Girls Reclaim Their Heritage
Scouting for a reclaiming of innocence


Kathryn Jean Lopez

‘Bobby identifies as a girl, and he’s a boy,” a Denver mother told a TV station in a news story about her son, who has been accepted as a Girl Scout.

“He’s been doing this since he was about two years old. He’s loved girl stuff, so we just let him dress how he wants, as long as he’s happy,” she explained.

When she first approached the Girl Scouts’ local troop leader about joining, the answer was pretty sensible: But he’s a boy.

But what’s sensible is not always politically correct, so the troop leader subsequently got a talking-to. “Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization and we accept all girls in kindergarten through twelfth grade as members,” the Girl Scouts of Colorado declared. The statement continued: “If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout. . . . In this case, an associate delivering our program was not aware of our approach.”

It should come as no surprise, then, that the Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado is a sponsor of the Girl Scouts of Colorado’s centennial celebration next year.

As the Girl Scout cookie continues to crumble, my heart goes out to Bobby — although being a Girl Scout may only contribute to his confusion.

But his membership may send a clear message to the rest of us. The Girl Scouts today are nothing like the Do-si-do image most Americans have of them. Local decisions about genderless scouting are the tip of the iceberg. To educate parents about the ideological ties of the 21st-century Girl Scouts, Sharon Slater, president of Family Watch International, has put together a website with questions for parents and others to ask about the Girl Scouts. Part of what bothers Slater and other Girl Scout critics is the connection between every troop and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, whose radical agenda, it is safe to say, may not reflect the values of all the families in your local troop.

But the questionable associations do not end there. Christy Volanski, whose two daughters have quit the Girl Scouts, asks me, “Are Girl Scout parents aware that GSUSA is a member of the National Collaboration for Youth (NCY) and that NCY’s home page sends girls to NCY’s Spark Action project for youth, which promotes the ‘We had an Abortion’ campaign, Medical Students for Choice, and Catholics for Choice?” NCY’s chair is a former CEO of the Girl Scouts. A look at the speakers and entertainment at the recent GSUSA convention in Houston indicates the kind of values the national organization is most comfortable with, which move beyond the “traditional” gender model, as its website explains. Like many a self-identified women’s-leadership organization, the Girl Scouts have become all too comfortable in their connections to abortion advocates and other “progressive” organizations.

Slater’s campaign, however, is not a war against the Girl Scouts. “We would love for the Girl Scouts to return to what most people believe they are — an organization focused on developing girls with strong moral character.”