On Friday, January 20, approximately 75 Girl Scouts from the Nation’s Capital council will voluntarily march in the 2017 Presidential Inaugural Parade, as the council has done over the past 100 years. As part of this unique experience, these girls will gain insight into the time-honored democratic tradition of a peaceful transition of power. Then, the very next day, Saturday, January 21, women and girls, including Girl Scouts, from across the country will descend on Washington to participate in the Women's March and similar events in communities across the country.
At Girl Scouts, our Movement is made up of individuals who hold political beliefs and convictions as varied as our nation itself. And because every girl has a home at Girl Scouts, every girl in our Movement is allowed her own ideas, opinions, beliefs, and political ideology. Our fundamental value is empowering girls to be leaders in their own lives. By helping them build the courage, confidence, and character to lift their voices, champion their views, and be advocates for the issues and ideas important to them, Girl Scouts supports girls as they become catalysts for change who strengthen their communities.
Of course, we are a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that by law cannot take positions on political candidates or parties—and we take this very seriously.
At Girl Scouts it’s our goal to help girls be empowered, and we support them as they raise their voices to lead, every day. Girl Scouts have lent their voices to the fight for racial equality, advocated for a clean environment, invested in those less fortunate, and so much more. Girl Scouts also have a long history of taking the lead to create change by engaging in civic action. Empowering girls to forge their own paths and take action in their own lives is at the center of everything we do.
Being a leader means having a seat at the leadership table no matter what. It means being willing to work with whomever happens to hold political power. It means preparing girls not to run from the face of adversity, but to stand tall and proud and announce to the world, and the powers that be, that they are a force to be reckoned with, and that their needs, ideas, and views must be taken seriously. To do otherwise is to tell girls to sit down and be quiet—and that they don’t count.
Advocating for change on issues one cares about isn’t at odds with participating in a century-long tradition that represents the peaceful exchange of power.
Leadership. That’s what it means to be a Girl Scout. Leadership is why the impact of Girl Scouts remains so long after a girl leaves our Movement. So as we swear in the 45th president of the United States, it only seems fitting to celebrate more than a century of Girl Scout civic action.