Everyone Should Earn Their Trees Badge
April 26, 2020
Did I ever tell tell you I am our daughter’s Girl Scout Troop Leader? It was never anything that I sought out to do. Our daughter was finishing kindergarten and the moms in our grade wanted to form a school-based troop. There was plenty of interest among other families to form a troop, but as with most things few people wanted to take responsibility. I am the Co-troop leader. The other mother is the driving force behind the troop. I volutneered six years ago to help lead because I wanted this experience for our daughter. I also won’t let her go to sleep overs without me. I am an overprotective mother. So I became a Girl Scout Co-Troop Leader.
As with most things, that journey has had it’s mostly ups but some downs. I continue to show up and find joy in my leader tasks because our daughter has benefited from scouting. Girl Scouts’ provides structure, exposure to new activities and has a moral and civic mission. I find learning opportunities for myself as well. I could skip being in the center of the parent drama that I am sometimes pulled into. I sometimes want to hide. Dr. Dear Friend is there for me at work when I need to vent about Girl Scout Troop parent drama. But it has mostly been a good experience.
Yesterday amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, our troop had our fourth virtual Girl Scout Meeting. It has been important to continue Girl Scouts because it gives the girls a sense of progression and shared experiences outside of Covid-19. We earned our Trees Badge yesterday. I remember the Playing the Past Badge last year took many months to finish the requirements. We had to plan a “Medieval Lunch” which took an inordinate amount of planning. But even that one in the end was fun. But the Trees Badge is when my inner Dr. Plastic Picker passion emerged!
Indeed, all the Cadette scouts were engaged yesterday. I often check in with our daughter after any Girl Scout event and ask her, “Did mommy do okay? Did you find that interesting? Do you think anyone learned anything?” She is a great check on successes or failures. She will give me honest feedback. She said yesterday went well.
We are trying to reestablish structure for our sixth graders. We asked them to wear their vests and turn on their cameras. We opened up with the Girl Scout Promise and Law. And then I got to open up with my part. I had woken up early in the morning to prepare for our meeting and had to forgo blogging. I did on-line research on female scientific figures, made meeting notes and then prepped the videos I wanted to show the girls on the Save the Redwoods organization.
Anytime I have passion about a subject, I do better. I think this is true with anything. I had been thinking about Trees a lot since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Perhaps it is because I am not allowed to the ocean to plastic pick, but I have been thinking about Trees. On Instagram, I had stated dramatcially when California’s quarantine began “I have hope and love . . . Instead of picking up plastic I will jog today because nature healed my body, and I planted 1 tree for each of you. 620 followers at 0.10 a tree at @edenprojects 80% survival rate of their saplings and I picked Nepal.“ Then followed by some trending hashtags. https://drplasticpicker.com/donation-round-up/ Being dramatic and playing a character is part of Instagram. But I did believe it, and I needed that hope at that moment of planting Trees and thinking of them growing at a time we were sheltering in place.
I talked to the girls about that donation. We talked about the Scientific Director of Save the Redwoods https://www.savetheredwoods.org/what-we-do/our-experts/ is a woman scientist. We learned Redwoods have nine times the amount of DNA base pairs as humans! Saving the redwoods will require preserving their genetic diversity. The girls shared their own experiences with trees that they love. It was moving to hear them recount memories of walking through giant Sequoia forests. One Scout shared a thoughtful slide show on the tree species that are around her house and how to differentiate them. Another discussed propogating Plumeria branches. And our daughter is determined to plant an avocado tree in our small lot. She looks out the second story window onto her grandmother’s front-yard garden and says “there is empty space right there I can put my avocado tree!” We are still negotiating as I know the avocado tree can quickly take over a space.
Thus our troop earned their Trees Badge yesterday. Dr. Plastic Picker earned my Trees Badge as well. At least I have mentally bestowed it upon myself. It gives us an artificial sense of completion. I like to think that we are now more knowledgeable about trees and protectors of these amazing giants of the earth. Trees give us oxygen. They house our birds. And they feed us. Making a dish with something coming from trees like cinnamon, chocolate or any food that comes from a tree was a final badge requirement.
Below is a picture of our last Girl Scout outing when we started this badge two months ago. We hiked Torrey Pines and learned about a rare tree that lives in our area. Who would have known that would be the last time we would be together as a Troop this academic year? But we finished the last badge requirement yesterday virtually and closed out that badge. We will mail the Trees Badge to the girls along with their Science of Happiness Badge, World Thinking Day, and Night Owl Badge. I am glad I volunteered to be a Girl Scout Troop leader six years ago, and I will be the Troop Leader through the quarantine. Everyone should earn their Trees Badge.