Sunday, January 21, 2007


Girl Scouts...the term brings up the image of cookies and camping trips, and doesn't seem to be something that would vary terribly across cultures. I didn't think so either, and there are definitely things which remain constant between Girl Scouting here and in the US, but today I discovered two of the major differences!
First off, today was the 'messe territoriale', or mass (as in, the church service) for the entire region. Scouting is very catholic here, and every year they have a church service for the entire region...where everyone turns out decked out in uniform shirts and scarves and sings really off-key songs and takes communion. As my first french mass, I was a little lost, but I thought it very cute when one of my girls turned to me during the breaking of bread and asked me if I understood what was going on. I'm not that clueless!
Secondly, scouting at home would never consider having a meeting officially as a 'scout meeting' without a leader present -- too many issues with insurance and liability, not to mention that the kids would run completely amuck. Here, it is apparently not a problem, as I have a required meeting for the Fulbright next weekend, but the head scout guy was just like, oh, they can meet for themselves. They should figure out what they're doing in advance...just ask them... So I did, and next week there will be five 12-year old girls painting a wall mural inside the meeting room without any adult supervision!! I am already envisioning coming home and finding that they have permanently painted their hair blue, or created original jack-the-dripper artwork on all the wrong walls. Whatever happens, it should be interesting, since I don't know what mural they're planning ( they kept getting confused when I asked them), so who knows?! Guess I'll find out when I get back!!

No comments: