girls throwing leaves into the air

What Adults Can Learn from The Girl Scout Law

There a so many life lessons that adults can learn from the simple words of the Girl Scout Law. Maybe you remember this from your time in scouts. Here's a refresher. 

I’ve recently decided to dive into the world of girl scouts as a troop leader for my youngest. I was a girl scout as a kid and truly enjoyed it, and I want to give my girls that same experience. So here I am, an adult, surrounded by eager 5 and 6 year-olds, attempting to teach them the Girl Scout Law, which is basically just a set of life rules that all people should be following. There are a lot of things that Adults can learn from the Girl Scout Law.

Young woman in winter coat and hat, standing in the middle of a city.

And so I started thinking a little too much about this.

Please indulge me as I break this down for you in a way that grownups can understand. Because if these girls can learn the rules, then we should be able to as well. 

The Girl Scout Law:

I will do my best to be

honest and fair,

friendly and helpful,

considerate and caring,

courageous and strong, and

responsible for what I say and do,

and to

respect myself and others,

respect authority,

use resources wisely,

make the world a better place, and

be a sister to every Girl Scout.

THE GIRL SCOUT LAW EXPLAINED FOR ADULTS

I will do my best to be… 

I like that it starts off this way. Girl, give yourself some grace! It’s impossible to be perfect all the time. Doing your best should always be good enough. 

Honest and Fair

Are you doing your best to be honest? Here are some ways that we as adults might not be honest all the time: 

  • Telling your kid that daddy ate all of the chocolate ice cream. 
  • Scooting out of the office ten minutes early every friday because you just can’t wait to get the weekend started. 
  • Celebrating your 25th birthday for the 6th year in a row.

Tell the truth. It feels good. I promise. 

two young girls throwing leaves up in the air.

Friendly and Helpful

This is a good one! I honestly think that most humans are friendly and helpful, most of the time. As a mom, a manager, an employee, a wife – I spend most of my waking moments being helpful to somebody. I may not always WANT to be helpful, but I mostly am. 

Here’s what I want to encourage though: Be friendly to the people that others aren’t friendly to. We talk to children about this often, but some adults have forgotten.

Have a conversation with the old man in the grocery line buying a week’s worth of frozen dinners (seriously, this is the saddest thing to me… someone used to cook for him). Hold the door for a teenager walking into a store behind you. Tell a frazzled mom that she’s doing a good job. 

Considerate and Caring

This is taking friendly and helpful to the next level. Not only are they asking us to be nice, but also to CARE about other people! 

I sometimes tell my husband that I feel like he isn’t being considerate of me. It’s kind of a big deal to me that when I do things I think about what everyone else around me will think/feel/believe about it. Some people would call that anxiety. I usually call it being considerate. It’s not a bad thing, but can be exhausting to think of others all the time. 

Be considerate, within reason though. Make sure that caring for others isn’t at the risk of not taking care of yourself. 

Courageous and Strong

Man, I really hope I can teach these kids to be courageous. I’m kind of a wuss sometimes… so this will be a struggle.  Here’s what I realize though. Children see us grownups as soooo brave. We kill the spiders, or humanely relocate them to the front porch. We stand up to the grownups who don’t treat them well. We are courageous for them, and it’s our job to teach them to be able to stand up for themselves.  

So any time you don’t feel courageous and strong, ask a little kid if they think you’re brave. I bet they say yes! 

Responsible for What I Say and Do

Can we all just agree to stop being social media trolls? I kind of doubt that any of you reading this spend your time lurking controversial Facebook articles and leaving comments using a fake name, but if you do… just stop! 

More than that, live your life with intention. Mean what you say and say what you mean and all that. It makes a huge difference to those around you. 

Respect Myself and Others

Oh boy, this one is hard. Do you respect yourself? I mean, REALLY, respect yourself? Do you take care of your body and your mind? Do you feed yourself healthy food? Do you get enough sleep? Practicing self care is one way that we can show ourselves respect. 

Respecting others is something that I hope we adults have learned as we’ve grown up. Practicing empathy is something that many people can do without training, but for other people we might have to learn that skill.

Simply, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and feeling how they feel – that’s empathy, and that lets us respect the other person and their feelings. 

Respect Authority

I totally get why we teach this part to kids, but I struggle with it as an adult. How do we know who is in authority? What about people who we give authority to but they don’t use it properly? 

I don’t want to get too far into politics here, but as adults, I think it’s really good and healthy for us to both respect and respectfully question authority

Use Resources Wisely

I believe in global warming. I try to recycle, and am trying very hard to stop using disposable plates and cups. We have done so much to damage this world. I feel like we owe it to the next generation to at least try to clean up the mess. 

Another aspect to this one is the concept of minimalism. I’d love to be better at this, and stop buying so much crap that I don’t really need. Maybe something I’ll work on this year.

Except art supplies. I don’t think I can stop buying art supplies!

Two teen girls, seen from behind, sitting on a cliff overlooking a lake and a mountain.

Make the World a Better Place

We teach this concept to first graders and kindergarteners by showing them how small things like picking up trash on the sidewalk or smiling at someone, can improve the world. They understand that even if they can’t change the world in a huge way, that the small things that they do make a difference

As adults it can be hard to see how our small efforts could possibly be world changing. Believe it like a child would. Every good deed changes the world for the better. 

And be a sister to Every Girl Scout

Women need to support women! Period. End of story. In our current world, it doesn’t benefit anyone if women are working against each other. If we all act like sisters (the kind who like each other), we can accomplish anything. 

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts about how we as adults can learn from the Girl Scout Law. It's really a pretty good list of rules to live by, and I'm proud to be a girl scout leader and to be teaching these values to women of the future.

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