In case you're new to Scouting or you've been living under a rock, I would like to announce Pinewood Derby season is officially upon us. My boys' pack handed out their Derby car kits at the holiday party and the boys have been hard at work building their cars. I never realized how many rules and regulations are in place in regards to this fun little race! Sheesh!
My daughter, a Daisy Scout, is considerably jealous of her brothers' fun. She wants to sculpt a car and race it too. Of course, her car “would be so much better looking!” She “would paint daisies and bumble bees and maybe a kitten” on her car. How cute is that?!? Unfortunately the Girl Scouts don't have a pinewood derby. They don't have anything remotely like it. Katie will just have to be satisfied with sitting on the sidelines of her brothers' races, cheering them on....
But wait! Could it be? It IS! A local pack is sponsoring a Powder Puff Pinewood Derby! Girls in Scouting are welcome to sign up and participate, providing they pay the (nominal) $10 fee. Because it is not Troop-affiliated, girls don't even have to hope their troop will participate; they can attend individually!
This is a truly wonderful idea, on two fronts:
First, we are all Scouts. Extending a hand in fellowship from Boy Scouts to Girl Scouts is a great lesson. Its teaches kids that we can all get together and play, regardless of whether we are male or female.
Second, it's about time girls get the opportunity to focus on things outside the traditionally “domestic” realm that Girl Scouts is centered around. (Before you send me email telling me the girls are branching into science, math and technology, let me say I agree, they are. But when was the last time your Troop actually had to build something to earn a patch?)
I can't wait to tell Katie about this. I think I'll surprise her and not tell her until I have the kit to hand her; it will be so much fun to work together, making her very first car! I kind of got pushed out of working with the boys on their cars...”Mom, this is a boy thing. Girls can't work with wood – you might break a nail!” Right.
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Pinewood Derby - Powder Puff!
@Hilary on 01/03/2012
As a long time and still current volunteer in both organizations - I have to note that a correction is needed in this article, as is a reflection on the message its giving to the girls.
Its says, 'Unfortunately the Girl Scouts don't have a pinewood derby." Which is only a half truth. Girl Scouts as an organization does not have the highly organized Pinewood Derby seasonal program that BSA has, HOWEVER there is nothing stopping a Girl Scout Troop (at any level) to organize a Girl Scout Pinewood Derby program for themselves or to expand it beyond that to Service Unit, Council, or higher levels of participation. There are Troops, and even SUs that DO have them!!
Also, the comment "it's about time girls get the opportunity to focus on things outside the traditionally “domestic” realm that Girl Scouts is centered around. (Before you send me email telling me the girls are branching into science, math and technology, let me say I agree, they are. But when was the last time your Troop actually had to build something to earn a patch?)" I'm glad you are letting your daughter be a Daisy. I just hope her time is Girl Scouts isn't spent with her Parent's message being 'that's nice sweetie, but wouldn't you rather be a Boy Scout?'. Try embracing the Girl Scout leadership methods and program in its full extent - your daughter will notice and appreciate it I assure you!!
Remember the program is designed to allow the girls to pretty much have any experience they are interested in - versus set rank advancements as we have in BSA - as long as GSUSA safety guidelines are followed. Construction projects of all sizes are allowed and encouraged - always have been and always will be. if you don't want her to have a Girl Scout experience that focuses on 'domestic' skills - then give her the ability to choose other things, instead of lamenting about a set program pathway not being there for her to take.
Girl Scouts is all about finding one's own path in life - and GSUSA isn't going to be a moral judge of her. That gives every girl a safe place to learn about and be connected with herself and the world. (For all the people going - 'but BSA'. Think about it - the organizations serve different groups, but the goals are very much the same. BP's goal from day one with Scouting was peace - and although he didn't agree with Juliette starting Girl Scouts the way she did - he did eventually accept it and see its value. So why in the United States do we keep seeing this Girl Scout/Boy Scout animosity?) BOTH programs are right!!
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