Alice Paul Tapper


Image via Al Drago for The New York Times

I shared a post on Facebook recently that made me very frustrated and angry. The short of it was that a mother took her daughter (a Girl Scout), and her son (a Boy Scout) to the College Football Sun Bowl in Texas to sell programs and raise money for their troops. While the son was congratulated, talked to respectively, and asked if he was going to pursue becoming an Eagle Scout, the young girl and others in her troop were harassed by older men. One was called pushy for not giving programs away. Another was called a bitch. And another was asked if her and her friends could be girlfriends to a group of men…. the girls’ ages ranged from 9 to 11. None of them were asked about the Gold Award.

Anger aside, it reminded me of this Op-Ed I came across written by Girl Scout Alice Paul Tapper (named after historic Women’s and Civil Rights activist), a 5th grader who created a national Girl Scout patch called Raise Your Hand. She’s incredibly well-written, so I’d like to point to her Op-Ed directly:

I’m 10. And I Want Girls to Raise Their Hands.

As the Girl Scout cookie season comes into full-swing, I’d like to encourage everyone who sees these future leaders selling boxes around town to stop and talk to them about their time in the Girl Scouts. Congratulate them for participating in activities that help their community. Ask them about the Gold Award and yes, perhaps buy some cookies even if you’re trying to eat healthier =)

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