More on the Girl Scouts

Part 2 of my story on the Girl Scouts of America is up at the National Catholic Register. It goes through some of their problematic learning materials, leadership connections to gay rights groups, and the responses of both the GSUSA and the USCCB.

GSUSA has, in fact, been responsive to complaints in the past, removing bad links and changing troubling learning resources. Others remain, and new ones are likely to crop up, but it’s quite possible that they are committed as an organization to changing things at a national level based upon complaints from parents and religious groups. I hope this is the case.

However, the problem remains structural. Because of their organization, troops and councils have a great deal of latitude. Lacking firm mandates from the top, leaders have a much greater effect on the local experience than they do in Boy Scouts. This is good when you have good leaders who are attentive to the values of their charges, but it leaves an awful lot up to chance.

On that note, I’ll leave you with work of GSUSA’s spokesman Joshua Ackley. That’s him in the newspapers in the first video. Yeah, he’s masturbating with newspapers, which is just … ick. And ouch. [NSFW]

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Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • victor

    In addition to “And ouch.” the judges would have also accepted “What is black and white and red all over?”.

  • Thomas L. McDonald


  • Karen

    Please, what should women’s roles be? What do the Bishops think we should be permitted to learn? I have tried for years to get a conservative to give me a straight answer to this question: what should women be permitted to do?

  • Thomas L. McDonald

    Er … what? Was there someplace in that post that discusses what women’s roles should be?

    Why do you need conservatives to tell you what women’s roles should be? Don’t you know that yourself? If they didn’t give you a straight answer, it’s probably because you’re asking a loaded question which has as many answers as there are women on the planet. Each is a unique child of God who has an opportunity to make of her life whatever she can. If you’re trying to get your interlocutors to say more or less than that, then maybe that’s the source of your discontent with “conservative” answers: you’re not looking for a real answer: you’re looking for an entry point to a screed.

  • Elizabeth M

    I think you’re missing the point. The Bishops are looking into these concerns because PARENTS of young girls were worried about what they were being exposed to in Girl Scouts and have brought it to the attention of the USCCB. This has nothing to do with what women’s roles are or what women learn. Grown women can make their own choices and always have. It is perfectly reasonable that the Bishops would listen to these parental concerns since so many Girl Scout Troops are officially connected with parishes. If the Girl Scout lessons, materials, goals, etc. are no longer in line with Catholic teaching — especially in the teaching of children — then that is a perfectly legitimate thing to determine. Catholic parents are allowed to decide for themselves if their daughters can join Girl Scouts or not. If the overall message and priorities of the GSUSA is no longer compatible with Catholic beliefs, then Catholic parishes may have to break from official relationships.

    That’s all. This issue, this article has NOTHING to do with women’s roles and everything to do with what Catholic parents need to be aware of so they can make an informed decision. For young girls (as young as 6, keep in mind), some of these current trends in Girl Scout materials are certainly worth examining more closely.

  • ProlifeCatholic

    Thanks Tom for covering this. Because of misinformation, promoted by both GSUSA and some misinformation circulated about GSUSA, it sure takes a lot of time and research to dig thru fact vs fiction and get to the truth. GSUSA, WAGGGS and several councils are problematic. Most of the families at the troop level are beautiful. Why not take your girls to a great wholesome alternative like American Heritage Girls (partners with BSA) or Little Flowers? (or BSA even has co-ed Venturers for older girls). We’re not talking about boycotting someone like Gap, Chevron, or even Komen, who gives to Planned Parenthood. We’re talking about supporting an organization that exposes young girls to issues clearly in conflict with the teachings of our Holy Mother Church. May God richly bless you for warning families and having the courage to share the truth. And BTW, 100questionsforthegirlscouts liked your articles:

  • Katie

    What about Camp Fire USA (formerly Camp Fire Girls)? A friend of mine participated in that with the rest of her family and had a great experience. Much less segregated/more family- and outdoors-oriented than GS. And if there’s not a council nearby they can send you their resources/material for your family to use.

  • HonestGirlScouts DotCom

    In much of the nationwide connections I have seen with Girl Scouts of the USA and Planned Parenthood, other “non-formal” education groups listed with them are YWCA, Boys and Girls Club, Girls Inc., and Camp Fire Boys and Girls. You must look into it further. Progressive leadership has infested and invested in most youth groups that are secular.