I am beyond thrilled to introduce our guest blogger this week, Lindsey Salatka. Mom, author, and troop leader herself, Lindsey will have you rolling on the floor with laughter—and tears of relief. She gets it. She really gets it. So set down your phone, swallow that bite of cold leftovers you’re scarfing down between your parent-teacher conference and hockey practice, and dig into this adorable post:
Girl Scout Leader TRUTHS
When you agreed to be a Girl Scout troop leader, did you have any idea what you were getting into? Be honest. No?
Do you ever find yourself feeling under-loved and WAY overcommitted as you wait in line at the Girl Scout Shop to buy vest bling behind someone debating the merits of EACH BADGE ON THE BROWNIE WALL WITH THE ONLY CASHIER?
Do you wonder if Juliette Gordon Low kept a digital copy of all of her permission slips along with the other 17 bazillion required forms that she would have never ever forgotten to fill out?
I’m right there with you.
Someone I know well actually thought this leader gig would mostly include sewing Pinterest-worthy stripey sock puppets while stuffing her cheeks with shortbread cookies and hosting pajama parties. I’m guessing part of her wanted to re-live her youth.
Can you even imagine?
Then one day, she looked down and noticed she had an inhaler poking out of each pant pocket as she clutched a fistful of epi-pens. Suddenly, she heard herself bugle, HOLD IT RIGHT THERE, LITTLE MISSY. DID I JUST SEE THE MOTHER OF ALL ALLERGENS FALL OUT OF YOUR TRAPPER KEEPER? DROP THE PEANUT-RIDDLED TRAIL MIX AND BACK SLOWLY AWAY WITH YOUR ARMS UP. PLEASE KNOW THAT WE’LL BE REVIEWING THIS INCIDENT AT FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE. This was one of the many moments when it dawned on
me my friend that this leader business was larger, more important, and more serious than she had anticipated.
A job this large, important, and serious can feel like a lot to take on, especially when added to the top of everything else you do. Some days, you might even want to say, Slide over, Ozzy, I’m hopping off this Crazy Train.
But you can’t. I mean, of course you can, but you shouldn’t, and here’s why: Well, first, there are the obvious reasons, like mother-daughter bonding, building memories and having fun, and the not-so-distant gold star that can light up your daughter’s future college applications. But, if you are anything like me, here’s one bonus you may not have considered: When you e-signed up for that digital background check so that you, too, could lead girls on a path toward courage, confidence, and character, you also signed up to gain or grow a set of those same qualities. For yourself! Did you know that your role as leader would also include a massive serving of patience, positivity, and planning? The Cs and the Ps! We desperately seek them for our girls, and as a bonus, we get a free side order of them for ourselves.
By role-playing ways to be more honest and kind, we become more honest and kind. By scouring websites for fun ways to make the world a better place, we make the world a better place. By encouraging our girls to become leaders, we show them by example what leadership looks like. We leave this journey a better version of ourselves. It’s an undisclosed job perk.
So continue to rock it, leaders! Sell cookies to support your troop and the mothership! Don your costumes and sing your wacky songs! Embody the Cs and Ps! And when a little sweetie in your troop insists on the middle seat because she has NEVER BEFORE been carsick, right before she loses her lunch all over your van, don’t lose heart. Roll down the windows and take it in stride. It’s all a part of the journey. Just another day in the life of rocking leadership and accepting the gift of being large, important, and awesome.
Lindsey Salatka is an author, blogger, and lion tamer (her three daughters have copious amounts of blondish-brown hair and sometimes resemble lions, in both appearance and demeanor). Lindsey lived in Shanghai, China, for four years with her family where she occasionally wrote for Shanghai Family Magazine and Urbanatomy: Shanghai. There, she often felt like she was in a strange dream—part sensory nightmare, part Candid Camera/Punk’d episode—because there was no way this stuff was actually happening.
Lindsey graduated from the University of Arizona with a BA in Creative Writing, French, and Business. She currently lives in San Diego with her husband, three lions, and pet cat, Silver. Silver is the only feline in her home that is properly house-trained.
For more awesome Lindsey-ness, you can sign up to follow her own blog, Fishheadology (and read this hilariously relatable blog she wrote on Girl Scouting which inspired us to connect with her in the first place!). You can also follow Lindsey on her Facebook and Twitter—we definitely will!