Swift Teens Speak Now
Girl Scouts go rogue.


Kathryn Jean Lopez

The Volanski sisters’ rude awakening about the Girl Scouts puts them in a growing crowd. Patti Garibay is the national executive director of American Heritage Girls, which has grown in the years since its 1995 founding from simply an alternative to the Girl Scouts to being recognized as the more fitting sister group to the Boy Scouts. Just this year the Boy Scouts joined the American Heritage Girls in a joint “Memorandum of Mutual Support.” Garibay explains: “AHG and BSA are both centered on a duty to God. We are ‘owned’ by our charter partners, thus allowing our programs to serve as a ministry of the church. We are structured the same — [e.g.] AHG leaders use the BSA youth-protection and outdoor-skills training.”

And she adds, in response to some of the critics of those concerned about GS mission creep: “Yes, girls need to know about sexuality; but why not within a moral framework of faith, family, and church?” You can’t build character without a moral barometer, Garibay argues.

Anna Halpine, who founded the World Youth Alliance, adds: “A lot of good organizations affiliate with Planned Parenthood, nationally, locally and internationally, since they are the big banner organization that is promoting women and girls, and claiming to advocate their health and healthy lifestyles. I think that many of these groups would find their members agitating to form alliances with other groups if those were available to them. In essence, we need an alternative to the current options.”

It can be hard to be a good girl in our over-sexualized culture. But it looks as if the girls — bolstered by parents, church, and other prevailing bastions of sanity — might just blaze the paths themselves.

You go, girls! And, as in a Taylor Swift song or two, the guys might just follow — and appreciate it more than you know.

Kathryn Jean Lopez is editor-at-large of National Review Online. This column is available exclusively through United Media.


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