Mariellen Rechtin and her daughter Marta had great experiences as a Girl Scout troop leader and scout. But that experience changed when Mariellen learned of the Girl Scouts of America’s involvement with the UN Population Fund and their connections to Planned Parenthood. The feminist and liberal direction the Girl Scouts curriculum had taken concerned Mariellen and several other parents. She voiced her concerns to the Girl Scout council but was ignored and asked to resign as a troop leader. As a result, Mariellen and her daughter left the organization.
Two other Girl Scout mothers, Kate Hein and Mary Meyer, became concerned about the Girl Scouts’ new direction and ties to Planned Parenthood. They too pulled their daughters out and began searching for family-friendly alternatives. Their daughters are now enrolled in American Heritage Girls and Little Flowers.
Patti Garibay founded American Heritage Girls in 1995 as an alternative scout group that emphasizes faith and family values. Today more than 14,000 girls are involved in AHG.
Little Flowers is a parent-led group consisting primarily of families who left Girl Scouts. The curriculum focuses on virtues education, crafts, family activities and service projects.
Given the influence such groups can have on young people, parents must be sure the values of any organization align with their own before involving their children.