Saturday, May 30, 2015


Girl Scout Juniors, green living, Portland, OR zoo, cup song
Standing around a table in the community center at Oak Hills, they sang, “When I’m gone I’m gonna miss you. . . .”   “. . .miss your positivity. . .” “. . . .miss your energy. . . .”

"I’ll be gone tomorrow. Two bottles of water for the way.”

Who was singing? The dozen-or-so girls of Troop #40007. The troop was cutting ties at the end of four years of Girls Scouts Junior.

My fifth-grade grand-daughter, Abby, has been a member of Troop #40007 since it began four years ago. Abby’s mother, my daughter, helped it start up. Abby invited my wife, Lucy, and me to the final meeting, held May 29 at Oak Hills Community Center. This was the end of Junior Troop #400007.

I've learned that the Girl Scout Juniors program concentrates on the good: friendships, fun and service, with a special nod toward a green-style way of life.

Service counts. Below they’re pictured in 2014, providing musical entertainment for a group of seniors in their center not far from the Oak Hills neighborhood. In the second photo just below they’re looking at the seniors’ art:

The final meeting at Oak Hills community center featured a potluck dinner. For the meal, we sat around tables with scouts and their parents and grandparents. After eating we were invited to clear our own tables. 

A container was provided for recycling of the plastic glasses and silverware. That spoke to me of a green lifestyle.

Though Friday evening’s event was the final for the troop as a whole, there’s one more final event for the girls, divided into two subgroups for special activities. One subgroup is attending a cooking school event. 

The other half of the troop is spending the night in a sleep-over at the Portland Zoo. They’ll be in a building for nocturnal animals. I expect that this group's experience may transform their life interests toward biology or the lives of nocturnal wild animals. That’s absolutely consistent with a lifestyle of self-discovery, the theme of this blog.

Switching back to the May 29 potluck again, the main event featured the girls gathered around a table and singing “Our Cup Song.” They turned ordinary paper drinking glasses into percussion instruments to accompany the song.The song begins: 

“I’ve got my ticket for the road ahead.
                                Two bottles of water for the way
                                 And I sure would like some sweet company.
                                 And I’m leaving tomorrow, what do you say?

A few imaginative lines later, it ends:

                When I’m gone, when I’m gone
                I’m gonna miss you when I’m gone.
                I’m gonna miss your energy
                I’m gonna miss your positivity
                I’m gonna miss you when I’m gone.”

The performance was fun for them and the audience. Here’s a seven second video.  Watch the girls move the cups. (Sorry: no sound, but you can imagine the clicking of the cups and the voices—imagine it your way.)

The event was the end of one phase of their lives and the start of another, and none of the girls seemed sad. It was a fun evening of personal and social growth, just like the  troop meetings of the previous four years have been. 

Experiences of growing, and, encouragingly, of growing green. And many of them would see each other in the sixth grade at a middle school.
                                                                                                                                                                    The three things about Girl Scout Juniors, but now it's become four things:
  • Fun
  • Friendships
  • Service, and
  • A tile toward growing green through self-discovery.

Just as their cup song went, the girls do have their tickets for the road ahead.



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