Saturday, April 14, 2012

Thanks to Girl Scouts

About this time is the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts.  I am proud to say I was a Girl Scout, from third grade to sixth grade, back in the mid-60s, prior to the culture wars.  I loved it.  For a girl like me—the only girl in the working class family, one that rarely took vacations or shared in the niceties of the American 
Dream—Girl Scouting was a way to be recognized, to go on trips, to meet people. 

Nowadays we conservatives are warned that the Girl Scouts is a front-group for leftists, that they support “reproductive freedom,” lesbian rights, and other such causes.  Would I let a daughter today be in Girl Scouting?  I don’t know; they don’t seem to be as popular around here, especially with all the church groups, sports teams, dance troupes, and musical/theatre opportunities.   All those did not exist 45 years ago, not like they do today.  If I did have a daughter in Girl Scouts, I would watch out for the feminist teaching that I disagreed with and try to discuss with her, as I have with my son, issues of world view and living with one set of values and beliefs in a culture that often does not prize them.

Girl Scouting in my childhood, however, was a godsend.  And I think it contributed a sense of ambition and self to me I wouldn’t have had otherwise.  I have never felt like I couldn’t do something because I was a woman.  I may have felt held back because of my Kallman’s syndrome, or because of my class, or because of my lack of connections, or my lack of certain talents, and even sometimes (I hate to admit this the most) my faith, but I never felt held back because I was a woman.  I thank the Girls Scouts for that.

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