M. is at the beginning stages of working on her gold award for Girl Scouts. As part of the requirements, she had to attend a preparation workshop at the district office. The short synopsis of that meeting is that it was a bust...frustrating and uninformative. It seems (in my humble opinion) that much of Girl Scouts has accepted society's view of adolescent girls. This is the view which says that teenagers are only interested in what's "hip", that things have to be dumbed down to get them interested, and that they are incapable of taking on adult-sized projects. This is not the case with the young women I know (my daughter included.) In fact, they can smell pandering a mile away and have no patience with it what so ever.
But back to the poor excuse for a workshop...to help them with the gold award, each girl must find a mentor. It was suggested to the scouts that they should probably look for a young woman in her 20's, who has a full-time job and is "with it." When my daughter and her friends asked if they could have their mothers be their mentors for the project, they weren't given a flat-out "no", but were strongly dissuaded from considering the idea. It seems, in the wisdom of the Girl Scouts, that it would put too much strain on an already strained relationship and that the mothers might be tempted to do too much of the work. It just wouldn't work.
After the meeting, where other questions or comments the girls had were either ignored or shut-down, the three girls approached the leader of the workshop. My daughter assures me they were polite and respectful as they voiced their concerns about some of the views expressed. This is what M reports having said, "We don't mean to be rude, but we would like you to rethink your position on mothers as mentors. We all get along with our mothers. They are homemakers, raise children, and homeschool us. They are our role models and we want them to be our mentors. We think you should rethink the stereo-typical way that you portray the relationship between mothers and daughters." At this point, as she's telling me, I'm feeling rather sniffy and thinking I should get a tissue. I am so proud of her for standing up for her beliefs and am so thrilled that she could tell me about it.
As an aside, I'm sure you're wondering why my daughters are still in Girl Scouts if I have such issues with them. It's because I love the troop they're in and the adults who lead it. The adult who attended the meeting was just as upset as the girls were.