Girl Scouts

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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby nschauer » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:13 am

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.


I tried taking my boys to Boy Scouts and it was the hypocrisy that made me decide against the whole thing. They were preaching one thing and the boys were doing something very different. There was also a lot of gamesmanship about badges that bothered me. The Christianity factor doesn't bother me - but if i were to have told them my ideas - they would have been bothered.

Bottom line - if you want to spend quality time with your daughter doing things - just do it - you don't need a group to do that. She probably would like the friends but she won't necessarily meet people she likes at Girl Scouts - most of the boys in Boy Scouts were - just not the kind of kids my kids liked. I was once told by someone wiser than me - "Find something you both enjoy doing together - something you can keep going for a lifetime." That was good advice.
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby PeterB » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:46 pm

baratgab wrote:
PeterB wrote:Those who aquaint themselves with Dr Dawkin's stance on the status of non human beings should also aquaint themselves with his prominent and vigorous role in promoting a new facility for vivisection experiments on Primates , a campaign which was successful and which led to the facility opening last year, and is even as we speak, conducting a range of experiments on a number of Primate species. These include Anthropoid Apes.


That sounds rather strangle, especially that abolishing vivisection is a topic on which, I think, much more people agree than on vegetarianism. :? Do you know some sources that I could review to get some more information? I did a quick search on Google with the keywords "Dawkins vivisection" and "Dawkins animal experiments", but I did not see any directly relevant pages so far.

This is way off topic on this thread baratgab, but there was initially a lot of opposition to the new Primate Lab, and Dawkins led the campaign in support of it, including leading a march through the streets of Oxford which attracted much media attention, he was all over the TV for a day or two.
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Annapurna » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:32 pm

Thaibebop wrote: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.



If she wants to do this so much, and her girlfriends and schoolmates do it too, and you won't let her, you're making her an outsider, and that will end poorly for sure!

Thank God -no pun intended- did my parents not alienate me from whatever groups-activities I wanted to join.

And despite myself and my Dad being atheists, I cheerfully hung out with Christians and sang along with them, and I am still that open and hang out with people from all nations and religions and don't have any trouble with any group.

I think that would be a nice goal too for your girl!

TRUST her, like mine trusted me. They never told me what to believe in.

I was told I am free to choose.

Isn't that gorgeous?

And look where I ended up! :anjali:

Best wishes, and let go of fear.

What her karma has in stock is not for you to know. Just offer your thoughts, but don't bend her little neck under any yokes, not even a Buddhist one.

ANYTHING that is forced upon her will be that yoke...
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby PeterB » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:38 pm

I agree entirely Anna. I was a Cub and a Scout until I grow bored with it and discovered Rock And Roll. It had little lasting impact on me and did no harm at all.
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Annapurna » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:44 pm

genkaku wrote: If all your daughter ever learns is to be like you, how will she ever learn how to be herself?


Wow, Genkaku... :bow:
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Annapurna » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:46 pm

PeterB wrote:I agree entirely Anna. I was a Cub and a Scout until I grow bored with it and discovered Rock And Roll. It had little lasting impact on me and did no harm at all.


:smile:
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby PeterB » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:55 pm

genkaku wrote: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.


I thought that all of Adam's post with its characteristically down to earth, commonsense, approach bore repeating.
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Annapurna » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:06 pm

I don't know what was said in the thread, I read his post after I'd written mine...


Edit: Oh, my gosh, this is an OLD thread, and this time, Peter, I missed it....gotta read the whole thing now. :shock:
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby PeterB » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:17 pm

I think it was someone else that resurrected it Anna.. :smile: It deals I guess with a problem that is ongoing for some Americans, Less for Europeans as instead, our children and grandchildren are growing up in a post christian somewhat value free era. Which posts a different set of problems to Buddhist families.
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Annapurna » Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:50 pm

I know I didn't resurrect it, Peter. :) I hit : View new posts, and there was a new post...

Thaibebop wrote: There is nothing challenging and she has even admitted that some of these meetings were boring. .


I wouldn't say there is nothing challenging, Thai.

The biggest thing she has done is sell cookies. If that's all the scouts want her for then at least pay her


WHAT? :shock:

Excuse me, Thaibepop, but I hope you are not teaching her to expect payment for learning something very valuable and having fun with other kids?

Baking cookies is something kids are crazy about, it's a big, big thing for them! It's just small for you!

She is only a little girl...!

I have thought of talking to the den mother but I think it would just cause problems. See, the Girl Scout website even has this god stuff posted on it. The organization says that the children don't have to say or do this religious aspects but they won't stop the den mother from doing it.


If the organization says this, then YOU speak to the den mother, kindly.

That should do the job.

Plus, I am in Kansas, should I say more. My daughter is coming home with homework that ties in to Christianity. The other day she had an english excerise that was all about a man and a woman trying to get to church to get married. This is 1st grade and this homework was only four paragraphs she had to practice and it included church four to five times. I Am BESIEGED!!!
[/quote]

So?
We're living in a land where this is normal. One day most of her girlfriends will get married. Most of them in a church....should she stay away and consider this an evil den of demons?

The Buddha would have said: "What do you expect?"

Let me ask you one thing, that might hit home.

My parents were 100 % sure that their impact on me was a lot stronger than anybody elses- and right they were.

How come you are so worried about yours, that you think strangers have more influence than you?
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Annapurna » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:19 pm

PeterB wrote:I think it was someone else that resurrected it Anna.. :smile: It deals I guess with a problem that is ongoing for some Americans, Less for Europeans as instead, our children and grandchildren are growing up in a post christian somewhat value free era. Which posts a different set of problems to Buddhist families.


Yes, I know. Btw, I grew up in a small town of now 7000 people, that is nicknamed "the Protestant Rome".

(Google "Wilhelm Löhe" (Loehe), if you like.
He founded a deacon monastery here, hospitals and schools are all run by Protestants.
They're the biggest employer in town...so I was under heavy Christians influence. To no avail....)

I think you remain unaffected against pressure from outside, if you have something good at home and parents who allow you to be an independent free spirit and don't push you into anything.

My parents would have accepted Christianity for me too, if that had been my choice.
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby PeterB » Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:33 am

They sound Anna like the sort of parents who by not trying to control the person you would eventually be became not just parents in later life but friends. I think we should be wary of being over involved parents, its as extreme as being indifferent. We should have no fixed template for the adult that the child will grow into. If we treat them with honesty and respect they will learn that as a default. It sounds like your parents did that. For my parents generation it was of course getting to the 60's and seeing their offspring turn into Buddhists that was the trauma. My dad struggled with that, my mum was cool about it, and when my grandchildren were born came to their naming ceremonies . ( and got drenched with" holy water" )
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby RayfieldNeel » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:46 pm

I agree with this. With many things in life, creating a roadmap for your kids (what profession you want to steer them towards, what kind of person you want them to marry, and surely, what religion you want them to be) strikes me as a recipe for epic failure. I have two daughters, 8 and 10; very bright little girls. My goal is to give them what tools they need to be happy. This means teaching them the basics of how to be compassionate and open-minded. They're people, and like us, will go through many stages and learnings as they go through their lives.

My youngest recently did a worksheet at school, and for some reason the question was asked: "Why do you believe you are special?" She wrote "Because God made me!" She picked this up from the Christian-based preschool that she attended.

Doesn't bother me in the slightest. There's a really good chance that I would have answered similarly at her age, given my exposures. Yet here I sit, more-or-less an atheist and a practicing Buddhist at age 43. This did not happen because my parents made sure to lead me down a path to Buddhism...neither was familiar with any religion outside of Christianity.

It sounds to me like the "worst case scenario" for the OP is that the kid might grow up to be happy in a different religion than he is. This is essentially what I did to my parents. I'm so glad that I had that opportunity. :)


PeterB wrote:They sound Anna like the sort of parents who by not trying to control the person you would eventually be became not just parents in later life but friends. I think we should be wary of being over involved parents, its as extreme as being indifferent. We should have no fixed template for the adult that the child will grow into.
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Annapurna » Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:17 pm

PeterB wrote:They sound Anna like the sort of parents who by not trying to control the person you would eventually be became not just parents in later life but friends. I think we should be wary of being over involved parents, its as extreme as being indifferent. We should have no fixed template for the adult that the child will grow into. If we treat them with honesty and respect they will learn that as a default. It sounds like your parents did that. For my parents generation it was of course getting to the 60's and seeing their offspring turn into Buddhists that was the trauma. My dad struggled with that, my mum was cool about it, and when my grandchildren were born came to their naming ceremonies . ( and got drenched with" holy water" )


:D

They sound Anna like the sort of parents who by not trying to control the person you would eventually be became not just parents in later life but friends.


Oh, absolutely, Peter. Indeed, they were my best friends, later in life, and always. There was this great atmosphere of liberty and trust.

Both my parents were not rooted in the Christian church anymore.

Actually, I do love to spend some time in churches, alone, or with a friend. Just sit in a bench and contemplate. It's so quiet and peaceful. And I am an admirer of the art...

Glad to see your parents could see your grandchildren....wow...not everybody lives that long. Good karma... :anjali:
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Thaibebop » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:14 am

Annapurna wrote:I know I didn't resurrect it, Peter. :) I hit : View new posts, and there was a new post...

Thaibebop wrote: There is nothing challenging and she has even admitted that some of these meetings were boring. .


I wouldn't say there is nothing challenging, Thai.

The biggest thing she has done is sell cookies. If that's all the scouts want her for then at least pay her


WHAT? :shock:

Excuse me, Thaibepop, but I hope you are not teaching her to expect payment for learning something very valuable and having fun with other kids?

Baking cookies is something kids are crazy about, it's a big, big thing for them! It's just small for you!

She is only a little girl...!

I have thought of talking to the den mother but I think it would just cause problems. See, the Girl Scout website even has this god stuff posted on it. The organization says that the children don't have to say or do this religious aspects but they won't stop the den mother from doing it.


If the organization says this, then YOU speak to the den mother, kindly.

That should do the job.

Plus, I am in Kansas, should I say more. My daughter is coming home with homework that ties in to Christianity. The other day she had an english excerise that was all about a man and a woman trying to get to church to get married. This is 1st grade and this homework was only four paragraphs she had to practice and it included church four to five times. I Am BESIEGED!!!


So?
We're living in a land where this is normal. One day most of her girlfriends will get married. Most of them in a church....should she stay away and consider this an evil den of demons?

The Buddha would have said: "What do you expect?"

Let me ask you one thing, that might hit home.

My parents were 100 % sure that their impact on me was a lot stronger than anybody elses- and right they were.

How come you are so worried about yours, that you think strangers have more influence than you?
[/quote]

Hello, so sorry it has taken me so long to get back. Well, I think there are a few things I should clear up.
One: the challenge issue. My daughter is seven and the projects that are choosen for her troop are pre-school type things. Like, color something in, trace your hand and draw feathers to make a turkey. She might sit at a table with other girls but they work alone on these overly simply projects. She is not being taught any new skills at all. My short time in the Boy Scouts I was at least introduced to woodworking and survival skills, and that was all at the same age she is at now.

Two: the cookies. It is clear you are not familiar with the Girl Scouts of America. The girls don't bake anything. Girl Scout cookies are mass produced, like Oreos, by a large company that the Girls Scouts hire. So, the girls have the job of selling them. This means going door to door, asking family members, standing on sidewalks during the winter I might add, to sell to people going in and out of stores. Some troops might work together on this but it is mostly an individual excerise as well. So, the Girls Scouts make millions of dollars nation wide by little girls going door to door selling cookies. Free child labor because the orgainization is classified as non-for-profit. A jaded way to look at it I supposed but it's a lot of work to sell these boxes of cookies and they don't get anything but a bagde, unless they sell more the 300 boxes, than the girls can get a stuffed frog, at least that what is was this year.

Three: the organization. The Girls Scouts do not hide that they were founded by Christians. They have a little plegde on the website that includes serving God. They say that if a child does not share this faith that during the pledge she can change the words or just not say them. The website has nothing about activties though. See my daughter had in activity which was her having to draw a picture about how best to serve God. I am sure the organization isn't to keen on that, but I am not sure they would back my complaint. So, talking to the Den Mother wouldn't help, she is the one in charge and it would be too tough a fight for nothing really. Plus, since they make no bones about the Chirstian, I feel the fool for even joining.

Four: I understand way you think I am fearful of Chirstianity, and you're right, I am. I am not teaching my daughter to be hateful or fearful, but I am worried. I don't care if she learns about the religion, keeping it hiden would be impossible anyway. I wish to enpower her. You see I experienced hate right here in the same city and state. I was picked on, spit on, (really), told I was trash, I was going to burn in hell, and so on. I am more afraid of someone destroying my daughters self esteem because she doesn't share their faith, like what happened to me. I want it clear to her that this behavior, not the religion, is what is unaccpectable and is wrong. They should not shove their ideas on her and should not belittle her. She has already come home telling us that some of her 'friends' think is is strange because she doesn't go to church. Some of these 'friends' are in her girl scout troop as well. The adults are smart enough not to say too much but they teach their kids this intolerence and the kids aren't so good and keeping their mouths shut. So, when these moments occur I want to draw her attention to it so she can understand this behavior is not right. This isn't about the religion so much as the behavior of the people.

Okay, sorry for the mouthful but I wanted to make sure I was understood. Yes, I have problems with the philosophy behind Christtianity but that is not for my daughter right now. When she asks me the questions that would address my opinions on such matters is when I will speak to her on them. For now it's seeing how these behaviors are hurtful and disrespectful. My harsh words are for me alone and adults I speak with in approriate settings. My harsh words are also my short coming that I am having to struggle with, but rest assured I am not passing this on to my daugther. Hate from inside you is more damaging than hate from without, this I know very well and I do not wish this upon my children.

Again, thanks for all the posts, I love it and it helps.
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Thaibebop » Sat Feb 27, 2010 6:25 am

nschauer wrote: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.


I tried taking my boys to Boy Scouts and it was the hypocrisy that made me decide against the whole thing. They were preaching one thing and the boys were doing something very different. There was also a lot of gamesmanship about badges that bothered me. The Christianity factor doesn't bother me - but if i were to have told them my ideas - they would have been bothered.

Bottom line - if you want to spend quality time with your daughter doing things - just do it - you don't need a group to do that. She probably would like the friends but she won't necessarily meet people she likes at Girl Scouts - most of the boys in Boy Scouts were - just not the kind of kids my kids liked. I was once told by someone wiser than me - "Find something you both enjoy doing together - something you can keep going for a lifetime." That was good advice.
Nate


Yes, my wife is also Thai and she doesn't have my experiences that have colored my view of things. She suggested the same thing as well which is why we let her go and join and she has now been with the troop since September I believe. However, my wife after years of being here in Kansas is starting to see what I have seen. She works in a restuarant and is subjected to the common Kansasan on a daily basis. She is amazing for she lets it all just drop off her like water but she has started to understand that some folks around here just push the religion out to be confrontational, nothing else. So, we have tried the scout thing it's not working out and she wants more challenges. So, we are looking at things we can do as a family and finding funding for the projects she wants to do that will costs us a little. She has dreamed now for almost a year of playing the violin, we might start that soon.
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Re: Girl Scouts

Postby Annapurna » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:53 pm

Hi, Thaibepop.

I am happy to see a father concerned and caring like you are. I think it's great.
One: the challenge issue. My daughter is seven and the projects that are choosen for her troop are pre-school type things. Like, color something in, trace your hand and draw feathers to make a turkey. She might sit at a table with other girls but they work alone on these overly simply projects. She is not being taught any new skills at all.


On the other hand, Thai, those kids are still young.

In the mornings they go to school, and learn and study a lot.

In the afternoons, they should play. Not learn, learn, learn, even more.

Thaibepop, after school and lunch, in the afternoons, I had burned up my fuel, and needed to do silly, simple, relaxing things to reload my batteries. Mostly I just played hide and seek, climbed trees, played with cats and so forth.

I think we tend to overchallenge our children as well as ourselves in our leisure time with achievements, challenges and more of it.

Many of us are overachievers who can't relax anymore.

We are living in a Yang domainated world, and have forgotten how to live out our Yin nature.

That is a part of the reason why we want to sit and meditate. It helps us to come back to balance.

My short time in the Boy Scouts I was at least introduced to woodworking and survival skills, and that was all at the same age she is at now.


Ok, but you were a boy, and she is a girl. I'm really not familiar with scouts, as we don't have that here, but we were taught others skills than boys as well. You don't seem to value what she is getting taught.

Two: the cookies. It is clear you are not familiar with the Girl Scouts of America. The girls don't bake anything.


That's a pity. In the Christian group I went to, we baked cookies ourselves.... :woohoo: we had so much fun. I ate a lot of dough. :tongue:

Girl Scout cookies are mass produced, like Oreos, by a large company that the Girls Scouts hire. So, the girls have the job of selling them. This means going door to door, asking family members, standing on sidewalks during the winter I might add, to sell to people going in and out of stores.


Woah, I wouldn't want to do that. I understand you.

See my daughter had in activity which was her having to draw a picture about how best to serve God. I am sure the organization isn't to keen on that, but I am not sure they would back my complaint. So, talking to the Den Mother wouldn't help, she is the one in charge and it would be too tough a fight for nothing really.


Hm....could be, but you'll never know until you talk to her. I don't know if it's worth the hassle.

She has already come home telling us that some of her 'friends' think is is strange because she doesn't go to church. Some of these 'friends' are in her girl scout troop as well. The adults are smart enough not to say too much but they teach their kids this intolerence and the kids aren't so good and keeping their mouths shut. So, when these moments occur I want to draw her attention to it so she can understand this behavior is not right. This isn't about the religion so much as the behavior of the people.


That is a dangerous thing to do, actually.

It is normal that children notice a behaviour which deviates from the social norm and that they become curious about it and inquire. They find it "strange", but actually only because they can't make head or tail of it and so it becomes "strange". It is of vital importance here that you equip your daughter here with a few good lines to say.

We also didn't go to church, and so when I got asked why, I said:

"Because we pray at home. " End of story! (WHAT we call praying, is our biz, of course. :tongue: ) You can also avert attention from her by giving her the line:

"I don't know, ask my Dad". Bang. :tongue:

Four: I understand way you think I am fearful of Chirstianity, and you're right, I am. I am not teaching my daughter to be hateful or fearful, but I am worried. I don't care if she learns about the religion, keeping it hidden would be impossible anyway. I wish to empower her. You see I experienced hate right here in the same city and state. I was picked on, spit on, (really), told I was trash, I was going to burn in hell, and so on.


Yeah, and it affected you. I was mad too about some injustice...

It didn't affect me a whole lot though, I think because my parents equipped me well with explanations. I see you want to do that too, by "empowering her". Very good.

Try perhaps not to create an enemy picture though.

"Compassion". ;)

[vs religion]
When she asks me the questions that would address my opinions on such matters is when I will speak to her on them.
[/quote]

That's too late, imo. That's also the reason why you worry.

You need to do some imprinting first, with your own ethics, and get her a good insulation against nonsense.

My parents equipped me early in a casual way and when I was confronted with other ideas, I was prepared.

I wonder why so many parents wait until the world outside makes the first imprints.

I wouldn't. I'm convinced I can do it better.

I hope I didn't misinterpret what you said.

Best wishes! :hello:
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