Why We Don’t Participate in Girl Scouts

Almost 7 years ago I mentioned we had been invited to join a local Girl Scout Daisy troop in Colorado Springs. I did some very rudimentary research on the organization and was not happy with what I found out. We did not participate.

I’m not sorry we never picked it up. In fact, I’m uncomfortable purchasing Girl Scout cookies, even. I bought one box this year because we’re friends with the family of the girl who was selling them, but I really didn’t want to. I do not want to support the Girl Scouts in any form or fashion.

I’ve been meaning to come back here again and talk about that decision some more, but I don’t really have to now. Marcia Segelstein at WORLD did it for me.

She also points to the blog of two teen girls who quit Girl Scouts after eight years of participating once they realized what the organization stands for on ethical and moral issues. Be sure to check out the link of these Honest Girl Scouts as well.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: You can be in a “Christian” troop run by sincere Bible believing people and your own daughters may never have to sit through the liberal agenda promoted at the national level. But your dues go to the national organization. Your cookie money probably goes there too. It’s not an investment my family is interested in making.*

Consider checking out American Heritage Girls instead. I have no experience with AHG, but if we were to participate in a scouting program at all, we would definitely go that direction.

*I’ve been corrected in the comments on where the money actually goes.

Christina left another comment with a link to this pdf on where the money has been traced to go. I’m copying the chart here. You can click the link in the comments to download it for yourself.

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17 thoughts on “Why We Don’t Participate in Girl Scouts

  1. Megan says:

    I would definitely check through all the links before making the decision to participate for sure!
    I was in a Brownie troop back in 1982 and the only things I remember from it were hand sewing my fabric purse to my brown Brownie pants by accident and taking a trip to the circus, so I didn’t come out badly from it. šŸ™‚ It’s in their books and curriculum for older girls, though, now. Yikes!

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  2. Audra says:

    Megan:
    Do you have any idea if the same could be said for the Boy Scouts? Just curious if you have researched that….although I’m not sure why you would with 4 girls! šŸ™‚

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  3. Melissa says:

    First of all, let me say that I don’t disagree fundamentally with your concerns about Girl Scouts on the national level. We used to participate in GS, and I also had some misgivings. Other Christian moms more astute than I on the intricacies of the organization assured me that because we, as you described, were Christian moms and daughters in a Christian-run troop, we could drive the nature of all the badges and studying that we did. And, the regional council to witch we belong – Eastern Missouri – tends to be a rather conservative region. As of Junior level, none of the girls in our troops were exposed to any over liberal agendae. Our troop dissolved and joined a W County AHG troop. It conflicted with choir, so we dropped.
    I do want to correct you on one point. A small fraction (still something, I know) of dues goes to Nationals. Most of it stays in the local region, primarily for the upkeep of camping facilities and the retention of a small staff. NONE of the cookie monies go to national or regional offices. Most of the money goes to pay for the production of the cookies, and then every cent of profit goes to the local troop for them to spend as they see fit. There is more guilt in buying cookies because of their high caloric content than fear that you are supporting a liberal agenda.
    I would love to be in an AHG troop. Someone in St. Louis needs to start one east of 270. I would gladly join! : )

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  4. Megan says:

    I did look into Boy Scouts at one time just out of curiosity. My understanding (at that time) was that they broke off connections with GSA and are more inline with AHG. I haven’t heard anything questionable about the Boy Scouts.

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  5. Megan says:

    Okie dokie. I would still look into it some more, but I’ll believe you since you’ve participated.
    I’m still not comfortable even giving the appearance of supporting the Girl Scouts, though, even if most of the money stays local.

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  6. Megan says:

    Just did some quick looking. it appears the $12 membership dues all goes to National. The cookie money stays with the local council, but not completely with the individual troops. would the local councils not be in agreement with national on the sticky issues?

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  7. Kristi K says:

    We don’t participate in Girl Scouts, either, for the same reasons. American Heritage Girls is an awesome program, and much more in line with our ideals. AHG is the sister program to Boy Scouts. I’ve not had or seen an ethical problem with BS (now, organizational, yes, but that’s more on a local level), and it’s going to be great for my up and coming Cub Scouts! For those who don’t have an AHG troop nearby (within 50 miles, I think) they have AHG Trailblazers. That’s what my daughter is doing for the coming year.

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  8. Megan says:

    Thanks, Christina. I did some FAST searching last night on my iPad and saw the bit about the royalties. Wasn’t sure how that all got distributed. I had a feeling some of that money had to go to national – why would they promote is so heavily otherwise?
    I appreciate the pdf!

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  9. April says:

    We’ve never done Girl Scouts either, for the same reasons you don’t. We do, however, really enjoy 4-H. We are members of a homeschool 4-H club, and my girls have learned a lot. And 4-H is not just livestock! We’ve done books about cooking, sewing, photography, gardening, and pet care. My girls have won various county-level contests, and my oldest won a state contest as well. Just thought I’d throw out another great club option!

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  10. TulipGirl says:

    I’ve found that most girl scouts who sell cookies at my door kinda look at me puzzled when we say with a smile, “Sorry, we won’t buy the cookies because we don’t support what the national organization is doing. . . but hope you have a good day!” And, yes, I really do say that. I’m sure there are families who do get something good out of GS, but. . . overall, I’m less than enthused with the group.
    That said, my boys have joined Boy Scouts recently. ‘Cause really? Camping and hiking in Kenya? Just too cool to pass over!

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  11. aubrey says:

    FYI – I never did GS, but all three of my brothers were very involved in boy scouts and are Eagle scouts. BSA is a VERY different organization that GSA. BSA is fairly conservative, so much so that various liberal organizations have tried to sue to allow things like gay scout leaders, etc. The first part of the scout oath is: “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country….”
    Obviously, the atmosphere of boy scouts also depends greatly on the local troop.

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  12. Need A Nap2 says:

    I didn’t look through the whole chart but can say when I was in Girl Scouts many years ago (like 25 or so) our troop saw very little $ as far as I could tell. We went camping once and that was about it. I was in it for 2 years.
    Our kids participate in Keepers At Home (girls), Contenders for the Faith (boys). You can start your own group or look for one in your area. http://www.keepersofthefaith.com/

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  13. Mary says:

    We don’t do Girl Scouts — and not for the ethical reasons – we just enjoy having time as a family and don’t like to running to activities all the time. This includes not doing Boy Scouts, either. I hate to encourage being a part of a “group” at such a young age, too. Great post!

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