As you may have already heard, the Girl Scout Council in Washington DC, Nation's Capital, has decided to participate in the presidential inaugural parade, a time-honored tradition that dates back 100 years. Along with members of other nonprofit organizations including the Boy Scouts of America, approximately 75 Girl Scouts from the greater Washington region have accepted the invitation to carry American flags, Girl Scout flags, Girl Scout Gold Award flags, and G.I.R.L. banners in the inaugural procession.
The decision on whether to participate in this tradition was made by the girls and their leaders and any Girl Scout had the right to opt out.
Presidential inaugurations are an incredible opportunity for girls to learn about the American democratic process and civic engagement, and to be eyewitnesses to history. Helping girls tap into their leadership potential and develop the courage, confidence, character, and skills they need to be leaders in their own lives and change the world is an indelible part of the Girl Scout mission.
GSUSA Interim CEO Sylvia Acevedo wrote an op-ed published by Time.com which further explains the decision to march in the inaugural parade. Please take a moment to read this piece.
As a council, the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida will not be participating in the inauguration, and we will not oppose any of our troops or leaders who choose to participate. Similarly, we will not be officially participating in the Women's March on Saturday. However, we understand that there may be Girl Scouts who wish to do so and we support their absolute right to express their views in this way.
Essential to our democracy and to an inclusive movement is the necessity to ensure freedom of speech, even when we may disagree. As an inclusive movement representing the diversity of our great country, we know we will not always agree on every viewpoint or stance, but we do have shared values in our Girl Scout Promise and Law that guide us. We will continue to strive to help every girl understand and demonstrate her inherent worth and value as an individual who will take the lead, like a Girl Scout.
“Our legacy is one of uniting, not dividing.”
Sylvia Acevedo, GSUSA Interim CEO
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Nicole Gonzalez, public relations and media manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 813-262-1774.