With all the nonsense and stupidity going on over who is and is not celebrating or attending Donald Trump’s inauguration, it’s no surprise that there are also attempts to shame organizations like the Girl Scouts for participating in the Inauguration Day parade; something it’s done throughout its history.
Thankfully, the Girl Scouts of America are not bowing to those that would attempt to make the organization political. They responded to the criticism in the perfect way on Wednesday:
At Girl Scouts, our Movement is made up of individuals who hold political beliefs and convictions as varied as our nation itself. And because every girl has a home at Girl Scouts, every girl in our Movement is allowed her own ideas, opinions, beliefs, and political ideology. Our fundamental value is empowering girls to be leaders in their own lives. By helping them build the courage, confidence, and character to lift their voices, champion their views, and be advocates for the issues and ideas important to them, Girl Scouts supports girls as they become catalysts for change who strengthen their communities.
Some people apparently need reminders that there were millions of women — I’m sure many former Girl Scouts among them — who voted for Donald Trump. The Girl Scouts went on to explain that the Scouts are about leadership and good citizenship.
Being a leader means having a seat at the leadership table no matter what. It means being willing to work with whomever happens to hold political power. It means preparing girls not to run from the face of adversity, but to stand tall and proud and announce to the world, and the powers that be, that they are a force to be reckoned with, and that their needs, ideas, and views must be taken seriously. To do otherwise is to tell girls to sit down and be quiet—and that they don’t count.
Advocating for change on issues one cares about isn’t at odds with participating in a century-long tradition that represents the peaceful exchange of power.
Leadership. That’s what it means to be a Girl Scout. Leadership is why the impact of Girl Scouts remains so long after a girl leaves our Movement. So as we swear in the 45th president of the United States, it only seems fitting to celebrate more than a century of Girl Scout civic action.
I didn’t vote for Donald Trump, but I am the mother of a proud Girl Scout and I, for one, am glad that the Girl Scouts have decided to keep their place in the parade, rather than taking their ball and going home. A lot of people and organizations could learn from the Girl Scout’s example.