The New Age Comes to the Girl Scouts

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For nearly one hundred years, since 1912, the Girl Scouts of the USA has existed. By 1920, over 70,000 girls had joined; and there are currently about 3.6 million Girl Scouts and an alumnae of more than 50 million women. The founder, Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low, believed in developing girls “physically, mentally, and spiritually.” While there have been many wholesome and practical aspects of the Girl Scouts in the past (teaching cooking, sewing, and outdoor skills), today the Girl Scouts has become a place where potentially millions of girls will be introduced to New Age spirituality. While the organization discourages the use of Christian emphasis in its meetings, it seems to show no reluctance when it comes to New Age spirituality.

For instance, on a 12 page brochure for their upcoming annual National Council Session, to be held in Indianapolis in October, it states: “Channel your inner being. Be one with your mind, body, and soul. Yoga for everyone!” Yet, on their website it states: “Doxology is not an appropriate Girl Scout event song, as it is easily identified as a Christian church song.”

References to Yoga can be found in Girl Scout literature and activities, such as the Spring-Summer 2007 issue of Leader Magazine (the official GSUSA publication) where it tells of a Charleston, W.V. GS chapter participating in Yoga. 1 And then there is a program called Fit’s Inn where “[g]irls try sports and dance, and even learn yoga.” 2 Yoga is also mentioned in a report titled “A Report from the GIRL SCOUT RESEARCH INSTITUTE” in a favorable way (p. 29). 3 Yoga has been promoted by the GSUSA for at least five years. In a 2003 article on the group’s main website, the subheading reads Volunteering–From Yoga to PR.4, and another article titled “Become the Best You Can Be” encourages learning “how to meditate” and practicing yoga. 5

While these references and promotions of Yoga are disturbing to say the least, a recently formed partnership between GSUSA and a group called “the Ashland Initiative”6 will take Girl Scouts to a whole new level of New Age spirituality! The Girl Scouts will be incorporating the Ashland Initiative’s Coming Into Your Own program, saying the program’s aim “is to create a team of adult champions who will model a search for integrated leadership that springs from a deep sense of self-knowledge.” The Ashland Institute (located in Ashland, Oregon) is a group that teaches Attunement (metaphysical energy healing) described as “Creative Energy Practice,” which “deepens” the “connection with the Source of Life.” 7

The Coming Into Your Own is a “personal development program for women” who are going through “transition.” An opening quote in the program brochure is from lesbian poet May Sarton (1912-1995); the program works in partnership with an organization called Dialogos, also a proponent and resource for Attunement. A 75 page online book about the Coming Into Your Own program reveals the New Age nature behind the program. Another partner of the Ashland Institute is The Fetzer Institute, where a broad assortment of mystical, New Age resources is offered. Thomas Merton, the Dalai Lama, David Steindl-Rast, and other mystics are touted.

The Ashland Institute lists eleven resources for their participants, the majority of which are other New Age/New Spirituality promoting groups, such as Collective Wisdom Initiative, Co-Intelligent Institute, The Millionth Circle (to “shift planetary consciousness” it says), and The World Cafe.

The Girl Scouts’ move to partner with the Ashland Initiative will help create leaders within the GSUSA who will take the New Age agenda to countless girls, and instead of just teaching girls sewing, outdoor skills, and cooking, they will introduce them to meditation and the divinity within, the basic message of the New Age. This is further evidence that today’s world has become a mystical New Age society; and much of this has been accomplished by directing efforts toward children.

Related Article: The Girl Scouts New Radicalism

See other articles on Children and Meditation:

Washington Students Take Up Yoga

Focus on the Family’s Adventures in Odyssey – Promoting Contemplative?