What do you think of Girl Scouts?


#1

I have had a less than pleasant experience being a jr troop leader this year & am wondering if the awful attitudes I have experienced in other girl scout troop leaders here locally is found elsewhere or is the prevailing attitude or just an isolated experience??

I have had some good experiences as well…just looking for feedback here.

I am considering the Pilgrams of the Holy Family program for our family as an alternative.
Thanks,
Renny


#2

Since understandint that the Orginization permits the various troops to support Planned Parenthood, I’ve not bought a box of cookies in years.


#3

It’s been about 5 years since my daughters were involved…but I was always pretty amazed at the enthusiasm of the troop leaders we encountered. It was certainly not something I could have managed with such consistency (some kept their troops together and active for 8-10 years!!). Perhaps your locale does not have a strong tradition of scouting or is not well supported by the national organization~and another group would suit you better.


#4

Coming from a former GS leader, I personally think that the vast majority of them are terrific!:slight_smile:


#5

Could we puuuleeze not hijack the thread in this direction? I know sooo many troops organized out of Catholic schools/parishes and run by great Catholic moms/troop leaders that never have a thing to do with PP and DO offer great life lessons and experiences to the young girls who get involved.


#6

In no way shape or form is this an attempt to hijack. OP asked what I think of girl scouts, I answered. Sorry if I offended. That is what I think. My opinion.

To the OP, yes, I would be of the opinion that finding an alternative group is a great idea.


#7

The *idea *of GS is great, and most of their curriculum and badges are positive-- but I think that girls can get that from Catholic organizations like the Little Flowers which also incorporate Catholic values and a Catholic world view.

I think the day GS started offering merit badges in things like “family planning” and “AIDS Badge” --which encourages them to “negotiate saf sex” with their parnters (plural!)-- and started spouting feminist “empowerment” nonsense is the day it went completely off the tracks. They self-describe as a ‘movement’.

While each troop can be shaped by its leaders-- and offensive badges can be ignored-- what cannot be ignored is the over-arching national organization that peddles this philosophy. It’s a philosophy that is rotten at its core and I don’t think that any troop can totally escape its influence. It cannot be denied that GS has a relationship with organizations including the UN Population Fund and Planned Parenthood at international, national, and troop level.

I also find the cookie peddling to be offensive and I would never support it. It’s a racket. If GS had troops bake their own cookies, sell them locally, and keep the proceeds-- great. But, this cookie racket is ridiculous and the GS keep a miniscule amount.

I think it’s a shame that it has evolved into something I cannot support. FWIW, I dropped out as a Brownie-- I wasn’t that in to GS. My sister went all the way through to adult and she helps at a GS camp (or used to) and my mom was a troop leader. She was careful about what they were exposed to, however.


#8

Individual girl scout troops are part of and pay a portion of their dues to the national organization. The national organization as part of its agenda supports planned parenthood.


#9

What specifically has been “awful” about it? Are the other troop leaders draftees… as in “mom, if you won’t be a troop leader we aren’t going to have a troop this years… pleeeeeez do it.” That makes a difference! My mom started out that way b/c no one else would do it.

Are the girls having fun? Do you enjoy your troop meetings and activities you plan? Is it taking too much of your time?

Just trying to understand what is at the root b/c changing to another program won’t eliminate all the issues. (Although I personally support going with a Catholic program).


#10

The organization would also allow a Troop to support a Crisis Pregnancy center as well so, are we going to penalize those girls who see the value of life and do what they can to support life?

I just wanted to make sure that we know the flip side of this coin.

You see, girls do get pregnant - it happens whether we want to think it does or not and those Crisis Pregnancy centers are there for them and their babies. If a troop wishes to support a CPC then all the better. Of course I wouldn’t expect a Daisy, Brownie or Junior troop to do so except in a very basic way -say making blankets for the babies where-as a Cadette or Senior troop could get more involved.

The next time you see girls in Blue uniforms selling cookies, ask them what they will be doing with their money - nine times out of ten it is for a trip for the troop and has nothing to do with supporting PP. If you are concerned that the Council supports PP (that is more of a problem actually than individual troops) then call and ask to talk to the director and see if she would be willing to work with the local CPC! You might be surprised, especially if you point out that some of her older girls may be getting pregnant and need the services one of these centers can provide her.

Be pro-active about this. The organization is only as good as the girls and their leaders. Council and National (and International) have actually very little to do with exactly what happens within a troop - there are rules but those rules do not have to do with supporting or not supporting any specific organization. BTW, I am not sure exactly how much National supports PP.

Sorry, y’all for that side tracking of this thread.

In my opinion, a Troop (consisting of the girls, parents and leaders) can choose to not do things with other troops and leaders if there is a problem. By the time I was finishing up with my troop of girls (we were together for a good 6 years) we were doing less and less with Council and other troops. You can even make things more family friendly by making sure all the adults are registered (that registration only covers insurance for the girls to be meeting) and get that “extra” insurance for those who can not be registered Girl Scouts (you will have to contact your Council about this but there is an insurance you have to purchase for any events where you have a multi-age, multi-gendered event).

PM me if any of you want more information and I will see if I can explain it better.

Brenda V.


#11

I was in as a child for a year and didn’t enjoy it. I don’t know about my mom’s experience. what I did enjoy when I was young was Y-princesses (formerly Indian Princesses through the YMCA) which was father and daughter (they also have Y-Guides for fathers and sons). I know that the YMCAs also have a version for mothers and children. The program was more focused on outdoor activities and for some reason (maybe because the Y-princesses were run by dads not moms - less gossip and cliquey) all of us got along no matter the age (each tribe would have girls from the age of 5 - fourth/fifth grade) so it was pretty diverse, you weren’t stuck with kids in your own grade or school.


#12

AS A LEARDER-

Locally, the only thing we have to give to National is a portion of our dues. We are not required to have anything to do with PP in our troops, or even in our council.

National Catholic federation Through Youth Ministry also sponsors GS through religious awards.

I think GS is just like any other organization, only as good as the peope who run it on the local level. if you have a leader who gives you fits, the choice is to volunteer or withdraw.

I’m not all that impressed with Little Flower or the other organizations in my area. It was my impression that the only way to get Pilgrims of the Holy Family was to be part of Catholic Heritage.


#13

Nope, you just buy the book and badges. No need to be part of CHC. However, it is integrated as a supplement to the curriculum.

Pilgrims of the Holy Family Handbook
Kerry and Nancy MacArthur

A Catholic alternative to 4-H and Scouts for boys and girls ages 10 and up!

This family activity program is designed to teach proficiency in a variety of life skills for the purpose of developing well-rounded young men and women. 74 challenging achievements for ages 10 and up! Highly recommended in CHC Lesson Plan Guide for the Middle School Years as well as for science in conjunction with The Universe in My Hands.

Theater, Astronomy, Architecture, and Swimming are just a sample of Achievements in five categories, or “Paths,” designed to reflect our own pilgrimage toward our Heavenly Father. Each completed path forms a step named after the five pilgrimage sites of the Middle Ages: Canterbury; Cologne; Compostela; Rome; Jerusalem.

When two-thirds of the activities in a path are completed, participants advance to “Canterbury Pilgrim.” After completing two paths, they advance to “Cologne Pilgrim,” and so on. There’s no “right” order to the completion of activities in any one subject area. This flexible program was designed to accommodate a variety of approaches. This ideal enrichment program is a family-focused, Catholic alternative to scouting and 4-H.

Use with your own family or combine with others to form a Multi-Family Group. The second edition features an expanded introduction, updated resource section, and helpful tips and suggestions to start your own Pilgrim of the Holy Family Group. Softcover. 124 pgs. 8-1/2" x 11"

“I have just reviewed the Pilgrims Handbook and I was very impressed. So easily can this approach fit all types of families, homeschoolers, public, private schooling families. More importantly this type of club would seem to encourage parents to ‘live’ and learn with their children authentically experiencing life, seeking new skills and horizons; and best of all, all activities are loosely woven around the Catholic Faith. So a parent can link together how God is really tied to everything that is worthwhile in life; and many of the worthwhile things are small and incremental as we and God build - who we are.”

  • Diana

#14

Yes, and when you give a portion of your dues you enable them to continue with their agenda which includes association with and support of Planned Parenthood. Guilt by association.

National Catholic Federation Through Youth Ministry does not directly sponsor the GS organization but confers religious awards on girls who have earned them. Not the same thing as putting money in the hands of those whose agenda includes support Planned Parenthood.


#15

with good basis. You should check out links on the GS and the magazines and such the girls read.

Girl Scouts & Planned Barrenhood - Jimmy Akin


#16

This is a really good question…I have had a couple of specific confrontations w/women who I felt were sincerely trying to shame/bully me into what they thought I should be doing…
very silly stuff.
The whole cookie thing has left me a bit bewildered…my daughter sold cookies in the past, but I was -just- a parent, not the troop leader/cookie manager & really had no idea what was involved…very intense…
The root of it all is my lack of organization…which I can handle ok, but that coupled w/the yucky attitudes of some of the Council members is a little too much for me…
The only reason I am still willing to be a leader is that my daughter LOVES gs & wants to go all the way thru to seniors & after having experienced the attitudes of some of the other leaders, I’m not putting my daughter in another troop…

Originally I thought my daughter just was in for the socialization aspect, particularly b/c we are hsing this yr for the 1st time, but now I really think she may have a goal here & I want to help her achieve it if I can decide if this is a worthy goal…or if her ( & my) energy would be better placed elsewhere.

I have never been a gs & was/am curious about other folks’ views/perspectives.

I do have the option of not really being a troop leader, but just doing gs w/my daughter where she & I can pick & choose & my other option is working w/a Brownie troop leader in our church who is very experienced w/gs & a woman I really like. She shares my views about Council & pretty well distances herself but is still very very active.
Hers is not an all Catholic group, however & next yr I would be expected to take in all of the girls. Additionally, I have been approached by council to take in other girls… I was raised Protestant & have nothing “against” the Protestant churches, I just really wanted to have an all Catholic group when I first considered being a leader…while I am all for making a difference, I am limited in my abilities& know the first place I need to make a difference is my home.

Additionally, & off topic, my son who will be in 1st grade next yr wants to do scouts too & some of the same women, naturally, are involved in the boys scouts here.

I do thinks scouts is worthwhile, but worthwhile enough to devote lots of energy? I don’t know.
Thanks for all the input,
Renny


#17

We have not let our girls participate in Girl Scounts, due to the National’s support for PP and the homosexual agenda.

We are pretty fortunate, in that a neighboring parish is establishing a troop of American Heritage Girls. :thumbsup:


#18

Renny -
In 1996 I earned my Gold Award and with that a lifetime membership in GS so I am a little bias. I was for many years a solo scout, which was a wonderful option for me. It meant working on badges with my mom and friends who weren’t in scouts and it meant NO COOKIES.

I did have an awful time at a summer camp but was fortunate enough to go on one Wider Op which was fantastic. If you don’t want to do (don’t enjoy) the leader role anymore maybe your daughter would like to be a solo scout. There are tons of things your daughter would still be able to do as a solo scout. I still get magazines and such from GS USA but I don’t know much about the new programs they offer I think its called Studio2B or something. I do know that GS offers at least one Catholic Badge/pin at least they did way back when and that is one of the highlights of my GS time being in the Cathedral in my GS uniform receiving a pin from the bishop.

If you stay the leader just keep in mind that it is your troop, if parents want something different they can find a different troop for their child. :smiley: If most of the girls have fun, your doing just fine! :thumbsup:

Mary


#19

as a former leader I can fully support Girl Scouts. I felt it was (and still is) a wonderful organization led by very wonderful women.

In all my years involved I never once heard any mention of Planned parenthood however I have heard of them supporting many worthwhile charities and organizations - so if you stop supporting Girl Scouts you will also be supporting many organizations which we as Catholics support. My troup was very involved in our host church’s food pantry, for one. We volunteered at the our diocese run soup kitchen. We made baby blankets for a battered womans shelter. on and on and on.

Oh and I never received the homosexual “agenda”. Is that what they hand out at the homosexual meetings?? :rolleyes: and none of those “objectional” badges that you mention are mandatory - no badges are mandatory. But the fact is that the greatest group getting Aids is heterosexual women who get it through sexual contact so there’s simply no point in pretending that you can talk about Aids without mentioning how not to get it. In fact the first way that the “aids curriculum” mentions on how to prevent aids is to abstain from sex. The curriculum also teaches the girls that they should be kind to people with hiv/aids. Gasp. how horrible!

What I did receive and what my daughter did receive is lots of information on how to be a woman. My daughter has used what she leared many times in leadership roles in our church and at her school. We never once received any objectionable material or were given any objectionable direction. My daughter was never exposed to anything I thought to be objectionable either.


#20

Well, if you move on to another type group will these same girls want to join or will your daughter want them to join? If so, he mom’s are part of the deal.

Perhaps a better way to deal with it would be to establish firm boundaries and be assertive.

The cookie racket would be enough to do it for me. I would not want any part of that. But, one of the other posters mentioned something about being a solo scout and so you should check that out.

Well, if your style is unorganized, and the other moms want more organization can you delegate some of those tasks to them but remain in control? I don’t know, just a thought.

As a chronic control and organization nut, I would have difficulty if my kid was in your troop and you were disorganized. It’s fine for you but it would be hard on me… so maybe you need to find a troop of girls with laid back moms or try the solo thing. If her main deal is to get the badges and go through to a certainn level the maybe the solo thing would be fine with her.

Well, women are women no matter whether its girl scouts, play group, etc.

You might learn a lot from her, if you don’t feel comfortable officially affiliating with her, then just see if you can meet with her to discuss how she does things.

Well, you will have to deal with these women eventually. Just ignore them!

I think scouts or any group can be worthwhile for the child-- but if it’s not your thing, don’t feel guilty about stepping down or moving on. We all have disappointments in life, and your daughter will get over it if you end up puting a halt to scouts-- but, if you can figure out a way to do it or some other group I think it would be great to spend time with your daughter in this way.


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