In May of 2015, the Girl Scouts of Western Washington received a $100,000 donation, an amount of money that could have sent around 500 Girl Scouts to summer camps. Their elation did not last long, though, as the donor sent along a note shortly afterward, stating that the money was not to be used to support transgender Girl Scouts, and if that couldn’t be guaranteed, the donor wanted the money back.
According to Council CEO Megan Ferland, it wasn’t a difficult decision, and she returned the donation with a note stating why the money wouldn’t be accepted. Following their return of the donation, the Girl Scouts started an IndieGoGo campaign to replace the money and raised $103,000 in 24 hours. As of July 6, a full week into the campaign, they’d raised over $320,000 dollars.
Ferland maintains that the Girl Scouts are for every girl, and that’s a mantra held up by the national leadership as well. The Girl Scouts of America (GSA) has been accepting transgender girls on a case-by-case basis since 2011, and just this year, when faced with tens of thousands of signatures demanding that rescind their acceptance of trans girls, the organization reaffirmed their stance.
And that acceptance has literally paid off, at least for the Girl Scouts of Western Washington. The group didn’t just set up an IndieGoGo to help girls get to camp, something that would have made a lot of sense in the first place. They made sure to point out, in very clear terms, why they returned that donation, and why they feel that supporting transgendered girls is important. The result was an overwhelming amount of support from people who realize that trans girls are girls, too, and that all girls can benefit from their experiences as Girl Scouts.