21 Things You Only Understand If You Were a Girl Scout

On my honor, I will try...

Your mom promised that your years in the Girl Scouts would make you a better woman. But was all that tent-pitching and horseback-riding and basket-weaving actually worth the stress of shilling shortbread to your cranky neighbors? Here, 21 things you only understand if you once sported the infamous green vest.

1. The horror of peeing back to back with another nine-year-old. In the woods.

2. The fact that nobody looks good in knee socks and a beanie.

3. But that didn’t stop your parents from making you squeeze into your uniform every year and pose in front of the fireplace.

4. The irony of improperly affixing your “sewing excellence” badge.

5. The humiliation of having to sit next to the scout leader on your annual trip to the Juliette Low House.

6. Especially if the troop leader was…your mother.

7. Unless your mother was Shelley Long.

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8. That cookie season was more cutthroat than the 2016 presidential race.

9. But also your entire reason for living.

10. That it wasn’t entirely fair that Gina Trembly’s dad got everyone at his contracting company to buy ten boxes of cookies.

11. (But, also OK when your parents bailed you out that time the neighbors never paid for their Tagalongs.)

12. That NOTHING was more important than outselling troupe 2188. 

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13. That frozen Thin Mints are everything.

14. That Do-si-dos are best enjoyed when twisted apart and pre-licked of their peanut butter innards.

15. That Samoas and Caramel Delites are definitely NOT the same thing.

16. That Trefoils are disgusting and were created by the devil.

Girl Scouts

17. The stress of figuring out camping trip tent assignments. (Somebody has to bunk with the bedwetter…)

18. The joy of finding the best marshmallow stick.

19. The smell of burnt s’mores commingling with the hoots of owls…and, you know, that hot fourth-grade gossip.

20. The fact that the vaguely cult-like chanting of the “Girl Scout Promise” still makes you tear up.

21. And that all those years of lanyard-making and cookie-selling and hand-sewing badges onto hideous green vests really did make you a more well-rounded person. Thanks, Shelley Long.

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Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...