3

It’s Time to Say Good-bye to the Girl Scouts

Who can turn away a sweet little girl, boxes of cookies in her wagon, smiling hopefully at your front door?

And who can turn down the savory pleasures to be found in every box of Thin Mints and Samoas and Savannahs?

Well, I can.

You see, the proceeds from the sale of Girl Scout cookies are divided: You may be happy with your local Scout leader, happy with the projects undertaken by your local Girl Scout Council. However, while a portion of the proceeds of cookie sales remains within the local Council, the funds are shared with the State and National organizations to help in their administrative costs. So every dollar spent on Tagalongs and Lemon Chalet Cremes will help to advance the Girl Scouts’ liberal far-left policies.

Over the past few years, I’ve heard the criticisms of Girl Scouts’ political agenda:

  • their pursuit of a “Self-Esteem” curriculum over the merit badges I remember from my daughter’s Girl Scout days;
  • their removal, in 1992, of God from the Girl Scout pledge; and
  • their leftist, feminist, values-neutral, pro-abortion platform.

Loving Trefoils and Tagalongs as I do, I didn’t want to believe that the dollars I spent on Girl Scout cookies would be used for anything other than a Jamboree weekend where girls could learn about camping and cooking and crafts.

So this year I set out to conduct a little research, before making the “Supremes” sacrifice and jumping off of the Brownie bandwagon.

What I found was a “smoking gun” of innuendo and insinuation, but also overt actions against family values—most notably the organization’s cozy working relationship with Planned Parenthood.

GIRL SCOUTS SEPARATES IDEOLOGICALLY FROM BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA ON HOMOSEXUALITY IN SCOUTING – March 1998

In the 1990s, the Scouting world was abuzz with news of a case wending its way through the courts, regarding the Boy Scouts’ dismissal of a scoutmaster who was openly homosexual. The Boy Scouts issued a statement reiterating that “an avowed homosexual is not a role model for the values espoused in the Scout Oath and Law.” The Supreme Court ultimately defended the Scouts’ right to exclude practicing homosexuals from their organization; but some cautious sponsors withdrew their support for the organization.

Girl Scouts of the USA launched a preemptive campaign, distancing itself from the boys and issuing hasty press releases reconfirming their acceptance of alternate lifestyles. Girl Scouts, they explained, have anti-discrimination policies, while barring sexual interactions between leaders and children. Girl Scout spokesman Juergen Barbusca explained, “Your sexuality has absolutely no bearing on your personal character. You can be a role model for a young man or woman regardless of your sexual inclination.”

The Girl Scouts’ inclusive policy left no assurance, however, that one adult leader would not buddy up to another while on a camping trip.

“PREGNANCY PREVENTION” IN WACO, TEXAS – 2004

In early 2004, a local pro-life organization in Texas, Pro-Life Waco, mounted an advertising campaign on Christian radio, encouraging people to boycott Girl Scout cookies because of the Girl Scouts’ relationship with Planned Parenthood. One of the charges leveled against Planned Parenthood in Waco, Texas, was that they had distributed a book, “It’s Perfectly Normal,” to 700 grade-school girls. That guide, according to reporter Juda Myers (http://www.newswithviews.com/Myers/juda101.htm), celebrates masturbation and includes explicit drawings of couples having sex and a boy putting on a condom, as well as listing nine “good reasons” why women have abortions.

Pro-Life Waco noted that in Waco there was an abstinence organization, called McCAP, but that Girl Scouts has had no working relationship with that group—depending, instead, solely on the abortion provider for its sexuality curriculum. On March 5, 2004, the Today Show’s Lester Holt welcomed Pro-Life Waco’s co-director, John Pisciotta, to discuss the boycott. Was it, Holt asked, a failure—since Girl Scout cookie sales had actually increased?

Pisciotta explained: Well, I don’t call it backfire. I’m very pleased that Girl Scout cookie sales have increased…. We used the Girl Scout cookie sales as a way to educate and to let people know about this relationship [with Planned Parenthood]. And when moms and dads across this 14-county area found out about it, many of them were… outraged by it.

Girl Scouts CEO Kathy Cloninger affirmed that the organization had bowed to community pressure and had ended their partnership with Planned Parenthood, but added that the organization would still in some way try to deal with the problem of sexuality.

“We have relationships with our church communities, with YWCAs, and with Planned Parenthood organizations across the country, to bring information-based sex education programs to girls. It’s really impossible,” Cloninger said, “for girls to grow up in today’s society without having access to good information.” That “good information” includes, apparently, information embracing teen sexuality (including homosexuality), contraception, and the abortion option.

“MODERNIZING” THE GIRL SCOUTS – MARCH 2008

On March 25, 2008 a Wall Street Journal article by Ellen Byron reported that the Girl Scouts were reinventing themselves. Their concern was that they were viewed by many as “a rigid, old-fashioned organization focused on cookie fund-raisers and campouts.” Laurel Richie was in charge of redefining the organization and reshaping its image into a cutting-edge club for “modern” young women. The curriculum expanded to include self-esteem, body image, sexuality, and a renewed focus on gender issues.

CONTROVERSY AT THE UNITED NATIONS – MARCH 2010

In March 2010, the Girl Scouts and Girl Guides co-hosted a workshop at the United Nations, as part of the annual meetings of the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women. At that no-adults-welcome workshop, Planned Parenthood distributed an inflammatory brochure for young women titled “Healthy, Happy and Hot.” The shocking brochure, aimed at young people with HIV, contains graphic details on sex, recommending oral sex as a pleasurable alternative to vaginal or anal intercourse. “Just have fun,” the brochure says, “explore and be yourself.”

According to the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), the brochure goes on to encourage young people to “Improve your sex life by getting to know your own body. Play with yourself! Masturbation is a great way to find out more about your body and what you find sexually stimulating. Mix things up by using different kinds of touch from the very soft to hard. Talk about or act out your fantasies. Talk dirty to them.” (McKeegan, Terrence, J.D., “Girl Scouts Distribute Planned Parenthood Sex Guide at UN Meeting.” 3/11/2010)

The brochure further advocates for privacy restrictions, calling federal laws which require HIV-positive people to tell their partners their health status “a violation of the rights of people living with HIV.” Fear of revealing a secret, hiding drug use, or hiding an extramarital affair are all reasons, the brochure explains, why HIV-infected individuals may need to keep their status secret.

In the interest of fair reporting, I might add that Kathy Cloninger, CEO of Girl Scouts USA, denies that Girl Scouts distributed the pamphlet. There is plenty of evidence that they did, however.

Sharon Slater of Family Watch International and Stand for the Family was at the UN event when the event organizers asked all adults (except for delegates from the seven sponsoring organizations) to leave the room. Slater returned to the room at the conclusion of the girls-only workshop to find “Healthy, Happy and Hot” brochures laid out on a table at the rear of the room. The brochure, produced by the International Planned Parenthood Foundation, encourages casual sex in many forms, and depicts both same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

A few days later, the pamphlets were again distributed at a panel discussion for the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), of which Girl Scouts USA is a member organization. (Drew Zahn, “Girl Scouts hiding secret agenda?” WorldNetDaily exclusive, posted March 10, 2010)

GIRL SCOUTS AND THE SELF-ESTEEM MOVEMENT

“Vision 2020” – As recently as October 2010, GSUSA participated in “Vision 2020”—a national institute of the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership at Drexel University College of Medicine. Vision 2020 focuses on advancing gender equality (emphasis mine) by “energizing the dialogue about women and leadership.”

GIRL SCOUTS ON SEXUAL ACTIVITY AND PREGNANCY

Who is best equipped to explain sexuality to pre-pubescent girls? Not their families, according to the Girl Scouts. Since the family is, according to Scout propaganda, ill prepared to impart values-neutral information regarding the intricacies of sexual expression, then GSA should step up to assume this leadership role. In a report titled Teens Before Their Time (2000), the Girl Scout Research Institute reported that:

“Just as young girls are confronted with difficult ‘teen’ issues like dating and sex at an increasingly early age, they are learning that their family confidantes are often unwilling or unable to discuss such issues.”

Citing a 2006 report on Sexually Active Teens published in the Child and Youth Indicators Databank (ChildTrends.org), Girl Scouts reports on their website that in 2005, roughly a third of both male and female high school students reported being sexually active. The same report showed that more than half of male and female teens have participated in oral sex.

Girl Scouts, on their website, quote the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, reporting that annually there are 750,000 teen pregnancies—81% of them to unmarried young girls.

But in the face of such sobering statistics, GSA turns to just about everyone except the family for assistance. The Girl Scouts’ website fails to even mention the family as a source of strength and moral guidance:

“Youth development, education, health, out-of-school time, social services, and government organizations can have a positive effect on girls and boys as they face decisions related to sexual activity and pregnancy.”

GIRL SCOUTS ON GENDER, RACE AND EQUALITY

Again in the area of gender and race, Girl Scouts USA senses a perilous lack of fairness in the United States regarding matters of gender and race:

Girls understand that equality is still an issue in the United States. They see differences in influence among different groups, in opportunity to gain leadership positions across gender, and even the difference a woman President would make in the lives of other girls and women.

The Girl Scouts further supported a socialist redistribution of resources. Responding to an apparent leading question, nearly 70% of girls surveyed by the Girl Scouts Research Institute thought that wealthy business leaders have too much; nearly two-thirds of girls thought that young people have too little.

A HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE TO GIRL SCOUTS USA

Parents and school groups who favor a club for girls, but who are concerned about the Girl Scouts’ feminist anti-life agenda, do have somewhere else to turn.

American Heritage Girls is a nonprofit Christ-centered character development program dedicated to the mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country. American Heritage Girls was founded in 1995 in West Chester, Ohio, by a group of parents wanting a wholesome program for their daughters, and has a noble Mission that is reminiscent of the Girl Scouts of old:

“Building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country.”

The AHG Oath holds high the values which Christian families hold dear, and to which young women should aspire:

“I promise to love God,

Cherish my family,

Honor my country, and

Serve in my community.”

American Heritage Girls is the first all girls’ organization to partner with the century-old Boy Scouts of America. Recognizing that the Girl Scouts USA no longer shared the values on which the Boy Scouts organization was founded, BSA reached out to form a a new partnership with American Heritage Girls. On June 12, 2009, the two organizations signed a Memorandum of Mutual Support. The document was signed by the National Director and Founder of the American Heritage Girls on the same kitchen table where AHG was founded 15 years earlier.

The Boy Scouts and the American Heritage Girls continue to work cooperatively on service projects, membership growth and programming initiatives across the nation.

For more information on forming a Council of the American Heritage Girls, visit their website: www.ahgonline.org.

 


Kathy Schiffer is the wife of a deacon and mother of three grown children. For more than 20 years she has worked in the Catholic world, as a radio producer, conference director, event planner and media relations coordinator.  She lives and writes in Southfield, MI. Visit her website at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer.
Filed under: »
  • FormerGSinMO

    Ms. Schiffer, I applaud you on authoring such an informative article highlighting so many of the steps that GSUSA has taken to move the organization to where it is today. With all of the information that has come to light, I don’t see how any believing Catholic could also be a member of GSUSA. Those believers who are Girl Scouts haven’t done their homework and don’t understand what they are supporting. Those Catholics who are in positions of leadership and are allowing Girl Scouts to still be promoted in their schools and parishes, also have not done their homework. It is their responsibility to be informed and not lead their flock down the wrong path. Thank you for taking the time to write this article so many more Catholics can find out the truths associated with the Girl Scout organization. http://100questionsforthegirlscouts.org

  • Marcy K.

    This is definitely not the GS I grew up with – learning crafts and going camping. If they had been trying to teach this there is NO WAY we, or our Catholic school, would have been involved. But now it seems that our culture just does not care, and in fact encourages this behavior. I recently finished Teresa Tomeo’s book Extreme Makeover http://www.teresatomeo.com/books-and-media.html which outlines the lies that groups like Planned Parenthood put forth to encourage s-x, contraception and abortion. And how the media cover up and promote these lies. S-x is king in our culture and it trumps everything. Heaven forbid anyone should say we need to keep s-x, and our bodies, special and holy. A woman could walk around in a bikini and be applauded but a woman nursing her child is considered obscene. It is attitudes like this that are spoiling our children like old milk.

    Billboards, magazines at the supermarket, seemingly innocent movies and cartoons, books for children, most popular music, children’s TV, everything is saturated with s-x. Girl Scouts should be a place of refuge from this nonsense. It is the parents, who after all love and care the most for the child, that should be in charge of educating the child in this area. Traditionally this was the case and our society was better off for it. When s-x was a private affair, so to speak, our society was much better off – less pregnancy out of wedlock, less STD’s, less broken families, less confusion and ironically, more self-esteem and pride in ones self and accomplishments. People are being destroyed from the inside out by our culture. The Girl Scouts should be in the forefront of protecting girls from the exploitation in our culture not leading the pack.

  • Thatcoolcat

    May I ask what is wrong with being feminist? I do not see why GSUSA being a feminist organization is wrong. Is it wrong for women to desire and obtain the same opportunities and treatment that men receive? I do not believe that the fact that GSUSA’s feminist standing should be used in your argument against them.