As the mom of a Girl Scout, I'm appalled that the Girl Scouts would participate in this inauguration. Girl Scouts of the USA (the organization) tells the story that it is a champion of Girl Scouts (the girls) who have chosen to participate. GSUSA also touts the girls' participation as celebrating civic engagement and the workings of our democratic government. Together, these two claims are disingenuous and cowardly.
If this were truly about personal choice, I would support the right of the girls to march even while vehemently disagreeing with that choice. But before marching in the inaugural parade could be a Girl Scout's individual decision, it had to be the Girl Scouts' organizational one. These Girl Scouts were afforded the opportunity to participate only because they represent the Girl Scouts. The organization decided to march, and should be held accountable for that decision. (I recognize that it was one council, but they are indistinguishable from and are supported by the national organization.) GSUSA has attempted to shift the weight of responsibility for its actions from its own shoulders on to the backs of a few dozen underage girls.
That underage girls would be called on to celebrate the rise of a sexual predator is especially galling. His misogyny, as well as his racism, xenophobia, and all the forms his bigotry takes denigrates the office of the president. "Respect authority," the Girl Scout Law says. There's respecting authority, and then there's ratifying oppression. This presidency, in so many ways, is not normal. This is not partisan politics, but a shaking of our democracy itself. As someone implicated by the actions of the Girl Scouts in celebrating his inauguration and further normalizing the unacceptable, I'm not having it.
So as the families of Girl Scouts, what do we do? I don't have the answer yet, and my daughter and I are considering what's next. While we weigh the actions of GSUSA, we remember the face of Girl Scouts for us is less the national organization than the girls and leaders of our troop, and our connections there are invaluable. Nor can we forget the national organization's power in the lives of girls, its inclusiveness, and at times courageous actions. But in this case, GSUSA is prioritizing tradition and authority over morality and courage. Our own morality and courage require that we not let this pass without action.
If you're involved with the Girl Scouts, I'd love to hear your thoughts and what actions you're taking.