THE WOODLANDS, Texas – Two former Girl Scouts have launched a campaign against the organization known for cookies and badges.
The teenage sisters are accusing the Girl Scouts of America of crossing moral lines when it comes to sex, abortion and women’s rights.
Sydney Volanski, 16, had been a Girl Scout for eight years.
“I liked that I was able to spend time with my friends and learn about new things,” she said.
But last March, she left her brownie background behind.
“I changed my opinion when I started seeing some of the more controversial views that the Girl Scouts had that were not in line with my (Catholic) beliefs,” Volanski said.
So she and her younger sister, Tess, started a website that’s been getting a lot of attention online.
“We’ve certainly gotten a lot of criticism,” said Christy Volanski, her mother. “And it’s taught them a lot about the real world and that not everyone believes the same way you do.”
Her daughters claim that the Girl Scouts have subtlety supported Planned Parenthood for years. They said the group handed out a Planned Parenthood brochure at a conference held by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
Also, their website argues some of the Girl Scouts’ national leaders have loose ties to feminist organizations such as Planned Parenthood.
“A lot of people they highlight as role models are well-known as pro-abortion activists,” Sydney said.
The Girl Scouts have been dealing with similar allegations nationally for the last few years. The group insists the claims are just not true.
“The Girl Scouts do not have a relationship with Planned Parenthood, locally or nationally,” said Connie Chavez, the spokesperson for the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council. “As a matter of fact, human sexuality is an issue that we feel is best left to families to discuss with their daughters.”
Lilly Hall, a troop leader, said the Girl Scouts have never pushed sex education on her girls.
“The Girl Scouts, to me, have been a great opportunity for all girls of all ages, from kindergarten all the way to senior in high school,” Hall said. “We teach girls how to become leaders in today’s world.”
But Sydney Volanski and her sister feel differently—and she’s using the leadership skills she learned to take a stand.
“I would like to see (the Girl Scouts) be more transparent about what exactly is their position on issues like abortion,” she said.