One hundred years ago today (tonight, actually), a woman by the name of Juliette Gordon Low returned to her home in Savannah, Georgia, having been in the UK to meet with Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting movement. It was then that she made a phone call to a distant cousin, saying:
“I’ve got something for the girls of Savannah, and all of America, and all the world, and we’re going to start it tonight!”
At least that's what they say led to the founding of the Girl Scouts of the USA, but it reminds me of a spoken line in a Broadway musical, the one right before someone bursts into song. It didn't happen in this case.
As we enter into the cookie-selling season, I am going to find it hard to say no, even as I may presently have a good reason. People are taking exception to the affiliation in recent years of the GSUSA with Planned Parenthood, which is apparently all to eager to assist the organization with teaching girls about womanhood. (Maybe I should just slip a twenty to one of the adults and say, "Here, keep it to yourselves and don't go buying birth-control for these little tykes, okay?" Just a thought.) One of the local parishes in Virginia recently disassociated itself from the Girl Scout troop it was sponsoring. Maybe that was the right thing to do, I don't know. But I do know, in the words of one seasoned veteran of my acquaintance, that "all Scouting is local." If Scout units, boy or girl, want to raise the bar on its value system, as long as they don't clash with the front office, it's not a problem.
You have to wonder what the girls themselves make of all this. [Cue video at left.]
One answer may lie in that the older youth programs of the GSUSA are failing miserably, and teenaged girls are flocking to the high school-college age program in the BSA known as Venturing, where they tend to dominate in the youth leadership. That's right, girls leading the way in Boy Scouting.
Fact is stranger than truth. And girls just wanna, they just wanna ...