Be Prepared! / Scouting

Guest Post: Jan Seides

Friends, I’m so happy to be posting the BSP’s first guest blogger, my friend Jan Seides. If you’ve got a scout story to tell, I cordially invite you to tell it right here!
Enjoy Jan’s story.


I started my Girl Scout experience at age 7, as a Brownie.  The story “Brownies Hush” was a favorite of mine, and being a brownie was a very appealing idea. I didn’t get as far as house cleaning in the middle of the night or anything, but I did enjoy the picnics and crafts. The most impressive part was the anticipation of “Flying Up,” when the entire Troop 418 (I can’t believe I remember that!), became Girl Scouts.

Once I was a Girl Scout (what we now call Junior Girl Scouts), my whole world opened up. Badges! Of course, I started with stuff I already knew: Musician (piano lessons since I was 4), Reader (avid reader here), Child Care (I was the champion baby walker on our block). Later on, seamstress, personal health, grooming, swimming….I was hooked!

My mother was an invalid. Right at the point where most of my girlfriends’ mothers were teaching them about being a woman–as well as how to cook, sew, and take care of themselves–my mother was deep in combat with Multiple Sclerosis. That’s when Girl Scouting became really important to me, because that was where I learned those things. Between troop offices, troop projects and badges, I managed to learn everything my mother would have taught me, had she been able.

One of my favorite memories was the day we learned how to make chocolate chip cookies (recipe on the package), and decorated coffee cans with wallpaper to give as gifts to our mothers for Mothers’ Day.

So naturally… when I had a daughter, I wanted her to be a Girl Scout, too–so much so that when the leader of Brownie Troop 515 decided to leave her position, I volunteered to take it on. Took my Brownies through their Flying Up, worked on badges, went on field trips. I think they had fun. I know I did!

And did we ever sell cookies! My daughter sold enough to pay for Girl Scout Camp with cookie credits for two years running. And she wasn’t even 515’s top seller. It just seemed the perfect way to pay back the organization that had given so much to me and lots of other girls.


Thank you, Jan! And again, friends, I’m looking for guest blog posts–anyone with a story to share about scouting, being a troop leader, eating cookies–you name it. Email me at


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