Thursday, July 7, 2011

Girl Scouts and Tongue Piercings and Tattoos, Oh My

Here I go, outing myself as the fuddy-duddy curmudgeon that I just be.

I dropped off Peppermint Patty at Girl Scout camp tonight. This was her first trip to Girl Scout camp (during the summer sessions) and so I was anxious to see what it had evolved into since I'd gone there 25 years ago.

Okay, 30 years ago.

Anyway, I noticed that the counselors still used "code names" which I think is so cute. I remember my camp counselor's name was "No-Jelly". I can't remember why but I'm sure it had something to do with Peanut Butter or Breakfast biscuits or something like that. Peppermint Patty's counselors were "Sweetie" and "Kit Kat". Fun! Their code-names had been stamped into a leather patch that they wore around their neck on a lanyard. Even better!!!

So far, so good.

But I have to say, I was a little surprised that my VERY FIRST encounter with a counselor-type Girl Scout came at the entrance to the camp, where she gave me directions to the check-in building. But all I could understand was "follow that car ahead of you" because her TONGUE PIERCING made her really hard to understand.

And the eyebrow piercing was more than a little bit distracting as well.

Then, upon checking in, I was helped by a very sweet and very tattooed young lady.

This also distracted me to no end, wondering, Is this girl over 18? If so, I don't remember any of my counselors being college aged when I was a kid. And if not, how can she get a tattoo if she's under 18???

I am trying not to judge these girls by their appearance. And I'd much rather my daughter look at these girls' inner qualities and make a judgment about her counselors' integrity than their appearance.


If my daughter starts to look up to these girls, will she want a tongue piercing like Squishy? Will she want a groovy tattoo like Blueberry? (I'm making those code-names up, but you get the idea).

So I guess Girl Scout camp is still all about taking long hikes and using the latrine while hoping a bee doesn't sting you on the butt. But the counselors are a little more ... decorated?... than they were in my day.

Texan Mama


Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

Piercings are preferable to tats because piercings can close up--unless they're those big ear holes...

I have told my son he may not do any body art as long as I'm paying any of his bills. Yes, he's almost 25. Yes, he's in grad school a number of states away. Yes, oh drat, his car just died and I am not longer paying any car insurance (the only cash thing I've done for him as of late).

Wonder what colors he'll be wearing once he realizes this?

Truly, she lives in your house under your rules until she's DONE with college. Should she decide this is something she wants to do, she's going to have to wait. And wait.

Bridgett said...

I come from a family where I'm the only sibling not pierced (besides the ears in typical ways, one on each side) or tattooed. Most of my uncles and cousins as well.

I have a lot to say about this (on your side). But the short answer: no tattoos period under my roof or with my checkbook anywhere involved in your life, and no piercings other than ears until 17, and then I would be fine with, say, an eyebrow ring. No cartilage, nothing near your mouth, nothing in a location where a bathing suit regularly covers you. Basically leaves more ear or perhaps, like I say, an eyebrow (which, when taken out, goes away quickly).

Dye your hair any color under the friggin sun. Get your nails done up all trashy. Nothing permanent.

That Janie Girl said...

I'm a weenie.

No piercings (except ears) AND NO TATTOOOS.

Lex the mom said...

I have all of 2 tattoos. One on my shoulder & one under my right ear on my neck. I have absolutely no problem if my kids want to tattoo themselves, but they will have to do it with their own money & after they are of age.

I have one non-standard piercing, my nose. It's partially closed because it never healed right inside. If I knew it would heal correctly, I would do it again to make sure it would stay. If my kids wanted to be pierced, I'd make sure that they are aware of what could happen with piercings & what bosses & the like might think of them. Same goes with tattoos.

I will encourage them to get said body art in places that can be covered. Not all businesses want tattooed, pierced wombats working for them.

misssrobin said...

I don't have piercings or tattoos. However, what a great discussion starter for your daughter. Especially if she brings it up. If the young ladies were respectful and seemed kind, I think I could look past the other. My kids have to learn to be able to be around people who are different from them and still choose their own way. Hopefully a way that fits our family standards.

I have known many people who were pierced or tattooed and were fabulous people. And I've known lots of people that looked like the preacher's wife and were horrible -- I'd never want them near my kids.

Gigi said...

I have informed Man-Child that until he is out of college and I am no longer paying his way tattoos are forbidden (he doesn't have an interest in piercings). With any luck, his interest will fade, but if not, maybe his common sense will kick in and it will be discreetly located.

I'm okay with individuality (although if everyone is doing it - then it's not so individual; is it?) but I think that there needs to be some discretion - because when you get older and need to get a job these things can hinder that process.

Pam said...

OK, I will join you on the fuddy-duddy bench, but there is so much more gray area here than when we were kids.....

About 10yrs ago, my (then) small daughter was fussing with her shirt, and after much discussion I figured out she was trying to tie it up to a crop top like some older girls we had seen at the park earlier. I said, "Sweetie, we don't wear our shirts like that, that is tacky." She asked what TACKY meant, so I tried to simplify it to "tacky versus classy" and gave examples.

Boy, was that a rat-hole I should never have gone down, sitting there on my fuddy duddy bench! I started using "excessive" piercings and tattoos as an example until she pointed out to me that her (very sweet) preschool teacher had 7 holes in one ear, and her (very awesome) swim teacher had a (super cute) frog tattooed on her hip.

Oy vey.

Don E. Chute said...

Hate the piercings...Love the Ink. My 20 year old Daughter has the latter not the former.

You didn't say anything about the horny teen dudes who invade camp?
Oops, didn't want you to have ta contemplate that...

Aloha From Sunny South Florida!

Anna See said...

I find the tats and piercings distressing, too. I am an unmarked 41 yr old. I do think, however, if these young ladies are still involved in scouts in their older teens, then they are willing to buck the system as far as a petty, surface, Disney-fied, "date everything on legs" quest to be cool. It could be that what you are seeing is the extent of their "rebellion," while their unmarked, more mainstream peers are doing things that would make mommy and daddy much more upset if they knew about it. Just a thought. xo

Aunt Crazy said...

My first thought was if they are Girl Scout counselors, doesn't that mean they are heavily involved in Girl Scouts and if so then these tats and piercings are their way of acting out just a bit.

I'm 36, I got a tat when I turned 30. It is on my foot and it means something to me. It is easy to cover when I'm attending a corporate meeting or an event that I feel brandishing my tat would be inappropriate. I do think people have misconceived notions about people who have tats or piercings. Sadly, a few idiots with tats or piercings give the majority a bad wrap.

I hope you and your daughter get to have an involved conversation about judging a person on their inside and their acts rather than their outside appearance.

Jennifer said...

My house = my rules and no body markings will be allowed. After she's financially independent she can do whatever s/he wants.

And boy those Dallas area girl scouts must be a lot more adventurous than these SE Texas ones. All of the older girls I've seen here are decidedly... unhip. I think I would be kind of glad for Baby Girl to be exposed to a "cool" older girl scout in the hopes that she would stay in longer. If that makes sense.

Tara R. said...

I can't say a lot about tats since I have one too. My daughter did wait until she turned 18 to get one of her own. I have found that younger kids are more fascinated by tattoos, just wanting to look at them, but don't necessary want to get one.

I'd be more worried about odd hair coloring wishes.

Frogs in my formula said...

Squishy? Bwaahahaha!

I too was a Girl Scout several (ahem) years ago and I always wondered if I had a little girl if she'd be a Scout and how the organization would have changed. Thanks for the interesting peek inside...

GunDiva said...

I have two tats, and am contemplating more - perhaps just one or two. Two of my children have ink, and I paid for the first when they were 17. My thought was that it would be wrong of me to tell them they couldn't do something I had done. I did not allow them to get just any old tattoo - it had to have special significance to them and they had to be able to verbalize it to anyone who asked. I also had veto power. Both of them ended up with tattoos that will not embarrass them when they are older and will still have meaning to them (perhaps even more meaning as they get older).

The funny thing is that I'm usually the one one the old fuddy duddy bench next to Pam. I'm getting soft in my old age, I guess.

Tara said...

I have several tats (and will get more). I removed all of my non-ear piercings years ago. I just completed my sixth year add a Girl Scout leader, and to commemorate the 100th anniversary I my next ink will be a Girl Scout tattoo! That is the beauty of Girl Scouting: We accept everyone, without judgement :)