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Christian Alternative to Secular Girl Scouts Growing, Expanding

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"WOSM was very adamant that any scout association which wanted to be part of WOSM, had to adhere to the basic principles as set down by the Founder, which included "Duty to God". WOSM does not permit that this phrase be altered, or that scouts may replace it with their own."



Actually, this is not exactly correct.


From the WOSM website, an article on Scouting and Spiritual Development -


From a Resolution of the 18th World Scout Conference, 1961 -


For Scout associations which so wish the Promise must be capable of being formulated so

that allowance is made for the fact that their membership may include

believers in a Personal God and also those who acknowledge a spiritual

Reality. Any such information must be in accord with the original Scout

Promise that recognizes a supreme spiritual Presence in the Universe.


And, on the impact to the World Scout Movement of the fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of the Soviet Bloc -


"The question with which Scouting had to wrestle was: can the name of God

be imposed in their Promise on young people who are completely

secularized with deep-rooted prejudices? The solution adopted by the

Constitutions Committee, with the support of the World Committee, was as


As a first step, the Constitutions Committee drew up a definition of the

spiritual dimension which was felt to be both theologically and educationally


Acceptance of a Spiritual Reality and search for its full significance.

In the same manner, the Committee accepted the following formulation for

the Promise:

To do my duty to God, that is to accept a Spiritual Reality and to search

for its full significance.

In so doing, the Constitutions Committee, with the support of the World

Committee, noted that:

Either one and/or the other part of the formulation could be used but

that in no case would there be a Promise without a spiritual dimension."




"In addition, the Committee endeavoured to discuss the question with each

of the associations at length, to help them find a formula that would be the

most conducive to the spiritual development of young people in their

respective societies.



From the WOSM Constitution -


"All members of the Scout Movement are

required to adhere to a Scout Promise and

Law reflecting, in language appropriate to the

culture and civilization of each National Scout

Organization and approved by the World

Organization, the principles of Duty to God,

Duty to others and Duty to self, and inspired

by the Promise and Law conceived by the

Founder of the Scout Movement"


Which, by the way, is very similar to the WAGGGS Constitution -


"A Member of the World Association shall be a National

Organization which:

a) adheres to the Fundamental Principles and has a Promise

and Law, in wording approved by the World Board, which

embodies the essential elements of the Original Promise

and Law"


The Scout Promise of two WOSM member countries -




"On my honor, I promise I will do my best to do my duty to God/Buddha and the country, and to obey the Scout Laws, to help other people at all times, and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight."




"The Promise for the Scout/Guide is: " On my honour, I promise that I will do my best to do my duty to God* and my country, to help other people and to obey the Scout/Guide Law"

* The word "Dharma" may be substituted for the word "God" if so desired."



The above WOSM Promise sounds a LOT like the Promise of GSUSA -


"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 word "God" can be interpreted in a number of ways, depending on one's spiritual beliefs. When reciting the Girl Scout Promise, it is okay to replace the word "God" with whatever word your spiritual beliefs dictate."



So, it seems WAGGGS is not "lax" and WOSM is not "adamant". They are both saying the same thing, just a bit differently.


'Nuff said.




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"Due to the things I saw at GSA camp, I have warned MANY friends and acquaintances that the GSA camp I saw was not at all compatible with the values they held."


First off, please use correct terminology. There is no such organization as GSA. The organizaton is the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, or GSUSA.


What exactly were these "things" you saw at that one camp you visited?


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"What exactly were these "things" you saw at that one camp you visited?"


+ Sexually promiscuous staff, who

-- discussed various sexual activities, in our (all male) hearing, while also in the presence of Brownie (is that still the right term?) aged girls. One staffer, while standing just outside the bathhouse as young girls were going in and out, discussed at length and in exact detail what she was going to do to, and with, her boyfriend during the upcoming week off. She stated loudly, and with much laughter from her audience, that she had warned him that he'd better have been being faithful, and better not last more than 15 seconds the first time. I was working on some equipment near the bathhouse, and was within 10 feet of her when she made these comments.

-- offered themselves sexually to at least two of my workers, not in the hearing -- but still in the presence -- of girls.

-- foreign staffers who were described to me their plans to finance further travels in the USA by working briefly in Las Vegas as hookers. I initially thought that they were just trying to mess with me, but when I expressed some disbelief, they went into some considerable detail.

-- staffers who fit the "hairy legged lesbian man-hater" stereotype to a degree I would have never believed, if we hadn't experienced it. I didn't know, prior to those experiences, that such people actually existed! In one cases, the level of misandry and hostility was so great that we could not do our work, and had to have the Council office intervene.


+ Several of my workers -- all married or engaged -- had a problem one year with a particular counselor. The opening of the tent where this counselor lived faced the service road we often used. On at least two occasions, this counselor managed to position herself where she could give my workers a bare 'crotch shot' as they drove down the road. She gave particular attention to one of my employees, who was getting married that same summer. He was rather terrified of her, and we ribbed him mercilessly about his "girlfriend at camp". This same camp staffer offered to take me on a personal tour of an 'adult' motel (now closed) that was about 20 miles from the camp. When I declined, she noted that it wouldn't cost me anything, since she'd cover the costs. She knew I was married, though I can't remember if she'd met my wife.


+ Another year, I was personally solicited by the camp director. It was a rather frightening experience for me, since I was older, larger, and much stronger than this young woman and since we were in an isolated location at the time. I was very concerned about the possibility of a false accusation. I was also stunned, and couldn't initially believe what was happening, since I knew that she was at that time the lesbian lover of the Aquatics Director of facility in a nearby metro area. I can only assume that she was bisexual. In any case, I left at a near run when she attempted to show me (I'm not making this up!) where a yellow jacket had stung her UNDER the front of her very brief running shorts. I immediately made contact with several other staffers in such a way that I could later verify the time of that contact.


+ Other items are too politically incorrect, too likely to identify the specific facility, or too explicit to mention here.


Of course, there were people at the camp with whom we had good relations. Actually, I never had any work related problems with the camp director who solicited me -- but I did make sure I was never again alone with her. Also, the episodes mentioned above do not reflect behavior that was typical of all, or even most, our service calls. But, they do reflect patterns that were maintained over the entire period of our association with the camp, which continued for over ten years!


And to forestall any questions along the lines of 'why didn't you report it', there were numerous reasons.


First, I had good reason to believe that some in the Council office were as aware as they wanted to be of these problems. Second, many of these experiences, if reported, would have immediately devolved into a 'he-said-she-said' squabble; we could prove nothing. Third, we often worked in situations where it would have been easy for a hostile staff to create false, but credible, accusations. Given that there were almost always a couple of staff individuals holding to both the "men are parasites on womyn-kind" concept, and the post-modernist dictum that "truth is whatever you distort it to be" . . . we were suspected that that any reports we made were more likely to result in serious retaliatory accusations, than in beneficial change. As I noted above, the Council staff knew as much about the Camp as they wanted to know -- they mostly avoided it completely.


My relationship with this facility ended some years ago, when many of the staff, at both the camp and in the Council were replaced. I never pursued it, but I assume that anyone who'd had a long relationship with the facility was somewhat suspect. Frankly, given the things I'd gradually become aware of over the years, I thought only prudent that a new administration treat all prior longtime subcontractors as suspect. I assume that this was the reason I was dropped, but I never pursued it, since my business was taking a different direction. Please note that the focus of the 'house-cleaning' was NOT, so far as I ever knew, the issues I described above, but was wholly focused on some management and financial problems.



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What a shame that this behavior went on for so long and no one felt it necessary to let the Council know about it!


As horrible as that was, it was ONE camp in ONE council. I have been to GSUSA camps and that is not typical behavior.


However, problems with paid staffers does occur at BSA, GSUSA, and other Youth Group camps. It just comes with the territory. On another forum here there was a discussion about a Scout staffer at a BSA summer camp caught smoking pot. People have to be willing to report bad behavior or the organization in charge of the camp will never know about it.





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Ummmm, that's not just smoking pot... point is, you put together enough "anecdotes" like this and soon you have a national movement like AHG. GSUSA may not like it, some on this board might not like it, but GSUSA has only itself to blame, by making it apparent in many small and some big ways that they do not intend to be a mainstream-friendly or at least a traditional values friendly group. That's precisely why AHG embodies diversity: diversity does not mean that every group must welcome whatever beliefs exist-- that would imply the destruction of any individual identity. Diversity here means that folks who value traditional values have somewhere to turn where those values aren't denigrated.



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"What a shame that this behavior went on for so long and no one felt it necessary to let the Council know about it!"


I think you are missing the point: EITHER the council execs didn't know because they either didn't want to know OR they knew, and didn't care! I never knew which it was. However other information I have made it clear (at least to me) that it was one or the other. I can't share these details without identifying more than I'd like to do.


Please keep in mind that people like the camp director were hired DIRECTLY by the council execs. The far, far left political and social activist types they hired were ALSO selected by the council. And, remember that these issues existed during the entire period we worked there, which was for a period longer than 10 years.


I realize that organizations, such as the Catholic Church and the BSA, have covered up some very nasty dirt, in order to protect 'the good name' of the organization. I've seen similar behavior in a smaller organization I was associated with. In all cases, I consider such cover-ups to be the wrong choice. However, it is pretty clear to me that neither the Catholics nor the Boy Scouts considered the dirt to be anything other than nasty.


By contrast, there is a very strong suspicion in my mind that the GSUSA -- or a least the local council -- did not see the 'dirt' I described to be all that 'dirty'. There was a tremendous focus, within the council, on ACA compliance, and they worked very hard and successfully on that. Clearly, they could and did manage in such a way as to accomplish goals they valued.


I could never 'prove it', but I strongly believe the problems in the camp reflected the values held by the local board and the council execs. I wish I could detail the situation further, but it's simply not prudent for me to do so. Among other things, the council board during that period included several very high power attorneys, who were very active in support of organizations considered -- at least in the non-Atlanta regions of the South -- to be very far left. I would not want to tangle with them.



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onehouraweekmy said, "... diversity does not mean that every group must welcome whatever beliefs exist-- that would imply the destruction of any individual identity. Diversity here means that folks who value traditional values have somewhere to turn where those values aren't denigrated."


I'm glad your children are involved in a Scouting/Guiding program where they feel comfortable. That is important. However, it seems to me that you are twisting the definition of the word "diversity". Your usage suggests a situation much more akin to "uniformity". That's not necessarily a bad thing - people generally prefer to associate with others who are like themselves. However, it is not diversity, and it is misleading to describe AHG that way when the group excludes all religions except one (Christianity). AHG is an exclusive group. There's nothing wrong with that; use it as a positive promotion but don't pretend to diversity.


Nonetheless, I take issue with your dire warning that association with "whatever beliefs exist" leads to "destruction of any individual identity". This is certainly not the case in BSA. Most BSA units are multi-faith, with Jews rubbing elbows with Christians and Buddhists associating with Hindus and Muslims. I have never heard of any case in which anyones individual identity has been destroyed or even damaged as a result of this healthy association. And I don't know that BSA members "denigrate" traditional values. If AHG members wish to associate only with other Christians that is certainly their right, but please don't insult the rest of us by implying you'ld be contaminated by our cooties.




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I have two sons in BSA, am my Troop's CC, and have a daughter who would love to be in scout-like activities. I support the BSA and have no problem with the way they handle the requirement that a scout be reverent.


On the other hand, GSUSA has seemed to take a different path of involvement with more socially liberal activism that is repellent to traditional Christian values. When "diversity" is used as an excuse to foist anti-Christian values on a group, then it is not diversity, but agression.


The GSUSA would be better off following the lead of the BSA and requiring belief in God, while leaving it to the scout to excercize whatever reverence is consistent with his religious upbringing. BSA stays away from hot social issues, unlike GSUSA, which has too often teamed up with Planned Parenthood and recognized lesbian groups, and often at least winks and nods at the types of shenaningans documented in other posts.


Given that GSUSA has made the decision to use "diversity" as an excuse to alter the original aims of the organization, conscientious Christians are compelled to look elsewhere, such as AHG, for a group that will allow legitimate diversity (I am a Catholic for instance, and while I know little of AHG, would probably be comfortable amongst its members, as would believing Jews) while excluding those things that call into question the very nature and purpose of the organization.

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I'm glad to learn about AHG. I don't have daughters, but I will pass this information on to my nieces in San Francisco. Although girl scouting in my small midwestern town appears to still promote the same morals as when I was a child, it's quite different in California!


My nieces were very excited when they became old enough to join Girl Scouts, but their parents soon pulled them out due to the fact that immoral behaviors were being promoted at scout meetings and camp-outs. I'm glad to hear that there is an organization they can join where they will get a scouting experience WITH morals just like their brother's Cub Scout Pack.

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I too am a bit perplexed at this new definition of diversity to mean "one view".


I have a daughter who was a daisy scout. She begged to quit after her third year. It wasn't the lesbian agenda, it wasn't the lectures from Planned Parenthood. It wasn't the overtly sexual promiscuity of the staffers at camp. It was about the brownie leader being a complete ditz and not making it fun. My daughter has a one strike policy. Come to think of it, so does my wife. "I've said my piece and counted to three."

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Nick and Gern:


Maybe "freedom of choice" is a better term than "diversity" when considering AHG vs. GSUSA.


Some families weren't happy with certain aspects of GSUSA -- but rather than whine and moan (and sue them) about it, they actually did something constructive and came up with an alternative.


I wish those who whine and moan (and sue) about BSA membership policies would learn from the example of AHG and start their own organization -- choice is a "good thing", right?

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Every group is "exclusive" in that sense. The whole point of any organization, whether it be the scouts or the lady's knitting circle, is to promote certain common objectives with people who share the same goal-- and by definition this means "excluding" some people who do not share those goals or who cannot advance the organization's goals. The scouting movement is "exclusive" when it disallows girls to join (in the case of BSA) or boys to join (GSUSA). Or when they impose more or less arbitrary age limits. Or when they require leaders to be "morally straight."


Exclusivity is not something bad, it is something good and necessary in order for a group to have an identity at all.


That being said, the AHG allows all kinds of legitimate diversity within the framework of a generally Christian organization. From their website, I find no requirement that girls must be Christian to join, although apparently adults must. So although they may not be as "diverse" as the GSUSA supposedly are (although I question a "diversity" that drives so many good people from the organization), the question at the end of the day is "so what?"


Diversity is not some holy grail to which all else must be sacrificed. It is a lesser-order good than other goods such as respect for traditional Judeo-Christian values. If it conflicts with those values, then it should give way so the fundamental values are not compromised.


Anyway, that's the old-fashioned way of looking at it.


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Onehour, I dont believe that an artificially homogenous social group is healthy for young, developing minds. That smacks of "separate but equal". I realize that BSA also self-defines its own "diversity" while excluding large numbers of youth on the basis of their biology and/or religion. And thats not right either.


You say, "AHG allows all kinds of legitimate diversity ..." suggesting you have some notion of "illegitimate" diversity. Presumably, you see some differences as good (hair color? blood type?) and other differences as bad (religion? gender identity?). I don't think I agree with characterizing some diversity as legitimate and others as illegitimate.


You also say, "Diversity ... is a lesser-order good than ... Judeo-Christian values" Here, I am pretty sure that my Hindu and Buddhist friends would disagree with you. Not that it matters of course, because you evidently wouldn't want to associate with them in the first place.


But of course it begs the questions of which "Judeo-Christian values" you mean. The ones shown by Lot when he offered his virgin daughters to the crowd? Or later, slept with them himself? Or the ones shown by Abraham when he tried to murder his son? Or the ones shown by Moses when he massacred Israelites who had decided to worship a different God? Of course, none of these. But my point is that "Judeo-Christian" values are all over the moral compass and have no natural advantage over say, Buddhism or the Wiccan Rede.


I'll take diversity every time.


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But I think despite your lack of adherence to the value system that has bequeathed us the very freedom in which we can even have this discussion, you nevertheless surely would NOT favor some kinds of diversity. For example, I imagine you do not favor the diversity that would allow convicted sex-offenders to serve as adult scout leaders; or that would allow unrelated opposite-sex adults to share a tent with youth, or homosexuals to share a tent with same-sex youth.


It seems you are simply defining the things you like as "diversity" (good) and the things you don't like (such as Judeo-Christian values) as "exclusive" (bad).


It makes for interesting verbal gymnastics, but as I say, unless you favor the diversity examples I mentioned above, your diversity worship is just a thin veneer for cheering your side and tarring the opposing side as "exclusive."


As for your baited "examples of Judeo-Christian" values, I won't take the bait. If you can't distinguish between a principle or ideal and a particular example of a deviation from that ideal, you're either astoundingly ignorant or just a demagogue. Either way, you ought to control your intolerance a little better. After all, I never said I wouldn't associate with Buddhists or Wiccans, that's something you dreamed up. While I support the right of those folks to do their thing, I don't think the rest of us have to change our institutions to accomodate them.


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