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Lessons Learned from a Girl Scout

Badges earned represent little life lessons Scouts remember for the rest of their lives. (Photo courtesy of Girl Scouts of the USA)

We're just as amped up for St. Patrick's Day as the next girl, but there's one other celebration we definitely didn't want to let slip by without noticing: today is the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts! They're known for their delectable cookies, but a lot of valuable tips are taught to young girls in between the sales. I spoke with our health editor, Lisa Haney (a Scout until her senior year in high school!), to steal some of the life lessons she learned during her 10 years as a Girl Scout.

Be prepared. "As a Scout, this meant I traveled with a huge, heavy trunk to summer camp," Haney says. "Today, it means I completely overpack but am ready for any possible weather (or fashion) scenario."

Sneaky switch. Haney learned the quick trick many young girls master when faced with changing in front of others for the first time: "Removing my bra without taking off my shirt to change. We were a modest bunch at my sleepover camp. I still use the same technique in the gym locker room."

Little things matter. "There's a simple, pure joy of receiving a handwritten letter in the mail," Haney says. Although we live in a world driven by technology, we're still big fans of snail mail.

Leaves of three, let it be. Safety 101, my friends. Great tip for all of our hiking lovers!

Cop a squat. "It's really not that big of a deal to go to the bathroom in the woods," Haney says. "Unless you disobey the above rule."

Buddy up. Haney's friendly philosophy: why go it alone when a pal can tag along? "There's safety (and fun!) in numbers, whether you're doing something scary at night or going for a run."

Get crafty. Facing a dreary day indoors? Haney still falls back on Scout traditions and blasts those blues away with arts and crafts on a rainy afternoon.

Golden rule. "I still think this rhyme is great advice," Haney says: 'Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other's gold.' Then again, shouldn't they both be gold?"

Bonus! Our associate beauty editor, April Franzino, was a Brownie in grade school and took away a few life lessons herself. "I really learned how to interact and work with my peers in a more personal way," she says. "All of our outdoor activities helped hone a love of nature, too. I love being outside!"

Now you tell us: Were you a Girl Scout growing up? What tricks of the trade do you still use today?

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