Girl Scouts vs. Health and Fitness
Today is a much needed rest day for me — I’m sore! Not over crazy sore but definitely a good day to rest. What’s crazy is that I miss the gang though — that’s part of the draw about CrossFit. You want to go workout because you miss your pals if you don’t!
So last night, I coached an adult class and I loved it. At the same time, I was able to see my own two kids working out in their CrossFit Kids classes. I am so proud of both my kids and how they are embracing getting fit. One of my goals for myself for them as they grow up is to really stress the importance of fitness and health. I want to make sure they have a healthy foundation and that it’s a normal thing for them to get exercise in daily in their lives and think about overall health and fitness.
This past weekend, I went to CrossFit for Hope in DC. At the same time 250,000 Girl Scouts hit the National Mall to celebrate the 100 anniversary of Girl Scouts. I love this organization. I have fond memories of being a brownie and my daughter is having a great time learning and experiencing some wonderful things. So what I am about to talk about is not an indictment against the organization as a whole — they do great things and anything that empowers girls to give back and learn about empowerment is all right in my book.
However – one thing that really bothered me this weekend was seeing many of the troop leaders we saw were very overweight. Here they are mentoring young girls, teaching lessons that empower them with little or no regard for 1. their own health and 2. the example they are setting for the girls in their troop. Yeah yeah, I know they are busy and don’t have time to workout. If you have read this blog for a while or know me — you know i call B.S. on that. If you are willing to make it a priority, you can and do have time!!!
I went and did a little research on how fitness and nutrition are incorporated into the Girl Scouts organization. The Girl Scouts of Central and South Jersey have a page about it, but it definitely is not stressed in any of their materials and they leave it up to their troop leaders and whether they want to stress it or not. I also found some info at the Fitness Guru about how they recently entered into a partnership with “the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) to provide a turnkey customization of three Journey books (the national Girl Scout leadership curriculum) that will offer a focus on health and wellness. This will enable Daisies, Brownies and Juniors to learn how to be leaders who take care of themselves and inspire others to do the same.”
So that’s great but without the backing of the entire organization to make it a priority this means very little. How about investing in specific programs for the troop leaders themselves so that they will truly understand and embrace the importance of health and fitness. This will no doubt set the stage for their daughters and other girls to begin walking the walk and want to learn more about it.
Also about those cookies — I get that they bring in a ton of money for this non-profit organization. We all appreciate the cookies and it’s about personal responsibility and if you don’t want to buy them, don’t. But –they can certainly make healthier options across the board. “No one will buy them” then is the argument — Well, they can’t be crappy and slapped with a healthy label to solve the problem. People will buy great tasting cookies!
And if the Girl Scouts as an organization is truly behind empowering girls and helping them succeed in LIFE, they owe them nothing less than going all in and really backing up their words about overall health and fitness goals. Science and Research is all over the place about how obesity and type 2 Diabetes are huge threats to our kids and it’s not looking like that will be changing soon — so why not do what is truly in the best interest of those you are set up to help?
1. Set up programs that not only focus on the young girls but on the troop leaders as well. This will only help the younger generation they are mentoring and leading.
2. Look into healthier, great tasting cookie options to offer alongside the standards.
3. Rock the Mall — you could have invited some fitness groups to come and get those kids moving as opposed to just sitting on the mall. With music, comes dancing and fitness routines!!
4. Make one of the CORE programs (required) each year – fitness related. Service leadership is really important of course and most troops do a larger effort each year around that. They should be required to do one with their troop leader that is all about fitness and health and gets them moving and learning about how to be healthy and fit! Biggest Loser type program for all troops?
These are just some of the ideas — but come on parents — look at the example you are setting for your kids. Seeing so many of the overweight women leading these kids this past weekend not only saddened and disappointed me, it angered and annoyed me as well. I get it’s work and change to get moving and take care of yourself, but you owe it to yourself and those kids you love to do it!