Girl Scout Links A-L

GIRL SCOUT LINK A: Girl Scouts of the USA describes itself as “a secular organization that refrains from teaching religious or spiritual beliefs or practices,” and believes the “motivating force in Girl Scouting is a spiritual one.” Ask an adult Unitarian Universalist who was/has been a Girl Scout for several years about their experiences in Girl Scouting and how they relate to spirituality. Compare these to your own experiences. This Girl Scout Link is connected to 1.2 Faith, Spirituality, and Worship.

GIRL SCOUT LINK B: Although sometimes girls at resident camp attend religious services sponsored by their own religions and sometimes Girl Scouts join in interfaith services on Girl Sunday/Sabbath, Girl Scouts of the USA does not itself sponsor religious services. Nevertheless, many Girl Scouts gain a spiritual feeling from some Girl Scout ceremonies. Either attend a religious service that celebrates Girl Scout Sunday/Sabbath or Plan, Attend, and Carry Out a Girl Scout ceremony (for example, an investiture, rededication, or Scout’s Own). Consider how Girl Scouting strives to honor members’ religious diversity yet still have a spiritual element for all girls. This Girl Scout Link is connected to 2.5 Congregational Life.

GIRL SCOUT LINK C: Consider the Girl Scout Promise and the Girl Scout Law. Find Out how they have changed over the years. How might the specific changes relate to becoming more inclusive, changes in the way we think about girls and women, and changes in Girl Scout programming? Record your ideas in your journal, portfolio, or computer folder. This Girl Scout Link is connected to 3.2 UU Principles.

GIRL SCOUT LINK D: What projects have you or other Girl Scouts done to protect the environment? Describe your own experience or Research the activities of other Girl Scouts. Which parts of the Girl Scout Law relate to environmentalism? Record your thoughts in your journal or online, or express them through creatively through art, music, poetry, video or other means. This Girl Scout Link is connected to 4.4 Serving the World.

GIRL SCOUT LINK E: Consider how the Girl Scout Law influences members’ decision-making.  Ask two other Girl Scouts (or Girl Scout Alumnae) how they apply the Girl Scout Law to everyday life. Share your own experience with them. Consider whether one’s understanding of the Girl Scout Law changes as one grows older. Record your thoughts and findings in your journal or online or Express them creatively. This Girl Scout Link is connected to 4.5 Religious guidelines and problem-solving.

GIRL SCOUT LINK F: Girl Scouts of the USA likewise has a long history of ever-increasing diversity and inclusion. Research how Girl Scouting has found ways to serve the needs of all girls. Consider how supporting cultural diversity might be different in different communities or parts of the country.  What does your troop/group and local council do to be welcoming to all girls? Record your thoughts and findings and find a way to Share them. This Girl Scout Link is connected to 4.7 Social diversity and inclusivity.

GIRL SCOUT LINK G: Like Unitarian Universalism, Girl Scouts of the USA has become more inclusive of people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. Research Girl Scouts of the USA’s stances on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression issues. Notice how the position statements are carefully worded to communicate with members (and their parents). Why would Girl Scouts have to choose its words so carefully? How does the diversity of Girl Scouts of the USA families compare with diversity of Unitarian Universalist families in terms of politics, religion, ethnicity, and social class? Record your thoughts and findings and find a way to Share them. This Girl Scout Link is connected to 4.7 Social diversity and inclusivity.

GIRL SCOUT LINK H: Although Girl Scouting is well-respected in the United States, many people have very limited ideas about what Girl Scouts do and are, too.  Some people think that Girl Scouts of the USA is just Boy Scouts of America for girls, or that Girl Scouts in only the 3 Cs of cookies, crafts, and camping (although GSUSA names three other Cs—courage, confidence, and character—as central to their mission). Others view Girl Scouts as self-sacrificing, super-efficient, or judgmental goody-goodies.  Sometimes Girl Scouts enjoy laughing at outsiders’ caricatures, putting references to goody-goodies and cookie sales in skits, songs, and jokes. At other times, though, the limited views feel insulting or burdensome. Another danger of these limited views is that girls who might enjoy and benefit from Girl Scouting get the mistaken impression that Girl Scouting isn’t “cool” and then miss out. Discuss with your Religion in Life advisor, Girl Scout leader, or other Girl Scouts your experience with misconceptions of Girl Scouting. Write a short description of what Girl Scouting means to you. Also, Identify a common unfair comment about Girl Scouting and Practice giving a response. This Girl Scout Link is connected to 4.8 How outsiders see Unitarian Universalists.

GIRL SCOUT LINK I: Examine Girl Scout programming and publications to see how GSUSA encourages girls to explore fields and activities that were closed to them in the past. Which parts of the Girl Scout Law and GSUSA’s Mission support efforts to get fair treatment for girls and women? Record and Share your findings. This Girl Scout Link is connected to 5.4 Beyond “tomboys.”

GIRL SCOUT LINK J: Although men are welcome to volunteer in Girl Scout leadership teams that include women, the adult membership of GSUSA is still predominantly female. Talk with a female adult volunteer and ask her what she values about her friendships and working relationships with other adult female members. If possible, Find a man who is a member of GSUSA and Ask him what his experience in this female-focused organization is like. Record and Share your findings. This Girl Scout Link is connected to 5.5 Sisterhood in Unitarian Universalist communities.

GIRL SCOUT LINK K: Peruse GSUSA’s and WAGGGS’s websites to find out how these organizations approach some of the issues listed above.  Are there other issues they tackle that are not listed above? In particular, look at the World Thinking Day website and look at the themes explored during the last few years and the resources provided on the website. Are there differences in some of the challenges that face girls in different countries and cultures?  Record and Share your findings. This Girl Scout Link is connected to 5.6 Challenges for youth in contemporary life.

GIRL SCOUT LINK L: Think beyond your own troop/group’s activities.  What activities and opportunities are available to Older Girls in Girl Scouting (Cadettes, Seniors, Ambassadors)? Consider the following: camps (staff and participant); world centers; conferences; activities and on-going roles working with younger girls; special trips; committees (e.g. council-wide or national planning at your age level); participating in council or national leadership (e.g. being a delegate or board member).  Make a list and Star the ones you find most interesting.  Choose at least one starred item and find out how you could make it happen. Share your findings with another girl or adult Girl Scout. This Girl Scout Link is connected to 5.8 Opportunities for youth.