Girl Scouts

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Girl Scouts

Postby Thaibebop » Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:49 pm

Hello all,
My daughter, six years old and in first grade, has just gotten her first invitation to join the Girl Scouts. Now, I know some here aren't from America but I know this is an international group so many might be familiar with them. I know that they have to be diverse by law as they accpect federal funding. However, I have always lived in a strong Christian area with some pretty evangelical mined types, so Boy and Girl Scouts have always seemed to be to be mostly Christian people, not always the nicest either. I know that part of the pledge has to serve God, but they say that this word can be changed by the girl saying the oath to fit her personnal faith.

My concern is that being surrounded by Christians she would really be joining a group of Christians who just all happen to be in the Girl Scouts. I know that many meetings and what not take place in churches and such. My wife thinks this would be good for her and she is born and raised in Thailand as a Buddhist so their is no leanings or fear of any kind in her mind. I am still not sure so I was wondering if anyone here has had any experiences with the Girl Scouts that they would be willing to share, good or bad, and advice is welcome.

Thanks everyone,
:anjali:
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:59 pm

Greetings Thaibebop,

I've had experience with the Boy Scouts. My Dad made me go despite my protests.

Ours might be slightly different though because there's no religion in ours. There was a picture of the queen (of England) on the wall and that was it.

That probably doesn't help... other than maybe to suggest you don't force her to go if she doesn't want to!

Metta,
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:20 am

I checked Wikipedia and see that they are not as adamant on the God issue as the Boy Scouts. A few years back an atheist was kicked-out of the Boy Scouts for refusing to believe in God. But apparently the Girl Scouts don't have that rule.

Some see these organizations as nationalistic and I have heard some even say that they border on fascism. I suppose there are plenty of social benefits to such organizations, so you just need to decide if the pros outweigh any cons.
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Thaibebop » Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:58 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Thaibebop,

I've had experience with the Boy Scouts. My Dad made me go despite my protests.

Ours might be slightly different though because there's no religion in ours. There was a picture of the queen (of England) on the wall and that was it.

That probably doesn't help... other than maybe to suggest you don't force her to go if she doesn't want to!

Metta,
Retro. :)

See, this is the issue. I would never sign her up for such thing. They approached her at school, she is only in 1st grade, six years old, right. She came home today saying that she really wants to do this. My wife doesn't think it's such a bad idea and said that we should go to this meeting that they are having Tuesday at the school to learn more about it. I have seen too mant Girl Scouts den mothers to even think I like this idea. So I am torn about letting her experience it for herself and maybe saving her from something that might end poorly.
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Thaibebop » Sat Aug 29, 2009 2:03 am

TheDhamma wrote:I checked Wikipedia and see that they are not as adamant on the God issue as the Boy Scouts. A few years back an atheist was kicked-out of the Boy Scouts for refusing to believe in God. But apparently the Girl Scouts don't have that rule.

Some see these organizations as nationalistic and I have heard some even say that they border on fascism. I suppose there are plenty of social benefits to such organizations, so you just need to decide if the pros outweigh any cons.

I can't see clearly what the pros and cons would be. My wife thinks it will be a chance to make more friends and do things outside of school. She of course is thinking about how much fun she had, that was back in Thailand though. After meeting some of the parents of the other kids before, whom I will assume will be part of her troop, I can't see too mcuh good coming from this. I just might be blinded by my prejudices though.
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby appicchato » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:23 am

Hi Thaibebop,

If your daughter wants to go, and you deny her, it might be a rough road to hoe for you in the future...it's not like she's signing up for life...

The best to you and your family... :smile:
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Thaibebop » Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:12 am

appicchato wrote:Hi Thaibebop,

If your daughter wants to go, and you deny her, it might be a rough road to hoe for you in the future...it's not like she's signing up for life...

The best to you and your family... :smile:

This is true. My wife and I don't want her coming back and telling us we kept her from doing things, that would make us bad parents I think.
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:23 am

appicchato wrote:Hi Thaibebop,

If your daughter wants to go, and you deny her, it might be a rough road to hoe for you in the future...it's not like she's signing up for life...

The best to you and your family... :smile:


I share this opinion. You can give it a try, and if it doesn't work out she can leave the group.
I can still remember being in the Girl Scouts when I was a kid, and it was a positive experience for me :)

Best,
Drolma
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Thaibebop » Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:36 am

Ngawang Drolma wrote:
appicchato wrote:Hi Thaibebop,

If your daughter wants to go, and you deny her, it might be a rough road to hoe for you in the future...it's not like she's signing up for life...

The best to you and your family... :smile:


I share this opinion. You can give it a try, and if it doesn't work out she can leave the group.
I can still remember being in the Girl Scouts when I was a kid, and it was a positive experience for me :)

Best,
Drolma

Thank you. It seems this experience from what I have gathered poeple either have loved or hated it. I guess she just needs to try it and find out herself.
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:38 am

Let us know how it turns out! And if she doesn't like it, you can always tell her you're proud of her for giving it a try.
Little life lesson to be found, either way :)

Best wishes,
Drolma
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:51 am

Well I was a scout (a patrol leader too) and I loved it. The lessons I learnt about discipline and accountability still echo (shame I don't always listen). My parents are strictly atheist and the scouts here are a religious organisation, so I imagine my parents had concerns too. Having said that, we were forced to sing hymns in school and all sorts so you learn to phase it all out eventually :)

Maybe it'll be good for her, but I think at her age she's too young to make decisions about religion anyway.

... I can still tie a bowline... I think :)
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby genkaku » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:00 am

Hi Thaibebop -- If all your daughter ever learns is to be like you, how will she ever learn how to be herself? Kids enjoy being among friends, learning new things, branching out from their previous environments. I don't think the Scouts spend 90% of their time creating lock-step Christians ... they build kites, go on hikes, go swimming, dress up in uniforms, dance ... and I don't really know what all else. If, along the way, there is a little Christianity thrown in, well, the United States is a Christian country and it is a good thing to know something about that. If, of course, your daughter comes home imagining that nailing someone to a cross is a wholesome and virtuous act, she always has her parents to correct her.

It's just some fun, for heaven's sake.
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Thaibebop » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:14 pm

Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I think I am going to let her do it if she wants, it is her life and living is the best way of learning, right? :buddha2:
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Popo » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:00 pm

I'm pretty sure they won't give you any problems.

Most of my family was in scouting and I'm glad. I mean, as a matter of policy, the scouts think that I'm morally depraved and unclean but it's not like that came up in the meetings... Most of the time, we focused on learning new things and community service.

One thing I'd recommend is checking out the local group first. Sometimes, the groups have a religious character and sometimes they don't. As an official policy, neither the Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts are opposed to Buddhist membership.. But how the group is in practice largely depends on where you go.

Good luck!
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Thaibebop » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:21 pm

I just wanted to thank everyone for posting. She joined up and is enjoying it. The troop is really small, only seven, and everyone seems nice. They are not all that concerned about ceremony and all that jazz, it's just letting the girls get together and do things. I am the only father there and I am not sure how well I will fit in, these ladies are nice but very typical suburb mothers. That doesn't bother me though. My daughter is happy doing it, that is what counts.
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:29 pm

Thaibebop wrote:My daughter is happy doing it, that is what counts.


:thumbsup: :clap:
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Thaibebop » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:32 am

Okay, girl scouts has ended up an epic failure. Mu daughter has done nothing but little art projects she could do at home and sell cookies for them. The push to sell cookies had more time and meetings devoted then any other event.

Now my daughter has come home from a meeting with a nice picture she drew. Her den mother asked her to draw a picture on how she could best serve God. WHAT?!!! Tonights whole meeting was on how to serve god and be a better person. I am furious. I trusted what I was told at the begining of this and now feel very betrayed. I do not recommend girl scouts, at all. I am finding somethin else for my daughter to do, something she could learn something from. Like play an instrument, or learn a sport.
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:37 am

Hi, Thaibebop,
Nice to see you here. :smile:
Slow down, please, for your own sake and hers.
:meditate:
'Furious' is not a good basis for any decision.

Look for the positives:
Girl Scouts can't have been too horrible or it wouldn't have lasted six months.
Remember why you decided to take her along: she wanted to try it.
The low value that you put on the activities might not match the real benefit to her - she has tried it and, no doubt, learned things about other people that she wouldn't have learned otherwise.

Look for the Middle Way:
Did your daughter enjoy it? Does she want to continue?
If yes to both, perhaps a word to the den mother about inclusiveness might be all that's needed, and the next picture might be 'How to make the world a better place.' If not, is there another Scout group near enough to get to? If not, then go ahead and look at other kinds of activities.
:namaste:
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby catmoon » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:37 am

Sigh. Has the world forgotten that scouting originated as a pre-military training program? That the founder was a lieutenant-general in the British army? If you want to ingrain military values in your kids it's a good way to start.
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby baratgab » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:34 am

Thaibebop wrote:Now my daughter has come home from a meeting with a nice picture she drew. Her den mother asked her to draw a picture on how she could best serve God. WHAT?!!! Tonights whole meeting was on how to serve god and be a better person. I am furious. I trusted what I was told at the begining of this and now feel very betrayed. I do not recommend girl scouts, at all. I am finding somethin else for my daughter to do, something she could learn something from. Like play an instrument, or learn a sport.


I'm not sure about the mental maturity of this age group, but I would certainly try to explain her very clearly that environments like this can be dangerous, because they can indoctrinate us without wanting or even noticing it; and that how disrespectful is this. If she could understand some bigger, psychological perspective in which she could place these Christian beliefs, I think there is much less danger that they take possession of her mind. If this is a danger at all...

Otherwise, a simple prohibition can backfire. I have heard a story of a farmer who convinced his cows to eat rotten food - just by putting it outside the fence. :smile:
"Just as in the great ocean there is but one taste — the taste of salt — so in this Doctrine and Discipline there is but one taste — the taste of freedom"
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