved in this ‘us’ situation, but I made the motion to say that I understood what she asked me, yet I still had no idea how to respond. Then I heard a sound that normally wouldn’t alarm anyone, but scared me straight to my grave (metaphorically).  Right then, her office door opened.

I turned around, not knowing who to expect, when I saw my mother.  And then I saw her face.

It was at this point in time that I realized who she meant by ‘us.’  She meant me and my mother.  Why ‘we’ were here.  Essentially, my mother had to drop everything she was juggling, which at the time meant my two infant brothers in each arm and my four-year-old brother in a front facing backpack, to come to hang out at the bad kid party in the principal’s office.

“So what brings us here today, Megan?” She asked again.  I was astonished.  My skirt show just brought my mother into school.  This was not going to go over well with my father.  Pulling the hems at my dress, “Um, I think I did something bad.” My face was as red as the skirt I had just pulled over my head.  I was mortified.

“You know, Megan,” Principal Dunlap lectured, “there are appropriate ways to get your teacher’s attention, like raising your hand, calling out for help.”  She simultaneously counted on her fingers listing the ways to be appropriate.

“Do you think lifting your dress up was appropriate?” The question was rhetorical, and this was not the time to be smart ass, as my father would say. “No, not it wasn’t.”  I sounded apologetic as I looked up and nodded in agreement with my mother.  My face was still a very dark shade of “humiliation red,” and I didn’t see it fading any time soon.

“Good. As long as we’re clear, your mother can go home and you can go back to class.  Mrs. Tuccio will bring you back to show and tell.”  She reached to grab my hand and led me out the door, but not before my mother sarcastically added in, “Make sure you show your book this time.”

My conference with the devil was over.  I survived.

I marched down the hallway back to my classroom.  I was still filled with unease at what my classmates would think when I entered after the whole dilemma. But then I thought about what the kids would have been talking about while I was gone. They would have been talking about me.

I had made it into the Hall of Fame of Show and Tell.  Reputation cemented in history.  Right where I belonged.

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