This year I begin my 27th year as a Girl Scout – 11 years as a girl and 16th year as a leader. What is the image you have? For me, it is a community of people who taught me how to camp and a little bit of how to be independent as a girl. It is a way for me to show other girls, who are not part of my own family, how to do things and go places they might not go with their own families. For my own daughters, I hope it has given them experiences and friendships to remember and feel good about. I don’t think either of my own girls would put Girl Scouts up as the #1 thing in their lives; both are involved in band and one is passionate about her youth group and Jewish camp experiences, but I hope I have offered them something to enrich their lives. Maybe they will remember my passion for Girl Scouts.
Today I saw a post on a “Greenblood” group, a group people who love Girl Scouts. Here it is: I didn’t write it, I don’t know who did, but I agree with it. Any organization, job, religion, or school you belong to has its own traditions. It IS what makes it a community.
“WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A MEMBER
I am writing this to clarify what I post. I feel that being a member of GSUSA requires me to live up to a standard. I made the Promise and accepted the Law 56 years ago and they still live in my heart. I was taught to respect the Movement and be proud of being a GS. That meant wearing the uniform, following the Promise and Law, and giving service. As a girl member, adult volunteer and then GS staff person, I constantly worked to uphold the values of the organization.
Some will say I have strong opinions. Yes, I do. Why? Because I know the value of the organization. I cherish the sisterhood and the good we can do in the community. I see girls growing in an environment where they can challenge themselves and explore new opportunities. I also see a decline of traditions and the thread of commonality and consistency we used to share. I have traveled extensively with GS and there were huge gatherings of members…an amazing sight. We could all recognize each other because of what we wore and the things we shared. Not so today.
I think there is less and less information being shared with adults and they are left floundering as to what our policies, standards and guidelines are. Hence, they go off on their own. I really do not think adults choose to intentionally go against the organization. I think they are uneducated. That is what I am trying to do…share our way of work.
I am NOT critical of PEOPLE. I am not always happy with their CHOICES and I will let that be known in the hopes that others who are thinking of following that lead, will think twice before doing it and choose the GS way instead. I would never say anything against a girl. Girls follow what the adults are saying…where they are being guided. The adults need to step up and see that they are the role models. If our role models do not maintain the GSUSA way of work, we will slowly lose everything we stand for. Our image will fade and we will become simply just another bunch of clubs where everyone does what they choose. Please do not let this happen. Juliette Low worked so hard to establish an organization that was full of pride. I feel we are losing that.”