Girl Guides for ADHDersFire’s burning, fire’s burning
Draw nearer, draw nearer…

A while ago, I reminisced about good times as a Girl Guide. I have very few childhood memories, but incredibly, 40 years later, I can still tie a clove hitch, and I’m a mean fire pit architect: I can build it teepee-style or log cabin.

I’m amazed that I can still remember these things, not to mention the indelible memory of the night we had a séance to channel Lord Baden Powell (the Guiding Founder).

My friend Keri went into a trance and channeled Baden Powell, and we all peppered him/her with questions, only stopping when she went white as a ghost and nearly passed out, scaring the beejeezus out of all of us. What I don’t remember is how we got away with that, right in the Trillium Hall. No doubt about it: Girl Guides was cool.

It was also the perfect place for a hyperactive Chick A-D-D like me.

It had everything I needed: understanding, fun, and enthusiastic leaders; the chance to be wild and crazy within structure; and the self-esteem building of earning badges. And, unlike our school curriculum, they weren’t mandatory badges, they were badges for things we actually liked to do. For a kid with ADHD, this was motivating, achievable, and confidence-building.

I wish I could get badges for overcoming my ADHD

Shortly after my birthday, I found myself yearning for a Girl Guide sash to wear proudly, adorned with my achievements.  I’ve been working so hard since my ADHD diagnosis, and every once in a while, I wouldn’t mind some acknowledgement from someone who gets it.

On the night of my birthday, I was called to switch gears. Fast. My friends had thrown a surprise party for me! (Hey! I should get my Friendship Badge too, now that I think of it…)

It was then that I realized I’d learned how to transition with grace. The problem was, there was no one to share this with. Who would understand? If I’d been working towards a Transition Badge, then it would have been presented at a ceremony, and all the other ADHD-Guides could celebrate with me. We might even have had s’mores around a bonfire.

Roll call

So, all you Chick A-D-D’s out there, I’m taking roll call! Let’s gather ‘round the fire, sing a few songs out of key, tell a few tales, and talk about the badges we’ve earned along the way. Let’s celebrate those victories we’ve worked so hard for!

I’ve laid claim to my Transition and Friendship Badges. What about you?

Here are a few other badges I think we should have in our Girl Guides for Adult ADHDers Troupe. I’ve brainstormed a few items to put on each badge list, feel free to add more, or come up with your own badge suggestions!

(btw – Robin has dibs on the top bunk in my cabin!)

Punctuality Badge

– plan a camp activity, and show up on time to lead it
– arrive on time to weekly meetings at least 2X a month
– make five appointments; keep at least 4/5
– show up at least five minutes early for next outing with your best friend

Keeping Friends Badge

– keep one friendship w/ a girlfriend for at least 3 months
– call or e-mail this friend at least once a week, or take her out to lunch or dinner 2X a month
– remember her birthday and actually do something about it (e.g. send card)
– do not interrupt your friend when she’s speaking during at least 1 out of every 3 conversations

Storytelling Badge

– must keep it to less than 1 hour and less than 10 themes
– story must have a beginning, a middle, and – most importantly – an end
– extra kudos if you get applause at the end! (enthusiastic applause;  not just because you’re finished)

Sobriety Badge

– recognize at least one new addiction in yourself
– pick one addiction; replace with a healthy behavior (e.g. – inhale campfire smoke instead of cigarette smoke)
– replace self-medicating with actual ADHD treatment

Budgeting Badge

– have proper amount for dues for every week for 3 months (borrowing your dues from another Chick A-D-D Guide just before the meeting doesn’t count!)
– save up enough $ to go to Chick A-D-D Guide Camp
– find one way to decrease monthly expenses and put towards savings
– remember to pay all bills on time for at least one month

That’s our Badge starter list… any more?

I’m sure we can come up with more badges to work towards. I didn’t suggest a “Creativity” badge ‘cause I thought that would be too easy. Maybe an “Organization” badge would be good?  Or a “Completing Projects” badge?

Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks for hanging out around the campfire with me! One more rousing round of Kumbaya and then it’s time to close the meeting… for now!


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