Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are NOT AFFILIATED WITH EACH OTHER AT ALL. I cannot stress that enough. A great deal of the BSUSA'a funding comes from the Mormon Church, and as such, they allow neither Gay nor Atheist parents to serve in any capacity, including as chaperones on field trips.
I am an out and proud Atheist Girl Scout Leader, and my troop has girls of Christian faith, as well as deists, and my secular humanist daughter. We are free to omit the serve God line, and we welcome all girls and women, including trans girls. We also welcome Dads, Grandpas, and even older brothers as chaperones, regardless of their orientation/religious affiliation.
This is good to read! I am in the middle of a bit of a quandary regarding the newly-formed troop at my daughter's school. The leader is very Christian, and while she is a very nice person, is under the impression that GSUSA is a Christian organization and wants the troop to have parties and such on religious holidays. I'm pretty laid back, and did not have an issue with the Christmas holiday party, but now she wants to do an Easter party soon.
I attempted to diplomatically recommend that it be a "Spring" party instead, at which point she informed me that GS is Christian-based and that the activities will likely reflect that.
I have done the further research now so I can send her the actual links and such stating that GS is secular, but I haven't figured out exactly how I want to approach it. I'd like to keep things friendly, but I do want to encourage our troop to be more inclusive to the very diverse population of our little charter school.
Thank you for some really great ideas!!
I think I am going to approach her via email and say that I really would like to discuss things further and ask if she would like to meet up outside of school/GS or would she prefer to discuss them in email. I will continue to not directly mention my family's atheist status, though I doubt she would be wholly surprised. :)
I absolutely would love to run a meeting, and had already been looking into getting our troop access to some of the facilities here in our area for more 'outdoorsy' activities and maybe a weekend camping experience. I know already that I'm (way) in the minority as far as moms that are interested in these sorts of activities, but maybe if I ease them into it with cabin camping and some LNT education, then they might be more amenable to something more primitive down the line. ;)
I had some great experiences with GS growing up in Colorado. So despite some initial concerns, I was excited to support my daughter's interest in participating in scouting. Having a troop at her school is definitely more convenient than seeking out scouting opportunities outside the school - via Campfire or other orgs - but if I have to do so, I will.
I do hope that discussing this will open doors for not only my daughter, but for the very diverse population of girls at her school. While I do think Christians are in the majority at her school, I also know we have a much higher than average Muslim and Buddhist representation at the school due to the density of cultures with those faiths in the area the school serves most. In fact, I might talk with the assistant/co-leader some too, as I believe her family may be Muslim (her husband is Kuwaiti) and may be directly affected by the discussion at hand.
Thank you again!