Dear Girl Scouts,
I am writing you today to address recent media coverage of the fact that, as they have for 100 years, Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital council – our sister council in the Washington D.C. metro area – will be marching in the 2017 inaugural parade.
As a non-profit organization, Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington is non-partisan and non-political, and respects the rights of all Girl Scout members to make their own decisions regarding participation in civic events. The Girl Scout movement is made up of individuals who hold political beliefs and convictions as varied as our nation itself. When a girl lifts up her voice, champions her views, and advocates for the issues and ideas important to her – whether as a participant in the inaugural parade or at gatherings like the Women’s March on Washington – the Girl Scout experience is at work. Member participation in these events should not be viewed as an endorsement by Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington, but rather as an exercise of members’ individual rights and responsibilities as citizens.
In November 2016, our council shared a commitment to our members in the face of a very divisive time for our nation, and called for all members to use their voices to make their community, their country and their world a better place. We have not wavered from this commitment to the girls and families we serve. Our council’s primary focus is and always has been to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. We will continue to work toward that mission together with girls, volunteers, families, donors and communities.
If you have thoughts or questions regarding these issues, I welcome your voice.
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington