Every year during the time my daughters are selling Girl Scout cookies, often my conservative friends, my fellow paternal supporters (I’m a joint custodial guy, by the way), and once, a random guy in a store. how I could support Girl Scouts. My social media and the click-bait articles that permeate my news streams also choose this time of year to denigrate the organization for alleged links to Planned Parenthood and militant feminists. I have even been asked how I justify being affiliated with the Girl Scouts while claiming to be a Christian. I would like to share my experience to explain why I am proud to be a Girl Scout dad.
From October 2009 to August 2011, I was separated from my daughters by a very unpleasant divorce. In addition to the traditional husband and wife dynamic of our divorce, I had chosen to resist the current system when it comes to not being a stereotype imposed on parents and refused to spend my time with my handicapped daughters. I found myself at odds with several angry family counselors determined to place myself in their punitive preconceived mold about how bad parents are and even had to try to fabricate a confession from my daughter of a horrible nature that would have ended. my rights forever. I had a misandrist by a judge who went so far as to end the custody hearing and force mediation when, due to expert testimony, the narrative shifted out of his narrow world mindset.
As a commitment at my custody hearing to obtain joint custody and a fair custody time, I agreed to attend a 24-week program that was supposed to teach conflict resolution skills, but instead consisted of 24 weeks of shaming. to men. For the fall of 2011, it’s an understatement to say that I was fed up with misandry.
Upon restarting a functional relationship with my oldest daughter, I told her that I wanted to do an activity that would allow us to bond over my relegated weekend. She chose the Brownies, I tried offering other activities and wasn’t sure if this was an environment I wanted to expose her to. I reluctantly agreed to attend. For the first year, I was just a mother leaving her children, but I liked the lessons they were teaching her and I began to see the difference between female empowerment and what had been exposed. I observed the confidence that my daughter was learning and the stability that the organization and the new friends were bringing to her life. The second year, the troop had leadership changes and more delegation of volunteer roles. My daughter knew about my interest in the outdoors and encouraged me to participate in her troop’s camp, so I took on my first leadership role as one of the troop’s campers. When I got involved with other volunteers, I found the Girl Scout world to be very welcoming. Contrary to my own preconceptions about what female empowerment would look like, I found that the teachings were very much in line with what I was teaching my girls. From the encouragement in careers with STEM experience to lessons in personal responsibility, I loved the Girl Scout experience for my girls. When my youngest daughter reached the minimum age of 5, she was excited to receive a Girl Scout membership and an apron from Daisy on her birthday.
The following fall I tried to place my minor in a troop of my own and couldn’t find a troop meeting at a time that would work with my custody time. I presented my problem to the local Service Unit and was surprised that they encouraged me to form my own troop. So I was shocked and did it!
Since the fall of 2014, I have been the leader of a Girl Scout Troop. I am very happy with the curriculum and the experiences we give the girls. Each troop is autonomous and ultimately leadership is returned to the girls with the adults simply leading.
In my 5 years as a troop leader, I have never been asked to teach anything that goes against my beliefs as a Christian and, in fact, Girl Scouts offers a pin that girls can earn annually called My promise, my faith which encourages girls to explore their own faith. This pin encourages girls to individually explore the connection between Girl Scout principles and the beliefs that girls are learning in their own home. The girls take one of the principles of exploration to a woman of their faith who was also an explorer and see how the two teachings fit together.
If I was convinced that there was a damage to the faith of my girls, I would have thrown them away. I have discovered in my area that local churches and troops have a relationship of providing gathering spaces and gathering places, while the 2 groups are separate in their teachings, they are still allied in the desire for a prosperous future for girls.
I have men in some of my social circles asking me why I haven’t made the leap to putting my girls into Boy Scouts now that it’s an option. My answer is simple, Girl Scouts have created great memories, experiences, and supportive friendships for my two girls. The lessons, opportunities, and connections my girls have made have given them experiences that they would not have otherwise had. Summer camps, visits to the State Capitol, STEM exhibitions, horseback riding, and night trips with your friends are incredible childhood memories that you would not have been able to provide. They are happy where they are.
In addition to the positive experiences and support for my girls, I have had positive experiences and memories together with my girls. I mentioned earlier where I was in 2011. I was very wary of women of power. The changes I have experienced here have been amazing. The support from Girl Scout parents and leaders has been very encouraging. I have never been discouraged from trying new things with my daughters and they have provided me with the resources and contacts to be a better influence in my daughters’ lives. The friendships I have made with Girl Scout leaders and volunteers have been an incredible influence on my own worldview. In leading girls, sometimes they are not the only ones to learn valuable lessons.
The opinions expressed in this article are simply my own personal response to various posts, articles, and even personal inquiries. My statements expressed are my own and do not reflect or purport to be the official statement of Girl Scouts of the United States, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, or any individual troop or service unit with which I may be affiliated. I’m just a parent and writer, feel free to like my facebook page for other similar items.