WASHINGTON, February 19, 2014 — The conservative right is after the Girl Scouts again.
The right is trying once again to make people believe that every time we buy a box of Samoa’s we are supporting the brainwashing of our female youth to become lesbian communists.
One of the previous attempts to slander the Girl Scouts of America came in the form of a resolution that would have honored the organizations 100th anniversary in the state of Indiana. During the debate, Rep. Bob Morris informed his colleagues that, based on some “internet research,” he’d concluded that those Girl Scouts were up to no good.
In response to Marshall’s statement, Republican Speaker of the Indiana House Brian Bosma bought 278 boxes of Thin Mints and spent the next day eating them while presiding over the legislature, occasionally offering cookies to his colleagues.
The latest attack of the Scouts was fueled by two secondhand mentions of controversial women.
The first was on the Girl Scouts twitter feed that quoted a Huffington Post article which mentioned notable women, one of which was gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, who supports abortion rights.
The second was on the organization’s Facebook page which posted a Washington Post piece entitled “Seven Women who made a Difference in 2013.” One of the seven was U.S. Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius, who has called for mandatory insurance coverage of contraceptives.
The Girl Scouts made no mention of any political issue in either of these posts. In fact, they did not even write the articles, but simply reposted them on their social media.
The Girl Scout Organization has never made a public stand on any political issue.
Girl Scouts of America spokeswoman Kelly Parisi told the Associated Press that the articles were included to highlight women newsmakers and “to encourage conversations about what it takes to be a female leader.”
Although these particular articles did mention two liberal women, some notable conservative women have been closely aligned with the Girls Scouts over the years either as leaders or as Scouts themselves; women including Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Nancy Reagan, Pat Nixon and Elizabeth Dole.
In fact, every First Lady is the honorary president of the Girl Scouts, including the Republican ones.
As the extremists from each side fight over the alleged pro-abortion agenda and Planned Parenthood association of the group, those at the heart of the issue are being forgotten, the young girls who do not even know what abortions or Planned Parenthood are.
The Girl Scouts was created with a dream of an organization that would bring young girls out of their homes, to serve their communities, experience the out doors and to develop self reliance and resourcefulness. Commitments that continue today.
The Girl Scouts of America is an organization dedicated to the development of young girl’s character for future success. Today, there are more than 3.7 million members in 236,000 troops throughout the United States. Since its founding, the Girl Scouts has grown to include more than 10 million girls and adults in 145 different countries.
After the untimely death of Andree Clark in 1919, daughter of one of the richest and most powerful men in the country, Senator W.A. Clark, her parents found her diary. To their dismay, they discovered what an unhappy child their daughter had been until she was allowed to join a local Girl Scout troop. The days in the troop allowed her life some true joy. Upon this discovery, the Clarks donated 135 acres to form the first ever Girl Scout camp, which is still in existence today making happy memories for hundreds of other girls.
The number of lives that the Girl Scouts have touched since 1913 is too numerous to mention.
There is no reported case where a Girl Scout was taught political dogma during meetings. Instead, Girl Scouts are taught only to be confident and self reliant young women.
It is difficult to understand who would have oppose that message, unless confident and self relient young women are actually what radical conservatives are oppose.
It is true that the Girl Scouts of America has made some controversial decisions, but they have always been made to ensure that no girl who wanted to become a scout would be denied.
The founder of the group, Juliette Gordon Low, set the tone as to what was going to be important to these young girls from the first day when she sold her pearls in order to finance the organization.
Some were concerned in the early days of the Girl Scouts because these girls were taught “boyish” activities such as going outdoors and survival skills. Today they learn aerospace, computer science and economics.
Whenever people point to the Girl Scouts “radical” policies, it is almost always based on the organizations inclusion policies.
In accordance with state laws, many of the early troops were segregated, but this did not prevent the organization from reaching out to non-white girls. A troop for black girls was founded in 1917, in 1921 a troop for Native American girls was formed and in 1922 a troop of Mexican-American girls was formed in Texas. Martin Luther King, Jr. once credited the Girl Scouts as leading the national push toward integration by holding camps for girls of all races.
The Girl Scouts Beyond Bars (GSBB) program was established in 1992 as a partnership between the National Institute of Justice and the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, and has grown to serve thousands of girls across the country. GSBB equips girls ages 5 to 17 whose mothers are incarcerated with the tools they will need to succeed, while also strengthening the mother/daughter bond through regular visits.
In 1992, Girl Scout leaders decided that girls with different religious beliefs should not be forced to lie or be eliminated from the Scouting program due to the Girl Scout Pledge. They are now allowed to replace the word “God” in the pledge with whatever word works best for them. The Boy Scouts of America adopted the same policy in 1999.
The most controversial decision for critics of the organization today is the inclusion of a transgender child. In 2011, seven year old Bobby Montoya applied to be a Girl Scout as a transgender child. Montoya was initially denied by the local Colorado chapter but the organization overruled that decision and clarified that Montoya must be allowed in. In a statement, the organization said, “We accept all girls in kindergarten through 12th grade as members. If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.”
The Girl Scouts of America is a strong organization that has always put the best interests of young girls before their own popularity; the same cannot be said for the activists who continually try to find obscure evidence to hold against them.