As a child I dabbled in a variety of clubs--Brownies, Girl Scouts, Campfire Girls, and 4-H--but I was a Brownie and Girl Scout for the longest time. Back in those days (early 1970s), we sold cookies but it wasn't anywhere near the massive production it is now! In fact, my Uncle Lloyd produced some of the paintings on the boxes, back when local Grandma's Cookies made some of the cookies.
|The uniforms back when I was a Brownie and Girl Scout!|
The Girl Scouts explicitly reject discrimination of any kind and consider sexual orientation, “a private matter for girls and their families to address.” Noting their affirmation of freedom of religion, a founding principle of American life, the Girl Scouts “do not attempt to dictate the form or style of a member’s worship” and urge “flexibility” in reciting the Girl Scout Promise. (They are encouraged to substitute the word “God” for something that’s more in line with their own spiritual practice.) It’s an arresting contrast to the Boy Scouts of America, who in addition to excluding gays also refuse to hire non-believers.You can guess which organization I prefer. And here's the uncommon prayer for the day, for the Small Green People called Girl Scouts!
Those small brave cheerful chirping green children, selling me sugar in incredible doses every year, trapping people grimly as they try to enter the library and the grocery store.
You have to admire the devious system; who could say no to a person no taller than your waist, accompanied by her grinning tiny compatriots, all in uniform, with a beaming maternal bookkeeper behind the table? Not me.
And for all I know I will probably have to cut another notch in my belt with the tip of the steak knife when no one is looking, and for all I know surely some percentage of my contribution will buy whiskey and dancing shoes for the Scout leadership in New York City,
still, it seems cool to me that there are two million Girl Scouts in America, and nearly another million American moms helping them out, and some ten million Girl Scouts and Girl Guides in 145 countries around this particular planet, and all of this effort in the end is about joy and teamwork and friendship and laughter and travel and waking up to things and people you didn't know and might never have discovered on your own, and these all seem like excellent things.
So as I wangle the box of Thin Mints open and have just one and then pop another as a sort of comparative research project, I think of all those grinning girls with their braces and pigtails and barrettes and sneakers and voices like sparrows
and I actually no kidding pray for them--for their joy, their safety, their wild sweet small holiness. It is a better world for those small green people in it, and that is a fact. And so: amen.
Here's more information on why I chose this focus for the A to Z, and you can read all my 2015 A to Z posts here. I hope you enjoy the celebrations of the miracle and muddle of the ordinary!
You can buy the book at Brian's favorite local bookstore, Broadway Books, at Powell's Books, or on Amazon. Brian's work is used with permission of Ave Maria Press.