The official lineup for the 2017 Inaugural Parade has been announced, and the backlash has begun. I was not surprised that the Girl Scouts are being criticized for participating, but I am very alarmed at the calls to boycott Girl Scout cookie sales.

I, too, was disappointed with the presidential election results, but I still think the Girl Scouts should participate for six reasons:

Because We Serve Our Country

We are a non-partisan organization that promotes civic education.  According to the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital: “The event is a symbol of our democracy and the peaceful transition of power. This year, the Presidential Inaugural Committee offered the opportunity for 75 Girl Scouts to march in the parade.”  

, Girl Scout History Project

Girl Scout greeters at the 2013 Inauguration (GSCNC Archives)

Because We Respect Authority

The Girl Scout Law also instructs us to respect authority. That means to respect the office, if not the office holder.

Because We Teach Resilience

With elections, one side loses. Deal with it. We need to teach girls to lose with grace. If they don’t like the outcome, get up and do something about it.  Don’t go home and pout.

Because We Keep Our Commitments

We should march because we made a commitment to march—a commitment to the Inaugural Committee and a commitment to the girls who applied and were selected. There are much fewer opportunities for Girl Scouts this year. While for past Inaugurations Girl Scouts were posted at metro stations and other locations to provide information and directions, this year they were only invited to participate in the parade.

Because It Was a Struggle to Participate

Girl Scouts have marched in Inaugural Parades since 1917, but it was a major struggle to win that privilege. Parade organizers didn’t think delicate young girls could stand the physical demands of marching, and we actually had to audition in advance.

, Girl Scout History Project


Because the best defense against a powerful misogynist is to raise a generation of strong, confident young women.

Watch out. We are coming.

And one more thing…

Has anybody else noticed that the Women’s March on Washington logo looks familiar?


©2017 Ann Robertson. All opinions are mine alone.


15 responses to “Why the Girl Scouts Should March in Trump’s Parade”

  1. This was the best voice I have seen or heard.

    Proud American and 50 years a GS.

  2. I think the girls can decide what they want to do, including participating or attending the Inaugural Parade. Girl Scouts will also be attending the Women’s March too, I hear. So we are represented in both places. 🙂 Besides, they had this trip planned for a LONG time, I’ll bet. They are not only doing this, they are visiting other places on their trip. We should leave this up to the girls to make this decision. We are girl-led, and in Girl Scouting, girls make the decisions as to what they want to do. My take. I think part of the hullaballo is not only are people deciding to make a statement by protesting Donald Trump’s election, it is Cookie Time, and some naysayers who don’t like Girl Scouting anyway are taking this issue and running with it. It’s already a done deal, has been decided by the troop and the girls, so we should let them do what they want to do. My personal opinions about Donald Trump and what is happening right now do not, and should not, have a bearing here. Also, Girl Scouts come from all political spectrums. My take.

  3. Hear, hear!

    As long as the girls involved know what they are doing & are doing it of their own free will, adults should keep their personal political views out of this & not spoil it for the girls.

    And, yes, I noticed the resemblance in the logos right away!

  4. Sandra McKinney Dent Avatar
    Sandra McKinney Dent

    Perfect commentary. I was struggling trying to remember when the Girl Scouts first participated. Thank-you for the news clipping.

  5. Carolyn Gregory Avatar
    Carolyn Gregory

    Nope nope nope… not in my name, nor for my troop, nor for my daughter, nor for my scouts.
    We have spent hours discussing how we should model our resistance appropriately.
    And in no way should we, by association, be forced to “respect (an) authority” when that authority has been deemed immoral, unethical, and invalid by my girls.

    If you truly are leaving the decision to the girls themselves, then take the national GS moniker off of it. It’s fine to say “Troop xxxxx of City, State is proud to march…”
    But you have to allow the rest of us to turn our back without ostracizing ourselves from the organization we love.
    Please reconsider.

  6. I wish you had titled this “in the inauguration parade” instead of “in Trump’s parade.”

    1. Denise, I actually thought about using your title, but the issue is Trump, not the inauguration. Thanks for writing!

      1. This is a great summary Ann, thank you. I agree with Denise, it is still the inaugural parade though the title will get more attention as it is. Time to let it go, let it happen, and then, TAKE ACTION.

      2. My thing is, the people who seem to take the most offense to the Girl Scouts’ participation are the ones that see the parade as Trump’s victory celebration, rather than as a civic ceremony. I was going to share your post, but then hesitated due to the title.

    2. I’m usually not a big fan of “ditto” comments, but, ditto to Denise’s wish. Calling it “Trump’s Parade” in the title will cause people to overlook the fact that you state it’s the Inaugural Parade in the body in my opinion. There’s definitely a difference between the two, because one insinuates it’s all about a celebration for the winning candidate vs. a civic traditional event (as the Nation’s Capital council states).

  7. I am so glad Girl Scouts are continuing this tradition we are still proud to be Girl Scouts and our values for girls and women

  8. I disagree. This is a parade in celebration of a man who has a documented history of disrespecting and denigrating women, not to mention allegations of sexual assault. It would be a better lesson for the girls to withdraw as a statement that we do not tolerate this behavior toward women — no matter the celebrity — and instead join the Women’s March in solidarity.

  9. Ok, I was a Girl Scout from brownies up to junior cadet in my childhood. I have great respect for the organization. In my area especially we were very inclusive. Our local council had members from the LGBT community before that was considered important. They weren’t there as a politically correct move, but because they were great at what they did and just happened to be gay. I think things like that are what make GS so great.

    Now, I do understand that the girls were chosen, and that they agreed to do this beforehand. My problem is, what sort of example is it for these girls if they go to an organized event honoring someone who represents everything they have been and sadly will be likely be fighting in the future against? This man is not simply a political figure. He is a symbol of sexism, masogeny, racism, classism, and much more. Going to such an event and being forced to smile and act like what he’s done is ok is a slap in the face to every one of those poor girls. They deserve better. And you should know better. I suggest that you do the right thing and instead of participating in the parade you take those girls and show them what real female empowerment is by joining the women’s March! It isn’t too late. Please, if you believe all those wonderful things you have told these girls about women’s rights and true girl power, then put your words to action and BE the example! March for women, not for hate!

  10. GS should not be marching in the inaugural parade and should have withdrawn in protest. Donald Trump actions and words stand in opposition to everything this organization is fighting for. I am proud of my daughter who is a Girl Scout but very disappointed in this group’s leadership, who is willing to compromise its principles for a chance to participate in festivities. The organization by the women and for women should have been the first to realize “the conflict of interest” and how inappropriate it is to have young girls celebrating Trump presidency.

  11. […] own blog post on the matter was shared around the digital world, and I was interviewed and quoted by the Boston […]

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