Over the years, I have written several blog posts about why leaders need to be sensitive to others during the month of December (you can read about it here). It seems kind of silly to me to write about this topic every year, since we as leaders are supposed to be teaching the girls to be Friendly and Helpful, Considerate and Caring, Responsible for What I Say and Do, and Be a Sister to Every Girl Scout). However, during each holiday season, the topic of inclusion is inevitably discussed and how it is not “fair” that one or two Scouts who do not observe Christmas are “spoiling” it for those who do.
Photo from Pixabay
During recent discussions on one of the Facebook pages I read, leaders said they would ask those parents of girls who do not celebrate Christmas if the “minded” doing certain Christmas activities, like making ornaments or going caroling. Many assumed that the parents will not mind, especially if they asked in person or via email, and the parents said it was fine.
But was it really?
As a Jewish parent, I would mind. In fact, one year my older daughter made an ornament with her Brownie troop and brought it home. I was not asked if this was okay, because if I had been asked, I would have said something beforehand. However, there are many parents who will not say anything for fear of rocking the boat and making their child seem like the one who “ruined” or “spoiled” an activity for the majority of girls in the troop.
While we can agree to disagree, I believe that it is unnecessary to make December all about Christmas. The girls get enough of that at home. Girl Scouts is meant to be inclusive, and that means activities and events for everyone in your troop, regardless of how they worship (or how they don’t). We cannot escape the music and decorations and the pressure to give gifts-it is all around us in every store, every magazine and on all kinds of media. However, we can turn this into a season of giving to others and making the world a better place for everyone.