Girls scouts more than cookie vendors, speak up


San Jose Mercury News

One of the first Girl Scout BSA troops being sworn in to the Boy Scouts. Courtesy of Creative Commons.

Since 1912, both the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts have existed in the United States.

With this comes competition, sometimes healthy and sometimes not. As a Girl Scout of 11 years, I have experienced much of this first hand.

Most people have no idea what Girl Scouts do other than selling cookies in the winter. Well, I’m here to tell you that despite popular belief, we do about everything the Boy Scouts do.

The difference is that while Boy Scouts have set activities that scouts do, Girl Scouts is more of a “pick and choose” catalog. The activities a girl does with her troop depends entirely on which troop she is a part of.

There is a wide variety of options, so while there are some troops that do follow the Girl Scout stereotype of only doing crafts and selling cookies, most troops do much more than that, including camping, hiking, engineering, archery, and other skill-building activities.

Although the programs offered by the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts are very similar, I have found that their morals are very different.

Although neither organization endorses a political party or places itself on the political spectrum, the Boy Scouts has proven to be right-leaning with the Girl Scouts left-leaning.

The teachings of Boy Scouts are centered around obedience and the Church. They even have a required “God in Me” unit. Girl Scouts on the other hand value the teachings of independence and leadership above all else, as their acronym is G.I.R.L which stands for go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, and leader.

A false narrative has been spread by the Boy Scouts that girls are not gaining anything of value from being a part of the Girl Scouts. The whole message of the Girl Scouts has been overshadowed while the general public has no idea what Girl Scouts do.

This ties into the current legal battle between the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts.

In May of 2018, the Mormon Church revoked its endorsement of the Boy Scouts because of the Boy Scout’s decision to start allowing gay members and leaders. This caused the organization to lose around 425,000 members.

In February of this year, the first girl Boy Scout troop was formed following the Boy Scout’s decision to not only start allowing girls but to also change their name to Scouts BSA.

Is it a coincidence that the Boy Scouts started allowing girls right after their membership started dropping? Absolutely not.

The Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts have both been battling membership losses throughout the years as less kids want to get involved, but the Boy Scouts took a massive blow when they lost one of their biggest endorsements.

They have tried to pass off the decision as being solely the result of families asking them to allow their daughters to join the program, but in reality, this decision was made largely because the Boy Scouts are desperate to bring their numbers back up.

The Girl Scouts have filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts for trademark, confusion, and unfair competition.

The Boy Scouts are calling their girl’s program Girl Scouts BSA, but the Girl Scouts own the trademark to “Girl Scouts,” making it illegal for the Boy Scouts to include it in their marketing.

By creating girl’s troops, the Boy Scouts are creating confusion among the public. Many people think that the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts fused together, or they accidentally sign their daughter up for the Girl Scouts BSA instead of the Girl Scouts.

This confusion is creating unfair competition since there is no longer a clear line drawn to show which program is owned by which organization.

The Boy Scouts making troops for girls is insulting to the Girl Scout community because it’s a slap in the face.

The Boy Scouts are saying that only they are providing youth with outdoor activities and adventure. It’s a way of the boys telling the Girl Scout leaders that they do not know how to teach girls valuable life and survival skills and that they should leave it to the men to educate all of the youth.

The Girl Scouts was built on the foundation of female empowerment showing that women can do anything men can, including having a scout troop.

The Boy Scouts are trying to take that away from us by unfairly taking our members and spreading a false narrative of what it means to be a Girl Scout. As a member of the oldest Girl Scout troop in this community, I can not just stand by and let it happen. I need to speak up, and others should too.

After all, that is the Girl Scout way.