In our last newsletter, we published a letter stating that
the Girl Scouts promoted hunting. This happy mistake was brought
to our attention by our member, Dr. Joyce Bloom. We are relieved
to report that our follow-up found that no such program exists.
However, we were concerned to hear someone from one of the
independent councils answer our question by saying "Not yet." In
our apology to the Girl Scouts, we wrote: "As our organization's
purpose is to protect wildlife, we are aware that "wildlife
management" agencies are implementing programs to shore up
sagging hunting license sales by targeting women. I'd like to make
a suggestion to ensure that the Girl Scouts will never fall victim
to attempts to bring this horrific activity to its members.
The language you quoted from page 35 of Safety-Wise, 'All activities
in an outdoor setting [are to] reflect an understanding of the
importance of conserving and improving the environment and protecting
is language that to most would exclude hunting as a
legitimate Girl Scout activity. However, to those who hunt and
to agencies that promote hunting to young men and women, the quotation
can be construed to support a hunting program: "Conserving," "Improving
environment," and "Protecting wildlife" are their
euphemisms for hunting activity. These expressions are co-opted
by public relations departments of "environmental conservation" agencies
(sometimes called departments of "environmental protection" or "natural
resources"), and hunters and trappers, to give those bloody
activities a benign appearance. What can only be called "Newspeak" is
common jargon throughout hunting literature.
While Girl Scout councils operate independently but are expected
to stay within the guidelines set by the Girl Scouts of the USA,
may I suggest phrasing that would be subject to less misinterpretation:
'All activities in an outdoor setting [are to] reflect an understanding
of the importance of conserving and improving the environment and
protecting wildlife, both individual animals and entire species,
Our apologies to the Girl Scouts and to our member, Dr. Bloom.