In “Renewing the Vision,” the US Bishops’ framework for Youth Ministry, we read: “All ministry with adolescents must be directed toward presenting young people with the Good news of Jesus Christ and inviting and challenging them to become disciples” (page 10).
The Catholic Church has long partnered with scouting organizations to achieve this end. Though traditionally the scouting programs we have partnered with have been secular organizations, the Church has worked to foster relationships with these organizations and institute Catholic faith programs to be offered alongside these secular programs. Though the perception is often that these religious programs are offered through the particular scouting organization, the reality is that they are offered by Catholic organizations as supplemental to the scout program itself.
Scouting has been a valuable resource for teaching leadership skills and life skills for many of our youth. We have seen great fruits from our Catholic Scouting programs throughout the years. Unfortunately, concerns have been continuing to surface over the content within some of these programs, particularly within Girl Scouts. As our culture becomes increasingly secular, we need to look closely at any secular organizations with which we are partnering with and entrusting the formation of our youth. As parents and as Church, we have a sacred duty to help our children learn the faith and ultimately to help them get to heaven.
Due to these ongoing concerns, on 2/18/2016 Archbishop Carlson issued a letter of concern regarding Girl Scouts. You can read that letter here. In November 2014, the Catholic Youth Apostolate issued a similar letter. You can read that here.
Here's what the Bishop is talking about.
Girl Scouts are trying to bolster their declining membership by reaching out to a community they haven’t always welcomed: gay and transgender youth. The Salt Lake City chapter opted to open a new headquarters in the city’s “gay pride center,” though their first meeting attracted only five girls. Until 2013, the Boy Scouts of America technically didn’t let gay boys into the program, but the whole organization has become more liberal in recent years, with the Girl Scouts backing abortion providers and promoting pro-choice politicians like Wendy Davis.
By the way, those adorable Girl Scouts hawking cookies at Walmart and Krogers? Their troop gets to keep 10% of what they gross in sales.