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Sharon Slater

Girl Scout whistleblowers not only want every girl and her parents to be aware of what they describe as an “evil agenda” behind today’s Girl Scouts, but they want the faith community to take action as well.

They say that’s a problem for troops under the auspices of the Catholic youth ministry leadership.

Whistleblowers tell WND that they are being stymied by an entity that should be doing what they are – sounding the alarm.

The National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry is a group that oversees the relationship between the Girl Scouts and the Catholic Church. But numerous independent watchdogs tell WND that the NFCYM is preventing the Catholic community from hearing the facts about the Girls Scouts, and they want to know why.

According to Bob McCarty, the executive director of NFCYM, his group is the exclusive provider of the Catholic curriculum and awards for the GSUSA.

He tells WND that a number of these “watchdog” groups have contacted him with their concerns about a connection between the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood, which already has been documented, literature of a sexual nature being given to girls, and more.

“We do have concerns with the connections between the Girl Scouts and groups like Planned Parenthood,” McCarty told WND. He said has held numerous meetings with GSUSA leadership, and that they have been good about addressing his concerns.

McCarty says that he’s been very honest with the Girl Scouts regarding the concerns of Catholics.

“One significant change just took place within the past few weeks,” he says. “The Girl Scouts named a new Catholic CEO, Anna Maria Chavez.”

McCarty and several watchdogs also referenced an NFCYM position paper on some of the concerns that have been raised.

“The very existence of a position paper tells you that we see problems with the Girl Scouts,” McCarty told WND. “If we didn’t see problems, there wouldn’t be a need for a position paper.”

That paper speaks mainly to an accusation of the GSUSA distributing materials on marriage, abortion, contraception, and sexuality that don’t line up with Catholic Church teachings. The paper then describes the NFCYM practice of simply asking the GSUSA if the accusations are true.

But one whistleblower said she picked up a booklet on sexual behavior produced by International Planned Parenthood at a U.N. workshop for Girl Scouts. Then the GSUSA denied knowledge of the booklet, “Happy, Healthy and Hot.”

Scouting officials said, “The room in question was also used to host other events over the course of the multi-day conference. … Prior to our girls entering the room, we did not ‘sanitize’ the room to ensure that no trash or other items were left behind.”

Their message: It wasn’t their booklet.

But Sharon Slater was in the room immediately after the conclusion of the meeting, and called attention to what she found – a booklet that tells girls they have a right to sexual pleasure, and are under no obligation to inform a partner if they happen to be HIV positive.

She had been escorted out of the meeting at its start by staff members telling her it was “for girls only.”

She tells WND that the GSUSA explanation of not “sanitizing” the room prior to occupying it doesn’t jive with the facts.

“It has been suggested, but seems unlikely, that the vulgar ‘Healthy, Happy, and Hot’ booklets were left in the room by a group from a previous meeting,” she says.

She then described how it was the first day of the conference, and the three groups in the room prior to the Girl Scouts were not covering topics that would involve such a booklet.

“It is clear that the Planned Parenthood booklets would not have pertained to the topics covered by these organizations,” she says.

Regardless of Slater’s eyewitness account, McCarty’s position paper says:

“NFCYM was satisfied with the GSUSA account of the UN meeting.”

Therein, lies the problem, say the watchdog groups.

‘The NFCYM gives the Girl Scouts a nod for all they do,” Jane Petry said. Petry, who has four generations of Girl Scouts in her family, has become a vocal critic of the once-revered group.

“The serious error in this is the fact that they [NFCYM] advise the bishops, as they are considered the voice to our girls well being,” she said. “Very, very wrong.

“The NFCYM actually has on their board members of the Girl Scouts.”

McCarty tells WND, “The Planned Parenthood issue is problematic. We’ve been very upfront with the Girl Scouts.

“That’s why we’re staying in the conversation, we can help make change through a direct, honest, respectful dialogue with Girl Scout leadership.”

McCarty says the NFCYM can best help the Girl Scouts make the proper changes by “maintaining a seat at the table with them.”

Some say there is “change” within the Girl Scouts, but not one that should be endorsed by the Catholic church.

Lisa Larsson is a Catholic mother from Florida who became concerned about the things her niece was being exposed to as a Girl Scout. The more she researched, the more disturbed she became.

She and her sister, Rochelle Focaracci, not only parted ways with their Girl Scout connection, they started one of the watchdog websites, girlscoutswhynot.com, as well.

Their goal is not only to inform parents across the world of the disturbing trends they discover in the Girl Scouts, but to reach church leaders as well. The sisters contacted Bob McCarty of the NFCYM to sound the alarm, but they say nothing really changes within the Catholic group.

They also say that it’s tough to raise the alarm within the Catholic Church because the bishops tend to defer to the position of the NFCYM on the matter.

“We think that the bishops don’t know the extent of the problem.”

“If the NFCYM won’t call for severing ties with the GSUSA, why would the bishops,” Larsson asks?

McCarty tells WND that the NFCYM relationship with the Girl Scouts is “continually being evaluated.”

“I’ve come right out and told them we could part ways,” he tells WND.

Larsson and Focaracci tell WND that the NFCYM policy of simply “asking” the Girl Scouts if the accusations are true is appalling.

“It’s like the FBI asking a terrorist before he gets on a plane if he’s a terrorist. If he says ‘no,’ then they go ahead and let him get on the plane,” says Larsson.

Focaracci said, “The Girl Scouts do not belong in our churches.”

In addition to the “Happy, Healthy and Hot” booklet issue, Larsson and Focaracci are very concerned with the GSUSA connection to their international umbrella group, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

“WAGGGS is a huge problem,” she says. She said she’s posted on her website screen shots of various Girl Scout and Planned Parenthood web pages that have been “scrubbed.”

Some files on their site document WAGGGS openly calling for “affordable and safe abortions.”

Jane Petry tells WND that NFCYM just isn’t doing enough.

“Archdioceses of St. Louis sent out a letter to all pastors and to leaders telling them that the NFCYM had checked out the Girl Scout agenda and found nothing wrong,” she tells WND. “I’m concerned with honesty.

“They’ll [GSUSA] say that nationally, they don’t have a relationship with Planned Parenthood, but local councils are free to partner with anyone they choose,” Petry says. “Then they’ll tell you they aren’t aware of any local council that does partner with Planned Parenthood.”

But after then-CEO of the Girl Scouts Kathy Cloninger admitted on the Today Show in 2004 that the Girl Scouts do partner with Planned Parenthood, another watchdog group went into action.

STOPP International documented that 26 percent of Girl Scout councils who would answer a single question admit that they partner with Planned Parenthood. Their bigger concern was that 79 percent of Girl Scout councils refused to answer the question, “Do you have any relationship with Planned Parenthood?”

“If the Girl Scouts believe that partnering with Planned Parenthood is a benefit to young girls, then why are the Girl Scouts reluctant to talk about the connection?” asks STOPP.org.

WND has attempted to contact a number of GSUSA representatives including the new CEO Anna Maria Chavez.

No calls have been returned.

Larsson and Petry say the Girl Scouts and church should be unlinked.

Petry wonders if finances have anything to do with NFCYM not acting to terminate the GSUSA relationship.

McCarty told WND that no one knows for sure, but he estimates 800,000 U.S. Girl Scouts are Catholic.

He said there’s no financial relationship, but he did agree that NFCYM is the provider of booklets, medals and patches to the GSUSA regarding the church.


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