North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › Question about the Girl Scouts

Question about the Girl Scouts

Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 707
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My young ones want to join the Girl Scouts. To me it isn't that big of a deal - they are not as Godcentric as the Boy Scouts for example. But of course we ARE in Texas.

The next 3 Wednesdays they are meeting right after school to do arts and crafts.

I was reading online, and there is a little pledge they say, you can find the whole thing at this link:
http://www.girlscouts...­

In particular, the first part states the following:

"On my honor, I will try:
To serve God* and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law. "

The little * has a note that the girl can substitute another word for God, for whatever their spiritual beliefs are.

I am trying to think of another word - as tempting as it is to replace God with "food", "Flying Spaghetti Monster" or "My mother the Tyrannical Matriarch" I am trying to think of something that makes sense, isn't lame, and doesn't sound too out there.

I thought "reason" no, that doesn't make much sense. I would like to put in "my self interest" but THAT would get blown way out of context, and again these ARE little kids.

Any suggestions on what word or phrase we can substitute here?
Karen Gainey
skgainey
Sulphur, OK
Post #: 37
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Whatever you choose will be remembered for a lifetime. When I was in Girl Scouts it was:

On my honor I will try
To do my duty to God and my country
To help other people at all times
And to obey the Girl Scout laws.

If I tried I could probably come up with all the laws as well. The pledge and the laws were recited at every meeting and if memorized a badge was the reward.

Whatever you choose will probably be overridden by mob mentality if this is still chanted aloud. Maybe substitute myself? Mom? My parents? Rewrite the whole line - To live by reason for my self interest? Better yet - convince the scout leader to 'forget' the pledge entirely biggrin


Thinking on it some more, I hate the word 'serve'... what about 'To love family...' That is a change that will be easy for them to defend to the other girls. I have no doubt they will be asked.
Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 708
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I like that - rewrite the whole line.
We will see how it goes - the first few little meetings are just craft activities.

Maybe serve my conscience and reason? Or to live by reason?
A former member
Post #: 88
I think replacing "my god" with "myself" gives it a nice ring.
Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 709
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They suggested just skipping the word god - I am okay with that. No need to get in their faces about it. They didn't seem to care too much - were very nice about it.
Old Toad
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 818
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Take a little more license:

"On my honor, I will:
Never live for the sake of another,
Nor ask another to live for mine."
Scott Connery
Scott_Connery
Dallas, TX
Post #: 77
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On the bigger issue of is it a good idea or not for them to join, I think it depends a lot on the specific troop (Do girl scouts call it that?)

With Boy scouts, some were way more religous than others. Some troops were also generally better managed and more active than others. The only real way to find out is to take a look at a few of the nearby ones and talk to some of the parents.

I loved the Boy Scouts, (and I was an Atheist at the time) and I would not hesitate for my hypothetical children to join, if I was sure they would have an experience like mine.
Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 710
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Seamus was in the Boy Scouts for a time when he was little and he had some fun - but when Travis wanted to be one of the leaders, one of the head honchos for their local group pitched a fit because it would mean he would have to have a key to the shed where they kept their stuff. And, he would have had to sign a form saying that he believed in God.

The Boy Scouts are different from the Girl Scouts a bit, but I agree with you that it does depend for both groups on how the local troops are run. The ladies I talked to today didn't bat an eyelash when I told her we were atheists. They didn't have an issue with it at all.
A former member
Post #: 91
Nice if the Girl Scounts aren't as picky as the Boy Scouts. You might check out the Spiral Scouts - I think they were founded by Pagans who like Atheists and gays were fed up with the religious and sexual discrimination rampant in Boy Scouts in particular. Of course they designed Spiral Scouts to be non-discriminatory and encourage tolerance of all religious and sexual orientations.

By the way I haven't checked them out personally, this info is just second hand. Having just looked at their web site, it appears to me that Atheist/Objectivist members should be at least as comfortable with them as with Boy/Girl Scouts, and I would think more so.
Sherry
SherryTX
Plano, TX
Post #: 718
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Thanks for the link, Gned. I had never heard of Spiral Scouts.
I took a spin on the website, and even if they were in my area, would not consider them. I find their oath/pledges a bit out of line with what I want my kids to learn. Also, since they are pagan based (though, as you said, tolerant towards all religions), I think I would have to spend more time correcting some of things that my kids may learn there more so than the girl scouts. Oddly enough, looking at their website gave me flashbacks of why I decided against going to the UUA when looking for a church setting without necessarily having to believe in god. (But I digress....)

The girls had their 2nd meeting last week, and it went well. When they stood up to do the oath, before they started the leader reminded them that if they wanted to say something other than god it was perfectly fine to do so. She didn't single anyone else, and didn't make a big deal about it either. And they they jumped into their arts and crafts. All and all a good time for them.

The monthly meeting for the local group is at a church, but that doesn't bother me very much. (The smaller groups meet at schools, and the come together once a month.) That is what my son's boy scout troop did as well. I am willing to play it by ear right now and see how each meetings go.

Thanks again for the link though! I do appreciate it.
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