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Thread: Girl Scouts

  1. #1

    Default Girl Scouts

    I have a 4 year old and I love the idea of Girl Scouts for her. We are a lesbian family so I want her in environments where she can be open and proud of her family, just like any other child.

    I visited the Girl Scouts booth at the local Women's show and was assured that there is not discrimination and that everyone is embraced. The lady even encouraged me to be a troop leader. Ok.......I felt very encouraged.

    Then, I visited the website of the regional chapter and read the letter from the CEO in which I came across as sentence that went something like this: We do not allow advocacy or promotion of any lifestyle or orientation.

    I was curious to know what that meant, so I called them. I identified myself as a homeschooling mom, but not as a lesbian. She seemed very uncomfortable and kept reassuring me that this sort of conversation would be redirected. We talked for quite a bit and I could tell she has assumed I was very religious. I could tell she relaxed quite a bit when I told her I was lesbian and my daughter has 2 moms. She told me that they have lesbian troop leaders and that she could have one contact me if I'd like.

    I'm still a bit unsure of this. I think we'll probably do it and see what happens. I want my daughter exposed to all sorts of people, even those who disagree with who her parents are, but I do want her respected.

    I am curious to know of any experience anyone has had with the GS and your thoughts on the above.

    It might help to know that we live in Oklahoma and is a city that has a church on every corner......sometimes more.
    Mama to Bella (4 years old)
    Homeschooling her since birth, really
    Co-Owner of Mia Bella Art (with my spouse, who is the awesome photographer)

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Enlightened
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SJayneI View Post
    I have a 4 year old and I love the idea of Girl Scouts for her. We are a lesbian family so I want her in environments where she can be open and proud of her family, just like any other child.

    I visited the Girl Scouts booth at the local Women's show and was assured that there is not discrimination and that everyone is embraced. The lady even encouraged me to be a troop leader. Ok.......I felt very encouraged.

    Then, I visited the website of the regional chapter and read the letter from the CEO in which I came across as sentence that went something like this: We do not allow advocacy or promotion of any lifestyle or orientation.

    I was curious to know what that meant, so I called them. I identified myself as a homeschooling mom, but not as a lesbian. She seemed very uncomfortable and kept reassuring me that this sort of conversation would be redirected. We talked for quite a bit and I could tell she has assumed I was very religious. I could tell she relaxed quite a bit when I told her I was lesbian and my daughter has 2 moms. She told me that they have lesbian troop leaders and that she could have one contact me if I'd like.

    I'm still a bit unsure of this. I think we'll probably do it and see what happens. I want my daughter exposed to all sorts of people, even those who disagree with who her parents are, but I do want her respected.

    I am curious to know of any experience anyone has had with the GS and your thoughts on the above.

    It might help to know that we live in Oklahoma and is a city that has a church on every corner......sometimes more.
    Well... I live in GA where we also have one or two churches on every corner. Our troop meets in a church, in fact. I am the Daisy leader. I am not a lesbian. I don't think this will impede you at all in the Girl Scouts, however. The organization itself is open and welcoming and quite willing to put any gullible soul to work!

    I am not religious. I'm not even sure where I stand with God at this point in my life and I'm not patriotic at all. I admit that saying the pledge every week (which I hadn't yet taught my daughter) and the Girl Scout Promise (on my honor, I will try: to serve God and my country...) still gives me the heeby-jeebys, but... I sort of don't say that part. Nobody seems to notice. Lol.

    Honestly, my daughter is having a great time. I can't imagine anyone looking crosswise at you or her except maybe an ignorant parent. Being a leader,if you choose to do that, is a little overwhelming at first, especially if you--like me--were never a girl scout yourself. We have had a little parent drama in our troop but the larger organization is very supportive.

    The focus really is on the girls getting together and having fun while learning new skills that prepare them to succeed in leadership roles in the future. It starts small with Daisies learning the Girl Scout law and it steadily grows from there. There is nothing inherently anti-gay as far as my experience with the Girl Scouts. They are just doing their best to empower girls to succeed. I think any parent wants that.
    Mom to Z (9)
    and Belly (6)

  4. #3

    Default

    Well, you know that many serious right wingers think that Girl Scouts is some sort of liberal plot, right? And they started something called American Heritage Girls that's a conservative alternative to GS. I'm pretty sure that's why the woman was nervous talking to you. They get angry people who say nasty, homophobic things to them because they refuse to be against same-sex couples and kids. I think they're trying really hard to stay out of the culture wars and people are trying really hard to drag them in.

    I think it's possible that you could encounter intolerance by individuals in a troop, but the overall organization has a history of standing up against that, including on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity.
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  5. #4

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    I love the idea of GS (I was a Campfire Girl as a child). I attended a GS "open house" last year and was completely turned off!! It was the leader...she was a loud-mouth, ignorant, un-cooth women who only "b-tched" about cookie sales. I know it was just the leader. I would still love to get my dd involved in GS, but the leaders here are not very good. I complained to GS HQ. I know I could volunteer to be a leader, but just don't have the time at this point in my life. I hear wonderful stories from friends throughout the US who have wonderful GS experiences....just didn't happen in South GA.
    Patty - homeschooling two great kids (6 & 8). My approach has completely changed since we began in 8/11. I thought "school at home" would be our style, but we are evolving, finding out what works for us.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Enlightened
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    Girl Scouts is all in the troop leader. Good leader, good troop. My dd is a Juliette (independent girl scout) and we get together with some friends who are also registered Juliettes once a month. The girls work towards badges together.
    Kathy, homeschooling my awesome kids Mister B and Little Miss M
    Telling our homeschool story at www.howardacademy.blogspot.com

  7. #6
    Senior Member Evolved Jeni's Avatar
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    Dd has been in Girl Scouts for 3 years now and we both love it. You are very lucky to live in a place that seems so open. I don't think people would respond so kindly around here.
    Jeni - Mommy to:
    G/13, B/9, G/5, B/2, G/itty bitty
    Piedmont-Triad Secular Homeschoolers group

  8. #7
    Senior Member Arrived skrink's Avatar
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    The leader makes all the difference. We tried Brownies years ago and it was an unmitigated disaster. VERY religious, rule bound, dull. This year we tried again and found an extremely laid back troop. The leader is very casual, and it's quite the crunchy group of folks. It's a relaxed atmosphere, not super active, but friendly. We attended the council-wide World Thinking Day celebration last weekend and I was blown away by the differences in all of the troops. If you don't find what you're looking for the first time out, keep looking - there's bound to be a place for you and your daughter.
    Skrink - mama to my 14 yo wild woman

  9. #8

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    I was a GS leader for 7 years. I ended up being a leader because we had a terrible leader for the first year. Find a troop with a good leader, or be the leader yourself. It's fun and the girls can learn all kinds of things. We learned camping skills, knitting, first aid, and all kinds of other stuff. World Thinking Day is a fun event. We also got to spend the night at the zoo in OKC and the Science Museum too. Pretty cool. My daughter is still friends with most of the girls from the troop. My co-leader (also my SIL) & I are second Moms to a lot of the girls, even now during the teenage years.

    Our troop had no religious content, expect the bit in the pledge. We did have our meetings at the local Catholic Church, because they were kind enough to support our troop. We welcomed everyone. When new girls were looking to come into our troop I always had them visit our meetings a couple of times with their parents so they could see what we were like. I say give it a try.
    Last edited by JLeck; 02-26-2012 at 10:36 AM. Reason: typo
    Jennifer, eclectic homeschooling Mom of DS 10 & reluctant public school Mom of DD 15


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  10. #9
    Senior Member Arrived lakshmi's Avatar
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    Girls Scouts sort of freaks me out. Personally I don't like them. Or their damn cookies.

    But I do know that a friend was complaining recently about the troop here because the leader wasn't bubbly.

  11. #10

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    We have some serious issues with girl scouts here, but it's more with the inept people running it than the policies. I tried and tried to get my daughter into a troop a couple of years ago - kept getting told the only troops in the area were based at the public schools, so I contacted those leaders and they wouldn't let my daughter join because she didn't go to the school. The local council said that isn't an issue, she could join any troop I wanted her to join. But the leaders wouldn't even give me the paperwork, so I didn't want my daughter in a group where she would obviously be treated like an outsider by everyone.

    Then we located and joined a troop of all-homeschooled girls, which was nice, except half the time the leader and I and one other family were the only people who showed up to events, and everything was at least 45 minutes away from us. It was an extremely frustrating experience. So, now we are scout-less and pondering 4-H for next year.
    Brandi - mom of J (12, in PS) and E (8, at home)

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