If you were to ask any adult about a fond childhood memory, they might mention a club to which they belonged. Clubs for children and youth foster a sense of affinity with their peers while they assist a child with a sense of belonging. Be the club a sports team, a Key Club, 4H agricultural teams, academic clubs or even religious clubs, these tiny societies assist children in making friends, developing certain skill sets and helping the community at large. Many times, these types of organizations can help children to learn problem solving, gain confidence and learn to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
As a child, I belonged to several different clubs. Scouting was always my favorite, especially because quite a few of my friends were members. While a student at Summit Lane in Levittown, I was offered the opportunity to become a member of either the Blue Birds or the Brownies. I based my decision upon the color of the uniform, the cute Brownie cap and the friends who were part of the Girl Scouts of the USA.
During our meetings, which were held in the cafeteria after school, we read from a handbook and learned about nature, the environment and simple science. The meetings lasted approximately an hour or so, but I always wished they lasted longer. It was fun, it was interesting and I learned a lot about myself and others. I stayed with the organization until I “flew up” to Cadets. Enrollment was very low in Cadets, so I never continued my student career after what is now known as Juniors. I was, however, grateful for the five years that I was a member. I learned to be prepared, as well as the importance of doing a good turn daily.
At the end of every meeting, we usually sang the Brownie song, “Day is Done,” which was sung to the tune of “Taps.” On occasion, we sang a different song that I really enjoyed. It always gave me chills when the song concluded, mostly because it would be another week until I got to meet exclusively with my troop leaders and troop. The song went:
“Daylight goes, owls are out, tree toads croak roundabout. Tiptoe so, out they creep. Brownies go home to sleep.”
I seem to be the only one who remembers this tune.
I sent a message to Girl Scouts of America for clarification, since I had long since purged my mom’s home of Brownie handbooks and items. I have yet to get a response, but I’m very curious about the origins of the song. For the record, I couldn’t find anything on Google, either.
My own daughter became a Daisy Scout when she was a kindergarten student at Woodland Elementary. She wore an adorable blue vest and thrilled to sit with her friends in Mrs. Fuchs’ classroom after school. She leveled up to Brownies after first grade and continued with her troop leaders through the third grade. My daughter and her troop members continued with Juniors in grades 4 and 5, which culminated in a camping trip that may be mentioned in a future column, and a pool party at a local hotel. For several years, I volunteered my services as “cookie mom,” which made my two dogs very happy but made me very nervous as they eagerly sniffed the palettes in search of a possible treat. My daughter often tells me that scouting was “a fun time.” I’m grateful for her troop leaders, who made every meeting a positive experience for growth and learning in a fun and meaningful way.
Scouting continues to be a viable option for young girls to learn ways to become powerful and fearless. Girl Scouting also helps girls to learn about leadership, STEM programs and badge requirements, all while learning how to be valuable members of the community.
I’m grateful for my years as a Scout. Those formative years enabled me to strive to be my best and helped me to become a savvy home chef. I learned to be a part of a team and had fun learning about nature and how to preserve our environment. However, I’m still curious about that song, which I often find myself singing in the wee hours of the evening. If anyone has some information about the closing song, I would love to hear from you. I’d also like to know about your adventures in clubs or Scouting, because common bonds are how to draw a community closer. On my honor, I will try. How about you?
Patty Servidio is an Anton Media Group columnist.