Last night Alex had a Cub Scout pack meeting. His den was supposed to hold doors for everyone upon arrival. As I walked by on the way to the bathroom, I saw six boys wrestling over control of one set of doors…and Alex calmly, without fuss, holding the other set open all by himself.
It was my first Cub Scout meeting, and it was so interesting as a parent to see renewed proof of the way my firstborn wears his heart on his sleeve. Most notably his enthusiasm and fervor for what he’s doing. He was the only person (adult or child) in the whole building who held his hand above his head as he recited the scout salute.
Speaking of Scouts, recently my mother has been sharing with our family some information about a connection (at the national level as well as in certain badge requirements) between Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood. I’m wondering how others have weighed this in their families and parishes. Another friend told me that the American Heritage Girls, a faith-based scouting organization, is now partnering with Boy Scouts. We have a troop at another parish in our town. Considering Alex is already involved in BSA, this seems like a good solution for us. But I’m still curious about how others have handled this.
Wednesday nights are always very late nights in our house–choir practice–and everyone knows perfectly well that upon returning home it is toilet, teeth, jammies and bed. Yet every week we have to tell Nicholas again why we are not reading bedtime books. Then he pulls a martyr face and drags out his sense of injustice as long as possible. It frequently comes down to a countdown. You know: “FIVE! FOUR!”
Well, this week Nicholas started moving at that point, so Christian stopped counting. Silence fell in the upstairs for a moment, and then Julianna, perched happily on the toilet, got tired of waiting. “WEEEEEEEE,” she yelled (three).
Well, that didn’t come out funny. Sorry. It was funny at the time.
Katharine, of Plume of Doom, started Tweeting Flannery O’Connor quotes this week. It was the nudge I needed to go to the library and check out her complete short stories. It’s so illuminating to the process of writing short stories, which is what I’m working on right now. But Katharine shared this quote in a Goodreads review yesterday, from a letter written by O’Connor: “”There is a question whether faith can or is supposed to be emotionally satisfying. I must say that the thought of everyone lolling about in an emotionally satisfying faith is repugnant to me. I believe we are ultimately directed Godward but that this journey is often impeded by emotion.”
Are you ready for Lent yet???
And finally, some photos, which I will simply call “everybody loves Michael…but Michael doesn’t always love everybody’s love!”
4 is hilarious!
And I really like the picture of Nicholas and Michael together. It looks like Michael is passionately exploring the world and Nicholas is gently leading him along. Such a nice picture!
We’ve had a very good experience with Girl Scouts.
If they start teaching the Daisies about sex, then yeah, I’ll have a problem with that. But until then, Girl Scouts doesn’t cross my outrage threshold. Where we live, there really isn’t an alternative program for girls.
If I boycotted all the businesses and organizations that did things that I didn’t approve of, then I wouldn’t have very many places to shop or very much to do.
My 21yo was in Scouts from K through to her Gold Award. My middle dd dropped out the 2nd time we moved to Germany (middle school). My youngest was in Scouts for a few years but then we finally moved to a location where a) the leader at our parish troop was less than enthusiastic about a new girl (pretty much told me – we’ll see come Fall) and b) there WAS AHG…. she was in AHG for 4 yrs but now has her time occupied by theater.
While I was never a fan of what GS was doing at the national/international level, it never impacted my girls directly as they had Godly leaders.. but now that my girls are no longer involved, it’s easier to say no thankyou to cookie sales – esp since Keebler sells most of the same flavors
I am a huge Flannery fan. When I was still working with college students, I was always so pleased to see her work included in the undergrad English curriculum. Happy reading!
Cute cute cute. We need to visit again. Or google talk.
Definitely! Never have gotten a chance to figure out why the Google camera didn’t work…Skype’s done really well for us though.
Hello! Just wanted to pop in and say hello. It was great chatting with you at Gennifer Albin’s reading yesterday. Love the pics–our three-year-old loves to BOO! right in the 6-month-old’s face too. It annoys me to no end (she screams it, actually), but he loves it so what can I say? 🙂
Yes, exactly. 🙂 Nice to see you too! I meant to write about that….slipped my mind in my rush on Friday morning.
Love the photos! And I thought #4 was so funny!
I could really picture 4. Very funny!
But #4 really is funny! #5 is important and relates to your post on the NPR series.
And I’m glad everyone’s finding the story funny!
I’m a Girl Scout leader at a troop based in our parish, though we take outside girls. I’ve looked at what has been said about GSUSA and done some research and here is that I have learned:
The term “Girl Scouts” refers to a three-part organization. GSUSA is the parent organization. They get money through membership dues ($12/year right now), product sales and licensing and grants. They develop programming materials and set policies. GSUSA is more liberal than I might choose though not that far out of the mainstream. It is “pro-choice” to the extent that it is not pro-life, but rather considers topics dealing with sexuality to be private matters to be addressed within the family. One of the policies of GSUSA is that any programming dealing with sex or sexuality requires a signed permission slip. GSUSA has not and does not partner with or receive funding from PP.
On a more local level, Girl Scouting is controlled by councils. Councils are geographic and have a certain amount of autonomy as long as they comply with rules set by GSUSA. These councils are responsible for recruiting and training leaders, recruiting girls, setting local policies, owning and maintaining properties (including camps) and some programming. Local councils are supported by cookie sales (they get the lion’s share of cookie profits), other product sales by girls, sales of products at the council stores, program fees, donations, and fund raising. Some councils also charge a programming fee (council dues) to girls, though this is the first year that has been allowed. Some councils have chosen to partner with Planned Parenthood to offer programming. My council has not made that choice. Councils that have done so have received money and/or expertise/and/or volunteers from PP; no PP organizations have received money from GS.
On a girl level, girls, for the most part, are members of troops. Those troops will, to varying extents, reflect the beliefs of the leaders and girls. Our troop is based at a Catholic parish. The leaders are Catholic and most of the girls attend a Catholic schools. As such, we attend a Scout mass at our parish yearly, with the Boy Scouts. No one is forced to attend. We work yearly on a religious award that is presented at that mass. We spend on meeting on this and announce it beforehand so any parent who wants to keep her daughter home can. When I led a troop at a public school I didn’t do that, but when we camped, before bedtime I always gathered the girls in a circle and reminded them that in the GS Law we promised to serve God, and then said that one way many of us served God was by saying prayers before we went to bed and that we were going to take some time to do that now, silently, and that girls who did not usually serve God by saying night prayers were going to serve Him now by being quiet so that others could.
As noted about, no leader should be talking about sex, sexuality, abortion, birth control etc. without getting specific written permission from parents. At that point it because a matter for parental discretion about whether the leader is the person she wants discussing this with her daughter.
Girl Scout programming, particularly on the older girl level should be girl-led. Our highest awards require the girls to do a “take-action” project where they find a need in the community and develop a plan to meet that need. As far as I know, there would be no policy against such a project benefiting PP or other organizations we find morally offensive; on the other hand, they can also benefit organizations we support than others find offensive. However, Girl Scouts are not allowed to raise money for any other group.
As far as why GS rather than AHG, part of it is being part of a world-wide movement. Part of it is the availability of GS properties, like our camps and the availability of local support .
Wow, Ruth–that is a really detailed analysis. Thank you so much for taking the time.
Thanks for this info.
#4 is really funny.