According to the Girl Scouts of America website, they were founded in 1912 in order to help girls:
...experience the beauty and the challenges of the outdoors so they might develop self-reliance and resourcefulness. She encouraged girls to prepare not only for traditional homemaking, but also for future roles as professional women in the arts, sciences, and business, and for active citizenship.
Girl Scount alumnae represent 70% of women serving in Congress; 64% of women listed in "Who's Who in America"; 53% of women business owners. Alumnae include Sandra Day O'Connor (the first female Supreme Court Justice), Madeline Albright (the first female Secretary of State), Eileen Collins (the first female space shuttle commander), Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust (the first female president of Harvard) and Katie Couric* (the first female anchor of a network evening newscast).
*We're not quite sure if they should be bragging about that Katie Couric thing or not.
Today, Girl Scouts of the USA has 3.6 million girl and adult members and is the "preeminent organization for and leading authority on girls".
Some of you might remember a few years back when the Girl Scouts came under scrutiny for allegedly being lesbians, pro-choice, and -- gasp -- feminists!
Unlike the Boy Scouts, the Girls Scouts have no official stance on sexual orientation or preference, although they don't permit "sexual displays" or the advocacy/promotion of any particular "lifestyle". (I suppose to the right-wing conservatives their refusal to be "anti-gay" is the same as being "pro-gay").
Connie Matsui (Girl Scout President, 2000) was criticized for promoting (with "enthusiasm") an award-winning film produced by Women's Educational Media called That's A Family! In it, children discusses different kinds of families (for example, parents of different races or religions, divorced parents, a single parent, gay or lesbian parents, adoptive parents or grandparents as guardians) .
And haven't you ever noticed how well those delicious Girl Scout cookies go with soy milk?
For more information on how gay those scouts really are, read On My Honor: Lesbians Reflect on Their Scouting Experience (which estimates that 1 in 3 adult Girl Scout professionals are lesbian).
The Girl Scout Promise includes the phrase "to serve God", however in 1993 they voted to permit the substitution of another word or phrase for "God" (to accomodate those who did not believe in a monotheistic deity or who did not feel that the word "God" appropriately reflected their faith). The Girls Scouts neither require nor prohibit prayer at their meetings - leaving it to the individual troop leaders to decide for themselves based on the spiritual beliefs of all participants.
They do admit that the "motivating force" in Girl Scouting is a spiritual one, however they let the scouts (and their families) decide what that means to them. Sounds pretty fucking evil to me.
Advocates of Baby-Killing?
Although the Girl Scouts are not nationally aligned with Planned Parenthood, some councils have been associated with reproductive-health organization. In 2004 there was a huge controversy in Waco, Texas - resulting in a cookie boycott - when the Bluebonnet Council endorsed a PP education event (at which abortion was never mentioned and no funds were donated). The Bluebonnet Countil also bestowed a "Woman of the Year" award on Planned Parenthood chief executive Pam Smallwood.
The Christian conservatives in Waco were also horrified by the distribution of the book, It's Perfectly Normal, which they compared both to pornography and propaganda. The Girl Scouts official statement was that they have no position on abortion and only offer sex information (without advocating any particular point of view). Of course, that means they're admitting that sex isn't as dirty and sinful as your parents might have told you it is!
"Radical feminist" Betty Friedam sat on the national board of the Girl Scouts of America for many years in the 70s, therefore... the Scouts must be feminist anti-family man-haters! Oh but that's not all... the girls are encouraged to be self-reliant, resourceful, and -- oh the horror -- have a sense of self esteem.
Instead of just earning badges in "homemaking" skills like embroidery and sewing, the Girl Scouts are also encouraged to be try "career-oriented" things and even be -- oh my -- "tomboyish" if they want to.
Man, there is nothing more dangerous than letting little girls feel empowered. Next thing you know they'll be telling the girls that it's okay to think for themselves. I don't know what the fuck we're gonna do then!
I think we should all buy as many Girl Scout cookies as possible, to support these feminist, lesbian training-camps!