I was a Girl Scout for several years growing up and I loved it. I loved the meetings (in part because most of the meetings by the end of my experience involved playing games like Mafia more than anything else); I loved selling cookies; I loved going camping and other activities. As someone who was exceptionally shy and went to a private and really tiny Catholic elementary and middle school, it was a really great way for me to spend time with other girls around my age in a different sort of setting.
The Girl Scouts have been in the news over the past year, mainly for their support of trans girls being Girl Scouts. The Western Washington Girl Scouts turned down a $100,000 donation last summer because it came with a stipulation that the money would not go to supporting transgender girls. So instead of accepting that donation and thus, rejecting trans girls from local troops, the same council started an indiegogo campaign titled #ForEVERYGirl and ended up raising over $330,000 to help support any girl who wanted to be a Girl Scout. People from all over have also supported a trans Girl Scout from Illinois named Stormi, who ended up selling thousands of cookies online after a man in her neighborhood said that ‘nobody wants to buy cookies from a boy in a dress’.
There have also been attacks from right wing and conservative communities – some who’ve been saying that the organization is turning children into lesbian socialist activists. Others have called for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies after a Colorado troop allowed a 7 year old trans girl to join. And even more have called for boycotts of the cookies because of the organization shared links on social media recognizing Wendy Davis, the politician from Texas known in part for a filibuster of abortion limits.
But the thing about Girl Scouts is that it’s an incredibly important organization for so many and ultimately for me, I have and will continue to support Girl Scouts and still have really fond memories of being one. I love that the organization has been really supportive of trans girls and that being a Girl Scout also builds character and life skills. I love that the organization provides community for girls of all ages and characteristics and that many troops do a lot of good in their community.