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Question: Do you know anything about the Girl Scouts organization and its use in educating girls for global citizenship/tolerance, etc? My daughter is in first grade, and this is her second year of GS. I never suspected there was anything to be concerned about until last week when I read on the American Family Association website that the GS were part of the White House showing of the pro-homosexual film, "That's a Family." Then, the next day I got my leader's magazine (I joined as an adult member when my daughter joined) and the entire issue was on the concept of the global village and teaching girls to respect people of different cultures (nothing wrong with this on the surface, of course) to become" leaders" of tomorrow.
What concerned me was that this was the entire content of the magazine--nothing about education, character-building, etc. that would be important to a future "leader." I just wondered if perhaps you were already a few steps ahead of me on this topic--or if I'm making a mountain out of a molehill...Thanks for any help.
Answer: I hope to find some 1990 notes on Girl Scout badges, but these links may be more helpful. You may also want to read the short article below, which I wrote in 1992. We welcome additional information from other concerned mothers.
UNAIDS/WAGGGS/ICASO Badge: "What is Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting?
WAGGGS’ Mission is: ‘to enable girls and young women to develop their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world.’
What does this mean? As responsible world citizens, we are responsible for ourselves, our communities and for the world at large.
How does WAGGGS achieve this mission? Through its Member Organizations, WAGGGS provides a high quality non-formal educational programme that provides dynamic, flexible and values-based training in life skills, leadership and decision making.
WAGGGS offers projects and programmes at an international level that enable Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to be responsible world citizens through action and activity
Partnership for Trust in Government, a Project of the Ford Foundation and the Coalition for Excellence in Government."
What Types of Activities Do Girl Scouts Do?
Global Youth Action Network
In his Washington Times report, John McCaslin quotes Kathryn Jean Lopez, associate editor of National Review, who wrote that Girl Scout officials "seem intent on a cookie-cutter approach to shaping a new generation of like-minded women with disdain for the past." She described a Senior Scout handbook which contains exercises relating to situations like "ending a pregnancy," or suggestions on how to organize "an event to make people aware of gender bias."
Naturally, Girl Scout badges have come a long way since the days when scouts earned badges for learning to cook. "Did you notice her 'Domestic Violence Awareness' badge?" asked Miss Lopez.
To read the report, click on "Inside the Beltway, Washington Times" (February 6, 2001), then scroll to "Trefoil tattoos." Author John McCaslin writes:
...the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. has become a casualty of political polarization, increasingly identified with leaders and positions of "radical feminism."
A girl with green hair and fingernails also appears in a hip ad campaign unveiled by the Girl Scouts in Georgia: "Yeah, we still wear green. But a lot else has changed." Another ad features a girl's shoulder bearing a tattoo with the Girl Scouts' trefoil symbol.
Shortly after becoming executive director, the Scouts' Marty Evans boasted, "We're not your mother's Girl Scout troop."
Girl Scout Leaders Seek to Delete God
The Girl Scout pledge “to serve God” offends some Seattle Scout leaders. The Totem Girl Scout Council, which represents more than 16,000 Scouts and 6,000 adult volunteers in Western Washington state, has proposed a change in the 80-year-old pledge.
“We want to serve as many girls as possible and encourage diversity,” said Laurie Steward, president of the Totem board of directors, “and we believe reciting the promise may be a barrier for some girls.”
Prospective Scouts who they say might be offended by the reference to God include girls and leaders from American Indian tribes and Southeast Asian immigrant families.
“I don’t think it’s fair to exclude girls who don’t identify that power as their personal savior,” said Carol Cooper, a Makah Indian who leads a Cadet Girl Scout troop in Sequim, Washington.
Some Washington Scouts disagree. “Why do we have to change to accommodate everybody?” asked Lisa Tracy, who leads a troop of 5- and 6-year- old Daisy Girl- Scouts in Redmond.
Apparently the national organization agrees with Tracy. It denied the request to delete the pledge or make it optional. “Girl Scouting is not Girl Scouting without that commitment,” said Bonnie McEwan, a spokes-woman for the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. “If a girl doesn’t feel she can make that promise, she doesn’t have to join.”
Rebuffed by their national headquarters in New York, the Totem leaders have started a national campaign. Seeking support for a motion to change the pledge at the 1993 national Girl Scout meeting, they have, according to the Jan. 10 San Jose Mercury News, sent letters to councils in every major city.
If a neo-pagan practices are significant indications of spiritual preferences, Girl Scout leaders in Santa Clara County, Calif., will support the change.
Last May 17-19, Santa Clara troops gathered for a weekend Camporee - titled “You and M.E.—Mother Earth.” According to troop leader Nancy Zegelin, who attended the
Camporee, twelve and thirteen year-olds from the many troops were selected to participate in a special “initiation into womanhood.”
Their faces were marked with charcoal and their necks adorned with symbolic necklace, said Mrs. Zegelin. The latter represents the “circle of rebirth” and “the sign of the Goddess,” writes self-proclaimed witch Starhawk in her popular witchcraft manual, The Spiral Dance.
Dressed like a Native American, the Camporee leader led the girls through a hypnotic visualization into an imaginary meadow where they met a beautiful spirit “woman” who would be their friend and helper for life.
Zegelin, who was deeply concerned about the New Age-styled ritual, referred to the biblical aspect of such personal, demonic “helpers” as “familiar spirits.” “They are oppressive and destructive,” she explained. “Only the power of God can free the countless victims trapped in bondage by the current demands for spiritual substitutes for God.”
From Under the Spell of Mother Earth: "The Earth is our Mother, we must take care of her. Hayonna, Ho-yonna, Ha-nana... "The fourth-graders happily chanted the repetitive words along with the teacher. Some shook Indian rattles. Others drummed out the beat with elderberry clacking sticks. "I am the forest, I am the trees ... Ha-yonna, Ho-yanna." It was fun. A few Girl Scouts already knew the song and accompanying movements.
From Bill Farley [Manchester UK]: My wife and I have just returned from 4 months in Ottawa/Kanata visiting our daughter & grandchildren.
Last night I came across your article on Girl Scouts. It confirmed what I had already seen happening when we were over there. The badge chart over our granddaughters bed was divided into six portions. The badges in the last portion to be attained were as follows------Aboriginal Awareness--Canadian Heritage--International Trade--Space Exploration --World Cubbing--WORLD RELIGIONS-- WORLD CITIZEN-- Language Strip-- RELIGION IN LIFE EMBLEM [saying on the badge 'my religion is:] ---and last but not least---'My level of faith is:' for which you could obtain a green- a blue- a red and finally a purple Star.
They gave them badges so easily --almost for for no work. I don't need convincing where all this is leading but I am grateful we can share and confirm things in these tempestuous days.