It’s November 1 right now, and I just finished doing my Patrol Leader’s Camp Permit Course application papers. As I finished this, memories flashed back, and those memories made me say, “Wow, I’ve already come this far!”.
I can still remember the day when I joined GSP – I was in grade 1. I was my 7-year old self who did not want to wear the uniform! It was an uncomfortable GSP dress with a choking scarf and an annoying cap. Remembering that does make me giggle now.
Let me not bore you with my year-by-year memoir, but let me share the highlights of my journey.
On my second grade, I received my first 2 badges because I joined a Day Camp in our school. I remember the excitement and joy that I felt when I received it, telling myself, “I will be active and have more of these.” True enough, by the end of my 3rd grade, I have already earned 12 Star Scout badges.
I was Grade 4 when I attended my first ever camp. It was just an overnight camp, yet it was a memorable one. I experienced cooking using charcoal and making gadgets out of bamboos and rope. That was when I learned the word for my wonderful experience: independence.
My first outdoor camp was on my 5th grade. That was the 29th Regional Encampment at Camp Alano, Davao City. It was my first big Girl Scout event and I experienced arts and crafts, sports, sub-camp presentations, and offsite adventure. Yes, it was tiring; uncomfortable; less time to sleep; very hot tent; and doing activities under the heat of the sun. My realization: all the discomfort was worth the lovely experience!
I was elected a Junior Planning Board officer by Grade 6. I experienced planning an indoor camp together with the 4th year Girl Scouts who became my inspiration to becoming a disciplined and well-rounded person until today.
My heartbreak in Girl Scouting happened on my 7th grade. I was bridged to the Senior Girl Scout level. I wanted to join a council camp, but I did not make it because of limited slots. That moment, I learned about rejection.
On my 8th grade, I moved to Davao Christian High School which was not active in attending Girl Scout camps but has produced several Chief Girl Scout Medalists! During the first overnight camp I attended in this new school, everyone was amazed at my sash because majority did not have badges I had! Because of that, I encouraged my fellow Girl Scouts to actively join Girl. Scouting activities. In 2016, our school grabbed the opportunity to join the Council Camp!
My Girl Scouting journey bloomed when I was in 9th grade. I was elected vice chairperson in our school planning board, and I was the only Senior Girl Scout who represented our school at the SPB/CPB conference. That opened to me opportunities to be the scribe of the Senior Planning Board; the Girl Representative of Davao Girl Scout Council; the delegate to the 6th Regional Committee Meeting held in Camp Alano; and the Girl Representative Alternate for the region. Lastly, I attended 33rd Regional Camp in Bukidnon and the 40th National Camp in Cebu.
I was awarded the Chief Girl Scout Medal in Grade 10. I started attending ExeCom Meetings in our council where I learned about solving problems related to Girl Scouting. I was invited to share an inspirational message to the girls who were attending the Council Camp 2018. I also attended Regional Training School 2019 that inspired me to obtain a Patrol Leader Camp Permit.
As I moved up from Junior high school to Senior high school, I thought my GSP journey would end. By God’s grace, I was still given a chance to continue, and in July 2019, I was elected chairman of the Cadet Planning Board. I also attended the 3rd Regional Gathering of Girl Leaders that taught me ways on how to become not only a good subordinate, but also a good leader.
GSP taught me how to be confident, disciplined, and self-reliant. I learned that there will always be rejections, but I kept in mind that there will also be new opportunities. I learned to rise when failures brought me down and to never give up something you love because nothing is impossible. I learned to be thankful – to God who’s giving me all these opportunities; to my parents who support me in my GSP journey; to the school staff, our school Principal, and my Troop Leader who allow me to attend various GSP events; to my Girl Scout inspirations since I was young – for making me believe that nothing is impossible; and of course, to the reason behind all of the successes in my journey: the Davao Girl Scout Council. Lastly, I met different people with different experiences who taught me many things that I can apply in my life. Without GSP, I will not be able to develop the values I have now.
I still can’t believe, that the girl who disliked wearing her GSP uniform and the one who got excited when she received her first two badges, happens to be the same girl who already joined various in-school, council, regional, and national camps; was elected officer in Girl Scout clubs; elected as girl representative of Davao Girl Scout Council; and was awarded as a Chief Girl Scout Medalist.
I am Cdt. Sct. Camille Danica C. So, and yes, I have already come this far.
Still, as a Girl Scout, I am ready to conquer things beyond my limits!
By: Cdt. GS Camille So
Eastern Mindanao Region | Davao Council