“On my honor, I will try, to serve God and my country …”

Sometimes you research an outrage and discover that you, personally, aren’t outraged after all. (While still respecting those who are.)

When I heard the Girl Scouts were marching in the inauguration tomorrow, I was ready to call GSUSA headquarters and express my concern as a former Girl Scout and leader who gave 20 years to the organization and may yet give more.

Then I began wondering: was this a national-level action, or a troop level action? Because individual troops and individual girls make their own decisions. That’s an important part of how Girl Scouting works.

So I began looking around and asking questions, and someone finally pointed me to a statement that was just made by GSUSA. The girls who are marching come from the Washington, DC Girl Scout council, and do so voluntarily. To me, this says they chose to be there.

Other girls, from countless councils around the country will be marching in the Women’s Marches in DC and around the country the next day.

Girl Scouting is, among other things, a place for girls to find their voice. I’m not personally thrilled some scouts have chosen to represent the organization by marching in the inauguration, but I’d be even more unhappy if anyone, either Friday’s marchers or Saturday’s, were told not to express their views. Girl Scouting is an organization, but Girl Scouts are individuals.

None of us are going to agree with those who hold similar views all the time. I respect that many people differently about the Scouts’ plans for this weekend. (And they’re Girl Scouts. They likely did plan, rather than having the troop leaders do all the planning for them.)

But when we see a new concern, I think it’s important to do some research and give it some thought, rather than simply responding to calls to action that come across our social media feeds. Whatever our political beliefs, we need to find out what’s actually happened in order to see what we actually think.

Janni Lee Simner

About Janni Lee Simner

Janni Lee Simner is the author of the post-apocalyptic Bones of Faerie trilogy and the contemporary fantasy Thief Eyes, as well as four books for younger children, more than 30 short stories, and the script for the video game The Huntsman: Winter’s Curse. Check out her Writing Life Series for practical tools to hone your writing craft and unlock your creative power or join her email list for ongoing updates here.
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