Religious & Social Issues
STATEMENTS SURROUNDING RELIGIOUS & SOCIAL ISSUES
Over the past few years, several organizations have been spreading misinformation and falsehoods about the Girl Scouts using very sophisticated internet and social media methods. Unfortunately, because the false stories have been repeated so many times, there are many sincere people who've been misled into thinking that these falsehoods about Girl Scouts are true!
The Girl Scout Movement includes over 50,000 Adult Volunteers in our state and 2 Million in this country who choose to live their lives though the values of Girl Scouting and their individual faith perspectives. Within our movement there are differences but we seek to be inclusive and strive to treat all individuals with respect and human dignity.
The Real Girl Scout Story:
- Has God been removed from the Girl Scout Promise? NO
- Does Girl Scouts have a relationship with organizations providing birth control or abortions? NO
- Does Girl Scouts distribute information about birth control or abortion? NO
- Do Girl Scout leaders around the country do what a small "radical" group of women in New York tell them to do? NO
- Are Girl Scouts told what to think or do by the national or international organization? NO
For more information surrounding these and other issues, please review Questions & Answers Concerning Girl Scouts (PDF).
Girl Scouts and Religion:
For over 100 years, Girl Scouts has been an inclusive, all-girl organization promoting respect for girls. Girls of all faiths and backgrounds are welcome as long as they agree to abide by the Girl Scout Promise and Law. While members probably have a wide range of political beliefs, Girl Scout activities are strictly non-political. No adult may discuss sensitive issues with a girl without specific written permission from her parents/guardians.
This campaign of misinformation has also raised concerns about Girl Scouting and its relationship to the church, specifically Catholic teachings and beliefs. Girl Scouts has relationships with over 60 major Christian denominations and major religions, including a partnership with the Roman Catholic Church that extends over 100 years. Girl Scouts works closely with the Catholic Church, both locally and nationally, to ensure that Girl Scouting continues to be a positive and beneficial experience for girls of the Catholic faith.
For more information, please see the following statements and FAQs regarding Girl Scouts of the USA, GSSEM, and the Catholic Church:
Girl Scouts of the USA
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- USCCB - Catholic Scouting
- Questions and Answers About Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and About Catholic Scouting
- Background on Girl Scouts of the USA and USCCB Conversations
National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry
Letter to Bishops - NFCYM & GSUSA
- NFCYM Resource on Catholic Girl Scouting (March 2016)
NFCYM Position Statement on GSUSA Issues
- NFCYM Updated Position Statement (February 2012)
- NFCYM Principles for Cooperative Partnership (2012)
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
- Archdiocese of Detroit MOU
- Generic MOU - Use for Personalized, Local Agreements
- Diocese of Lansing MOU
Catholic Youth Organization
Youth Organization Letter to Pastors & Parish
- Catholic Youth Organizations Position Statement letter
Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan
- Faith-Based Communities - Online Training Module
Process to Address Faith-Based Concerns
- Michigan Council's Joint Statement to All Catholic Arch/Dioceses
For information about Catholic leader training sessions and more, please visit:
- The National Catholic Committee for Girl Scouts USA & Campfire USA (NCCGSCF)
Religious Recognition Training
Youth Organization of the Archdiocese of Detroit (CYO)
- Archdiocese of Detroit - Protecting God's Children Workshop*
- Diocese of Lansing - Protecting God's Children Workshop*
- Diocese of Saginaw - Protecting God's Children Workshop*
* Protecting God's Children Workshops are required of all Catholic Diocesan staff and every Catholic volunteer who works with children on a one-time or regular basis.