250 Troop 309

College was up my alley. A bit more than a decade after that graduation, a marriage and two kids later, the barriers of the mind ran pictures of doubt and fear.

This is not where I was going. But when I sat down and clicked on the computer, the time read 3:09. Seeing those numbers is extraordinarily common for me. The price of gas. The house number of an airbnb (yes, I chose that one, that time). Commonly the time I glance at a clock. Randomly, wherever.

silver imac on desk
The Order in randomness 13:09 or 3:09 ? Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When I started as a scout leader, nervousness shook my body. I knew nothing about the program. I didn’t speak the language. Badges, ceremonies, songs. Everything was waiting to be learned. I didn’t know if I was capable, if I could be a leader when I had never been a scout. The pressure shook me more than heading to college. I felt in over my head. College was up my alley. A bit more than a decade after that graduation, a marriage and two kids later, the barriers of the mind ran pictures of doubt and fear.

There are so many classes for leaders to take! In fact, there were several that the prospective leaders were required to complete, before and soon after meeting the kids. The group came from Kindergarten. Nyasha went to Mountain Way Elementary, and when we began, eight Kindergarten girls, probably as nervous as I, arrived at the house after school.

I had experience, experience as a teacher. My degree and occupation had been education, multiage K-3. The kids would probably survive. And the lingo and songs and games and ceremonies were twists on things I had done so many times before, in different ways, with different types of young people, for a lifetime.

As we journeyed through the next 14 years and beyond, Troop 309 grew. We added the next two grades, counted up to 12 girls, and eventually to 18. Our experiences were amazing, crazy, creative, too numerous to mention. It was not a craft group, but we did a lot of crafts. It was not a travel group, but we traveled a lot. It was not a volunteer group, but volunteering in the community pushed 200 hours of possibility in high school alone. (I only know this because my own daughters did everything, every hour.)

Incredible adults made it happen. Carolyn Fisk steadily attended as assistant leader, thousands of hours. Without her, the whole thing would have been impossible. Scout programming required two trained leaders to be present at every meeting. Lori, Diane, and DeeDee jumped in to help, and so many other parents drove and assisted, supported and provided, whenever needed.

It was family. It is family. We emerged with wider capabilities (adult too). We grew together, and were empowered in personal growth. This story is a synopsized book, because I could write paragraphs about each “girl”, and have on job application recommendations, for college boards, wherever someone needed needed verification of excellence.

Where are they now, the younger generation of my enlarged family, pushing or toppling into their 30s? Notable to their power, they surround you. They are your doctor, lawyer, engineer, teacher, nurse, accountant, environmental advocate, the person working to bring fairness to the incarcerated, to train/communicate with/care for your dog, the people changing the education possibilities of today’s children, the teacher, the business owners, your insurance guidance, your yoga master/guru and physical trainer, and the powerful mothers (and future mothers) who reach out for higher awareness and capabilities that will bring their children to be the superheroes of tomorrow. I am being entirely specific.

There are so many more who also bloom into their destinies. The weddings, the baby showers… joy keeps evolving! I am so grateful for every moment. I am thankful to be reminded with the numbers 309. I am inspired by their stories and their lives, from the quiet and simplest to the wildest and most well travelled (this generation sure gets around, multi country, multi continent). Not one is better than another, but as a whole, they advance the world with an awareness I did not expect.

We are left with “who led whom”? The younger generation will lead us out of the darkness of the past. I feel my eyes twinkle and tear up, and my heart swell. The epitomy of beautiful young women! Namaste.

Author: Michele Plumb Stowell

Michele Stowell was a teacher, a hand holder, and encouraging voice. Born an early Gen Xer, she has lived in Western Washington for the duration. Her children, two spectacular genetic daughters and an uncountable number of marvelous scout and school sons and daughters, shine as her biggest impact and her greatest blessing. Just before her 54th birthday, Michele was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Her writing and art work are expressions of the drama and the joy of living earth bound. On October 24, 2021, Michele was released from her physical body, transported to continue her work on other realms.

One thought on “250 Troop 309”

  1. Be still my heart! Forever wonderful memories and so amazing to know how much that time meant to you as well 🙂 I didn’t realize then how lucky I was to have such amazing people shaping me. I wish I would have shown more gratitude then, but man I feel it now! I often wonder as I’m pulling my hair out with two girls the same ages as those scouts how you ever kept it together with so many of us!

    Long live 309!


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