It is that time of year again when we buy over-priced cookies in bulk from the lovely ladies known as Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts are known for their variety of 12 different types of cookies. Selling cookies is one of the ways they fundraise for the organization; however, this is mostly all they are known for.
The Girl Scouts mission statement is for girls to build “courage, confidence, and character, [and] who make the world a better place.” Selling cookies doesn’t really seem to make the world a better place, in the grand scheme of things.
I was in Girl Scouts when I was younger and all I remember doing is having a tea and dress up parties to become a brownie, and going to a horrible camping retreat.
I did not learn anything in the STEM field or how to be a public speaker. To be fair, I didn’t go very far, but that’s because I didn’t think it was worth it or that I was benefitting from it.
I know the organization has come a long way since 2008, but I think there should be many more improvements.
In comparison to the Boy Scouts, I don’t think these young women are learning all the skills they should. Women aren’t generally pushed to learn to build a fire or change a tire; however, for Boy Scouts to become an Eagle Scout, he must complete a project that usually benefits the community.
For a Girl Scout to become an ambassador, which is around the same age as an Eagle Scout, there isn’t some project or something they have to accomplish. Yes, there are badges, in both organizations, but only the Boy Scouts must achieve something to maintain a certain status.
Until 2017, Boy Scouts followed their name, only allowing boys. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because there is comfort and strength in having the same gender around you, just like it is for girls to be surrounded by each other.
However, the problem was that girls wanted to learn the same as the boys were learning. Of course, learning entrepreneurial skills is very beneficial all around, and no one is denying that, but girls should have the same opportunities as the boys.
The Chief Scout Executive finally realized this in 2017 and acknowledged that values of the Boy Scouts such as being trustworthy, loyal and helpful, are the same for men and women.
It is important for young girls to know that they can achieve the same goals as boys. Both can be involved in STEM, both can be public speakers, and both can learn to change a tire.
Nothing is wrong with selling cookies, as the Boy Scouts are known for selling popcorn. The problem lies within the original message of wanting to separate the genders and push them in different directions.
Even the founder, Robert Baden-Powell, meant there to be a divide when he placed his sister at the leader. The Boy Scouts organization even sued the Girl Scouts for the “scout” portion because it was claimed to be a male term.
In other countries, like Scandinavia, the organizations have merged to become one. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad idea considering both groups should have similar values anyway.
Notice there hasn’t been an issue with Girl Scouts letting boys in. This is apparently obvious because there has never been an issue with men feeling less than women or being pushed into boxes specifically for men.
I think the Girl Scouts organization should widen its reach and its values in order to incorporate all that is necessary for women to use, including ones traditionally for men.