Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Essay: Girl Scouts: liberal or conservative?

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Girl Scouts: liberal or conservative?

From the book: Chum for Thought: Throwing Ideas into Dangerous Waters by David Satterlee

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#GSA #GirlScouts

Chum For Thought:
Throwing Ideas into Dangerous Waters

Girl Scouts: liberal or conservative?

I would like to say a few nice things about the Girl Scouts.

In recent news, Bob “Cookie Monster” Morris, A conservative State Representative from Indiana, made headlines by writing in a letter that the Girl Scouts were “quickly becoming a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood” and were being “subverted in the name of liberal progressive politics and the destruction of the traditional American family values.” There is more, but it starts to get truly ugly.

The fact of the matter is that the Girl Scouts are a fine, conservative, 100-year old organization with the ambition to: “help girls develop self-confidence and good decision-making skills that will help them make wise choices in all areas of their lives.” They believe that girls deserve to be educated, informed, and involved in society – that they should be “given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually.”

Naturally, we have to understand that, 100 years ago, these were all radical, liberal, progressive notions. In America, women weren’t allowed the right to vote until 1920. They were often expected to remain “barefoot and pregnant” or be
the “perfect housekeeper” until well into the 1950s (or even later, depending on where you live.)

The first Girls Scout meeting was organized on March 12, 1912 when Juliette Gordon Low brought eighteen girls together. One hundred years later, 2012 is “The Year of the Girl.” It is estimated that 50 million women in the United States today have been Girl Scouts.
Last year, I had occasion to take a group picture of our local troop for a newspaper feature article. They insisted that the American flag, along with their Promise and Law appear with them in the photograph that got printed. In fact, they were gutsy and assertive about that.

The Girl Scout Law is: “I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.”

So, let me just take this opportunity to make the point that Girl Scouts have earned my vote. I think that we should honor and support these traditions and values of Girl Scouts locally and nationally. And, shame on Representative Morris.