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Are the Girl Scouts Right for Catholic Girls? Comments

Girl Scouts is an organization that has always committed itself to teaching girls wholesome skills, such as self-respect, the ability to communicate effectively with other people, and the tools for leadership. Or so we thought. Parents send their daughters to Girl Scouts because it has the reputation of being a program that instills values and builds character, but it has become increasingly clear recently that parents, especially Catholic ... Continue Reading

11 - 20 of 33 Comments

  1. Matt Jones
    2 years ago

    To the Catholics who think they can make the Girl Scout program compatible with the Catholic faith by picking and choosing which materials to use and which to exclude, do you realize that you are still supporting the national Girl Scout organization through your yearly dues and cookie sales? While you are making sure that nothing illicit reaches the few girls in your troop, you are funding the printing presses which produce Planned Parenthood-approved materials that are distributed to thousands of other girls around the country. Since the Girl Scouts USA financially supports the World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides, your money also goes to fund the Planned Parenthood agenda around the world.

    I applaud Representative Morris for his courage to articulate an uncomfortable and inconvenient truth. I encourage you to prayerfully reflect on his message and act in accordance with your conscience.

  2. Cynthia Stewart
    2 years ago

    If I recall correctly, there is girls organization called "heritage girls; more christian and better than the girlscouts-check this out.

  3. Sharon R
    2 years ago

    Thank you so much for this article. I have been trying to convince friends and family that a relationship exists between GS and PP for about three years, but back when I first heard about it the relationship was officially denied by GS and seemingly veiled in secrecy. I could not find firm resources evidencing the relationship. My daughter belonged briefly and I never saw any of the official materials, so the provision of details regarding the materials will be extremely helpful to me in defending my anti-GS position. Thanks all for the information regarding AH. Another alternative that I have been leading at my daughter's school for two years is called Little Flowers under the patronage of St. Therese. That program teaches about women (and girl) Saints and their exemplified virtues.

  4. Stewart Phils
    2 years ago

    To Suzanne, OPEN YOUR EYES to the truth. The NFCYM does not speak for the USCCB. In fact, the NFCYM on their own website refers webvisitors to resources that promote abortion. The NFCYM position statements address nothing ... that is why the USCCB is right now investigating GSUSA and all these issues. You say "Organizations like this one take no responsibility for the lies or hurt they are causing. Girls and adults are being hurt. We are a movement of values." What are you talking about? The information presented in this article is documented. The only one hurting girls is Girl Scouts USA by their repeated promotion of resources and role models that promote comprehensive sex-ed and abortion rights.

  5. Mary Fitzgerald
    2 years ago

    As a Girl Scout leader and a practicing Catholic, I review the materials that GSUSA provides & determine what will be presented to our troop. We choose not to do the Journey programs & focus on badges and activities that interest the girls & promote a wholesome agenda. Our troop meets on Catholic church property & consists of girls of many religions. We actively discuss religious beliefs & differences with the girls and ask girls of different faiths to share their beliefs. We have also been learning/earning the media savvy badge/interest project & teaching the girls about media bias & distortion in news reporting. There is a lot of GS program material out there & you have to pick & choose what to present.

  6. Diane
    2 years ago

    I was saddened to read that yet again, a so called Catholic by the name of Chavez is in charge. We really do have "enemies within" the Church. I should know. I come from a family of them. I'm the only faithful Catholic in a family of 12 children. All have apostatized or remain in the Church while in a state of rebellion against Church Doctrine. They believe in abortion, sterilization, etc. They charged me with being racist because I wouldn't vote for Obama because I knew he was pro abortion. One of them said I was using prolife as a cover for racism. How cruel. Trust me when I say there are no people meaner or more self righteous or smug than bad Catholics like them. After all the verbal abuse from them, I have broken all ties with them. Our poor Church, to have such wicked and disobedient troublemakers such as so called Catholics like them and others with corrupted Faith. I hope the Holy Spirit is going to purify the Church now of such evil people.

  7. Suzanne
    2 years ago

    As a Catholic Girl Scout Leader for over 25 years. I am tired of the misrepresentation by so many organizations like this one. Please refer to the official "Catholic" arm of the Bishops. The National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry for official statements. Every person needs to be treated with Human Dignity. Organizations like this one take no responsibility for the lies or hurt they are causing. Girls and adults are being hurt. We are a movement of values.

  8. Sandra
    2 years ago

    I really do like that in many areas the "National Program Portfolio" (The Girls Guide to Girl Scouting (level appropriate) and the Leadership Journey series) IS NOT being used. Thus far, most of the corporation's (Girl Scouts of the United States of America, Inc a.k.a. GSUSA) franchise holders (councils) have NOT taken a hard line that the adult volunteers that work with the girls in a "traditional "pathway" (Girl Scout Troop) MUST use only the current and approved materials.

    However, for an adult to earn or be awarded any adult recognitions from the corporation for their volunteer work, they have to be using the national program portfolio. (The Girls Guide to Girl Scouting (level appropriate) and the Leadership Journey series)

    Many Catholics, many Christians, many people of faith, many that try to uphold traditional American values, have very strong reservations about the materials as written and published. Most readers are familiar with the conflict of interest because of the connections to organizations like Planned Parenthood; there are other questionable groups that have their message endorsed by the new materials.

    The corporation is more concerned about the economic stability and survival of the corporation, than about the Girl Scouting Movement, or the membership of girls AND adults that place an importance on the values that were once the reason for the existence.

    The organization structure WAS for the paid "professionals" and staff (the corporation) TO SUPPORT the organization, mainly the volunteer (unpaid) Troop Leaders and other Girl Scout adults in development of programs, training of leaders, maintenance and standards for camps and other out-of-doors facilities. Councils were to be LOCAL and meet the individual needs of their specific communities.

    The governance of the corporation was to be in the form of a representational assembly and a elected Board of Officers, with delegates from the adults and the older girl membership. Since the 1990s the organization has been taken over by the corporation. The Board of Officers are now the same as any other not-for-profit corporation's Board of Directors (made up almost entirely of like minded people that sit in governance on each others' organizations/corporations). Very few of the employees and Board of Directors have any sort of direct relation ship with the membership, let alone any volunteers.

    Bless them, the average volunteer (aka Troop Leader) is a mom that wants to spend quality time with her daughter, and with other girls. Most of these ladies at one time or another were Girl Scouts themselves, if only for a year or two. But they want those traditional experiences of learning skills (and earning badges); community service; patriotic duty and outdoor (camping) experiences. They want a safe place for the girls to grow, learn to work together and to lead each other, to be prepared to be active, involved and resourceful citizens in their communities, and in their families.

    American Heritage Girls, founded by a number of former Girl Scout leaders and volunteers back in the 1990s, is doing that still today. And with the most recent program changes with the GSUSA, more and more girls and adults are joining them, and other similar groups.

  9. Doc Kimble
    3 years ago

    Girl Scouts are supposed to learn the value of friendship. It not being a very good friend if you have information that might harm her, and you don't pass it along. It would be a foolish troop leader that didn't at least listen to the spoken fears of her girls, assess the threat, and either remove it or explain why it is not a real and present danger. Kids aren't born knowing where all the dangers in the world are. You, as a parent or leader have a good working understanding of what to do to avoid most of life's threats to security and happiness, and it becomes a goal to bring as much security and happiness into the life of your girl as life will allow. Becoming a mother has brought much happiness along with challenges, and you would want your child to not have the opportunity to grow into that same person you are some day. So why on earth would Girl Scouts want to associate themselves with Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the USA ? When you think how school counselors can, and have, taken girls to abortionists without parent's knowledge, would it be a good parent, friend or leader who downplayed or dismissed the threat that Planned Parenthood poses to the future security and happiness of any girl?. .

  10. William Lyons
    3 years ago

    Girl Scouts: The Awful Truth
    By Betsy M. Galliher

    Indiana freshman Representative Bob Morris is learning the hard way that the Girl Scouts of America is to the progressive agenda as the Komen Foundation is to Planned Parenthood, and the Catholic church (or so Obama presumed) is to an Obama abortion mandate. What is -- in one word -- cover.
    In a private e-mail to fellow House members, leaked to a northern Indiana paper, Morris outlined why he chose to abstain from a nonbinding resolution honoring the Girl Scouts of America on its 100th Anniversary -- an organization Morris believes to have become increasingly "radicalized," with ties to Planned Parenthood, the United Nations, and abortion and LGBT advocates.
    Overnight, Morris became the fodder of mainstream media and late-night hosts. Even Morris's fellow Indiana House Republicans joined in the mockery, purchasing cases of Girl Scout cookies and crunching away in front of Morris during a House session. Indiana House Speaker Republican Brian Bosma went so far as to don a Girl Scout badge sash for a Gridiron dinner in the same week, where featured as each table's centerpiece was a box of Girl Scout cookies marked "Caution: Contents Radicalized."
    It comes as no surprise that calling out one of the great vestiges of iconic girl power and time-honored Americana garners great public outrage, especially amongst Morris's fellow Republicans, where real honor appears to be going along to get along. What Morris's fellow Republicans fail to understand is that in collective outrage, there is truth -- exposed. And the truth is that, for all the generations of earnest, jumper-clad cookie entrepreneurs the GSUSA has lovingly nurtured, the organization is moving left at a fast clip, even if only at its highest levels of leadership. This may be news even to most scouts, if not the parents, citizens, and business leaders who volunteer their time and talent as troop leaders. In fact, it might be news to anyone who doesn't understand the language of progressivism -- global, reproductive rights, climate change, empowerment, diversity, sustainability, fairness, community, social justice, universal, green -- think nearly any advocacy, save capitalism.
    Still, the larger point seems to have been lost amidst all the shock and awe Morris elicited. Why are the accusations so altogether unthinkable in the first place?
    Full disclosure: I am as endeared to the doe-eyed keepers of the Thin Mint for which I would sell my soul most days as anyone. I cringed when I heard Morris's original remarks. It was just the crazy talk the left feeds upon -- and the right, consequently, takes such pains to avoid. These were the Girl Scouts of America he was talking about, for heaven's sake. Like millions of other scouts and now a parent to scouts, I've experienced only the best Girl Scouts has to offer -- lessons in leadership, character, entrepreneurship, Christian ideals, service to others, and macramé -- under the tutelage of leaders with no pretense or agenda.
    Frankly, what Morris was suggesting was so far-fetched that it was almost as unthinkable as suggesting that Republicans don't always have conservatives' best interest at heart; the church has been infiltrated with agents of social justice; our own prestigious military has in its ranks enemy Islamists and apologists; the public education system to which we entrust our children is full of radical, anti-American educators; the mainstream media -- the fourth estate -- is a virtual arm of one political party; women's reproductive health includes the right to practice infanticide; and Sesame Street Muppets endear children to government. What's next -- asking us to believe that the man elected to keep the American dream alive could govern antithetically to individual liberty? Shall we see if James O'Keefe can fit into a brownie uniform?
    The question we should be asking ourselves is, why not? Why wouldn't we expect the Girl Scouts of America to have contemporized its agenda with the willing assistance of progressives, as has every other American organization under the sun? No one doubts that the vast majority of GSUSA troops function fairly autonomously, as intended, with nary a murmur of Planned Parenthood, but it still behooves parents to know the company their daughters keep (literally) and the agenda that company espouses -- the same company to whom millions of scouts entrust $750 million in gross cookie sale revenue annually.
    Here's just a sample:
    GSA's CEO, Anna Maria Chavez, served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Urban Renewal and Community Development under former Arizona Governor, Janet Napolitano. Napolitano vetoed a ban on partial birth abortion, along with legislation requiring parental consent for minors during her governorship. Chavez calls Napolitano her "mentor."
    Troop Capitol Hill - an honorary, bipartisan, Congressional Girl Scout troop - in conjunction with GSUSA's Policy and Advocacy office, helps to create public policy benefiting girls, and to bring Girl Scouting to underserved communities. Troop Capitol Hill has been lead, at one time or another, by Senators Barbra Mikulski (D), Susan Collins (small r), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D), and Kay Granger (small r). According to the GSUSA website, "The Honorary Congressional Girl Scout Troop has helped Girl Scouts of the USA secure nearly $15 million in federal funding over the past few years. These funds have been distributed to Girl Scouts councils for innovative programs in public housing, rural communities, and prisons."
    GSA's Media Relations Expert and Spokesperson, Josh Ackley, was the founder of the now-defunct band, "Dead Betties," a homoerotic band with a disdain for the mainstream. In addition to his media duties, Ackley has been involved with Scout delegates to the United Nations.
    GSUSA Public Policy and Advocacy Associate, Clare Bresnahan, is also a fellow at the New Leaders Council, an organization "Training The Next Generation of Progressive Political Entrepreneurs." According to Bresnahan's bio at the NLC site, she is "armed with a background in social justice and nonprofit advocacy..."
    While GSUSA claims no formal relationship, as early as 2004, then CEO, Cathy Cloninger, gave an interview to the NBC Today show in which she stated GSUSA partners with Planned Parenthood. In fact, Up to two dozen individual councils have openly admitted to partnering with Planned Parenthood for sex "education" materials, including the pamphlet, "How to Know You Are Ready For Sex."
    Betty Friedan, the co-founder of NOW and NARAL, sat on the GSUSA Board from 1970 to 1982.
    In 2010, the GSUSA partnered with the Urban League, urging scouts to pledge their time and commitment to the "I am Empowered" initiative working toward the goals of affordable healthcare; safe, decent, affordable, energy efficient housing on fair terms; access to jobs with a living wage and good benefits; and every children ready for college, work, and life by the year 2025.
    Every Girl Scout, through annual dues, is a member of and contributes to the WAGGGS, or Worldwide Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Here is WAGGGS statement (in part) to the UN's Commission on the Status of Women:
    We demand access to comprehensive sexuality information, services and supplies for all young people. We need it today - and today needed to be yesterday. The young people from more than 20 countries and every continent collectively demand their sexual and reproductive rights:
    --All young people must have access to comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services, including contraception and emergency contraception, in order to avoid unintended pregnancies.
    --Accessible, affordable and safe abortion should be made part of the minimum package of sexual and reproductive services.
    The WAGGGS and GSUSA partner to sponsor an annual World Thinking Day, celebrating sisterhood in "global thinking," This year's theme is the United Millennium Development Goal no. 7, "we can save our planet." Here is the WAGGGS statement:
    The poorest people in the world are the ones who will most feel the effects of environmental degradation and climate change. Ensuring environmental sustainability is a critical foundation for ending this poverty. Girls and young women of all ages around the world are also differently and disproportionately affected by the consequences of environmental degradation and climate change.
    The World Thinking Day theme for 2012 is Millennium Development Goal 7: "we can save our planet" and the aim is to raise awareness of the environment and the impacts our lifestyles and choices have on it, so together we can, as one Movement, speak out and take action to save our planet.
    Environmental sustainability is the seventh of eight areas of focus made by 189 world leaders at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000. It is part of the WAGGGS Global Action Theme, which encourages girls and young women to make a personal commitment to change the world around them by linking to an important agenda: the United Nations' Millennium Development Goal.
    The GSA's Leadership and Board reads like the who's who of leftism -- not that you would know from their accomplished bios at the GSUSA site. The more provocative findings will require one's own research. There are personal connections to Amnesty International, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Human Rights Campaign, the National Council on the Research of Women, Women's ENews, the green movement, and the wholesome and teen-friendly (cough, cough) MTV. One GSUSA board member actually sits on the board of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Family Watch International does an excellent job of detailing the connections.
    Anyone can do the research -- even just a read of the GSUSA site itself -- from the heroines the Girl Scouts' literature promotes -- Elizabeth Gurly Flynn, for one, a founding member of the ACLU and chairwoman of the Communist Party -- to recommended links, Media Matters, and "teenwire," to name just two; and readings, Girltopia and Journeys. Simply put, the evidence is more than overwhelming that the GSUSA is proving to be just one more illustration of the quiet creep of progressivism. For anyone who believes that progressivism must be exposed in all its insidious glory -- rooted out whenever and wherever it is found -- relying on the good faith of any organization, even the iconic Girl Scouts of America, is an unaffordable luxury.
    And yet, as a private entity, with questionable tax-exempt status, considering that it is arguably politically active, the GSUSA is free to contemporize as it sees fit. There are plenty of parents who will happily embrace the change, if not simply refuse to question the organization's intentions. Sounds like a voting bloc to me. Others, like Morris, will opt for an organization that defines character as he would for his own daughters, such as the American Heritage Girls, formed in 1995 as an alternative to the GSUSA, "dedicated to the mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country."
    In a second letter to Indiana House members, Morris subsequently apologized for painting the entire Girl Scout organization with such a "wide brush" and for the haste with which he did some of his research. While Morris bemoaned Michelle Obama as the organization's honorary chair -- and I agree, Mrs. Obama's fondness for tyranny is no example to young, capable, idealistic girls -- it is true that every First Lady since Edith B. Wilson has served as chair. Mrs. Obama might have a thing or two to say about all those cookies, especially considering that she has enlisted the GSUSA to her Let's Move! campaign of government largesse, but she herself can hardly be blamed for the GSUSA's leftward lurch. Still, Morris owed fellow Republicans -- likely most interested in teaching Morris a lesson in pecking order -- no apology, in my thinking. Perhaps when the Girl Scouts introduce the Sandra Fluke merit badge in contraceptive affordability, Republicans will better recognize testicular fortitude when they see it.
    Once progressivism takes root, it's nearly impossible to weed out entirely. With the honor the GSUSA still evokes, it might be downright impossible. A generation of young, empowered girls can carry a lot of water for progressives. It is infinitely easier once that generation no longer knows God, Country, or conscience. Most unfortunately, failing to recognize progressive cover is usually a lesson realized once it's too late.

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