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Resident: Not all Girl Scout experiences the same

I was very upset reading your recent article titled  "New Opportunities open for Girls Joining Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA.” The opinions of girls and parents quoted were very different from my Girl Scout experience. Their opinion was based solely on the troop they were a member of. I was a Girl Scout leader for 25 years and led each of three troops from kindergarten through their high school years. My troops went camping starting in kindergarten. We started in cabins but by second grade we were in tents for family camping. Over the course of each troop’s 13 years, we went camping about five times a year with a week-long camping experience in the summer. We camped in tents when it was below freezing, mastered camping and cooking skills, hiking, backpacking, rock-climbed indoors and outdoors, white water rafted, learned to sail one-man sail boats, archery, shooting, orienteering, learned wilderness survival, financial literacy, learned to check and ride ATVs, horseback riding, and many other outdoor and nature activities. All of the Troop members, approximately 10 to 15 girls earned their Bronze and Silver Awards when they were in fourth to sixth grade or seventh and eighth grade, respectively. Almost all of the girls earned their Gold Award, which is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn at the high school level. All are leadership projects where the girl addresses a community issue and then researches, plans, organizes and executes. Each of these project needs to be at least 80 hours of the girl’s time, not man hours.

Girl Scouts is a girl-led organization that focuses on leadership. I think that the writer of the article should have done her research and found out what Girl Scouts is really about. Girls learn leadership skills starting as early as Daisies (Kindergarten) and build on it every year and in every level. If the girl in your article was unhappy and not getting an experience that she wanted, then it was up to her and her parents to find a troop that would. A call to Girl Scouts of Central Maryland could have lead them in the right direction.

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My own daughters did all the same things that Boy Scouts do, by without the intimidation of having to do these things in front of boys. They competed against Boy Scouts on several occasions and finished in the top three to 10 every time.

Rene Monaghan

Fallston

The writer is a former Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader, and is presently the Service Unit Manager of Community 79 in Fallston.

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