I grew up with the Girl Scouts. When I was seven, I joined a troop and I put everything I had into it. I met most of my best friends through scouting and when I was sixteen, I got my first job working at a Girl Scout camp, where I stayed for six years. Those experiences really shaped me into who I am today. Looking back, I find that a lot of basic properties of scouting still relate to my life now, specifically in my “feminist brand” of kink.
I loved earning badges, and I earned more than I can even describe throughout the years–most of which never even made it onto my sash. The way it works is, there is a book of badges with set criteria on how to earn each one. It makes you extremely goal-oriented, as anything you do can contribute to some kind of badge-work. This ingrained rules and tasks into me, and I crave that in every D/s I am in as an adult. Doing tasks is something that not every submissive enjoys, but for me, tasks are a form of structure to my relationship(s) and the sense of accomplishment I get from completing them makes me feel like a kid getting my merit badges all over again.
If the Girl Scouts does anything for you, it strives to make you a more empowered woman. It often recognizes that women are oppressed in our patriarchal society, and it really works hard to give women an edge in the real world. Girl Scouts teaches strength and resourcefulness, and for some of us, we really take that shit to heart.
Being a good submissive, to me, is having a good understanding of self-worth. This blog is dedicated to the dualities that are feminism and submission, and I think the core beliefs of my empowerment come from the Girl Scouts. They teach you to be a better woman, to have confidence—and what greater pleasure is there than having a submissive partner who is confident in their abilities to be the very best?
The Girl Scouts is an extremely diverse group of people. While the majority of members are cis women, men can also be adult members. In addition, trans members are fully accepted into the community. The first trans friend I ever had was a counselor at the camp where I worked, and the first trans person I ever met was one of our trainers from the home office of the organization. In addition to gender diversity, there was also a huge diversity in race, class, and abilities. The awesome thing about Girl Scouts is that they give away government grants so kids who can’t normally afford camp can have these empowering experiences. Many of the campers I took care of were kids living in poverty, living with disabilities, or foster children. I cared for blind girls, deaf girls, girls in wheelchairs, and girls with severe mental disorders. The cool thing is, though, that none of the kids really noticed. They were all equals while they were there and they became close–sometimes lifetime–friends.
In addition to race, class, and gender, there is also a huge diversity of sexual minorities in the Girl Scouts. Growing up, the vast majority of counselors at camp were bisexual or lesbian. I learned about lesbians at camp and I met my first two girlfriends at camp. It was the first aspect of my life that accepted me as a queer person. When I was too scared to tell my friends and family, I knew I could be free to hold my girlfriend’s hand at camp without being judged. This really taught me about acceptance and an openness to diversity from a young age, and looking back on it now, I’m so thankful I have those experiences that let me be open to my diverse partners, as an adult.
I recently joked around with my partner that scouts make the best dominants because they learn all the cool knots for bondage at an early age. It’s true! My first experience with bondage happened when I was working at camp. Our “camp craft specialist” was messing around with rope in the lounge on our breaks and asked me to put my hands up. I did, and he slipped a rope with two holes around my hands. Imagine my surprise when he pulled each end and held up my hands in a handcuff knot. I was shocked, to say the least, but I made him teach me how to do that right away.
The partner I engage in water bondage with is an Eagle Scout. He’s highly devoted to scouting and asks for things like rope and survival tools for his birthday. He says it’s for scouting, but every summer he has me hogged-tied in his pool, dragging me around in the water in the name of “practice.”
The Great Outdoors
Being a Scout means having to put down the XBOX controller, suck it up, and go outside. On the bright side, most of us love the outdoors. I spent the majority of my life exploring camp—hiking through the woods, geocaching, and finding the best areas for privacy. I grew a tolerance for mud, bugs, and bats. Not being afraid of the great outdoors means opening a world of possibilities for play. You can take me to a remote location, tie me to a tree, and engage in a scene with me. I won’t complain about the moss touching my leg or the mosquitoes biting me (I’m mostly immune to them, anyhow). I’ll just enjoy it for what it is. Scouts make better partners for public play and exhibition because the outdoors simply aren’t scary to us. Sex is just plain fun out in the wilderness, don’t you think?
First aid is essential when you work with kids. The Girl Scouts paid for my training with the American Red Cross to get certified in first aid, AED, and CPR. It’s also one of the basic badges you earn as a kid. There’s always a huge focus on safety whenever you do anything with Scouting. This makes us really good at aftercare. Whether it’s a physical injury from a scene (abrasions, cuts, or accidental sprains, etc.) or the need for emotional support, the scouts have it covered. We’re trained not only in physical problems, but also in how to deal with a frightened child. We’re taught how to calm people down after trauma and how to help them get the best care for their physical injuries. We’re just really good at aftercare, and we’ll always be ready for it. It wouldn’t surprise me if former scouts who are now into BDSM have their own safety kits for aftercare. Being prepared is the Boy Scout motto, after all!