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´╗┐Title: Why I Believe in Scouting for Girls
Author: Rinehart, Mary Roberts, 1876-1958
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Women Working 1800 - 1930)

_Why I Believe in Scouting for Girls_



Series No. 10

189 Lexington Avenue
New York City

Why I Believe in Scouting

_By Mary Roberts Rinehart_

Girls are great idealists. No one familiar with the working of the girl
mind can fail to recognize how quickly they respond to ideals. They
dream dreams, not of success, but of happiness. They look up rather than

But they are vague and uncertain, full of wistful yearnings that lead
nowhere. Given a cause and a leader, and they will bring to it an almost
pathetic eagerness, staunchness, loyalty, enthusiasm and unselfish

There comes a critical time in a girl's mental and spiritual life, when
she is waiting impatiently for young womanhood. The things of her
childhood have lost their interest. She has abandoned her dolls. The
little boys she played with have deserted her, and found the girl-less
associations of the 'teens. They have their clubs, their sports, their
meeting places. But to the young girl there is nothing but that period
of waiting. She is peculiarly isolated. Her family often finds her
strange. She is moody and dreamy. She begins to spend an almost alarming
amount of time and thought upon her appearance. The family says: "What
in the world is the matter with Jane?" And her father suggests it is too
much going to the moving pictures.

But the truth is that Jane is idle. She does not belong, between
babyhood and womanhood, anywhere in the social organization. She is
active and romantic. Her days are a long waiting for maturity, and with
maturity the fulfilment of her dreams, of love, of marriage, of
motherhood. She haunts the movies because she finds there vicarious
romance and vicarious adventure. The great out-doors is hers to play
in--on the screen.

And at the same time, with no increased outlet for her activities, her
imagination is being stimulated as never before. Books, magazines,
automobiles, moving pictures, all are revealing to her this strange
thing we call life, which is hers to observe but not yet to live. She is
a yearning onlooker.

It is time to realize that hundreds of thousands of young girls in this
country--doubly important now that they are future citizens as well as
the potential mothers of future citizens--must be given occupation, a
feeling of responsibility, a practical ideal to which they may bring
their innate loyalty and enthusiasm. They need organized play and
athletics. They need something concrete to tie to. They need to be
taught, if you please, what is the "gang" spirit among boys. They need
to learn that their young bodies are to be used, instead of decorated.
Until they learn that, we shall have sickly mothers and puny babies. No
single movement for the improvement of American people as a race, no
advance of science or sanitation, can compare in importance with the
necessity for building up morally, spiritually and bodily, our future

They need to be taught certain loyalties, sex loyalty. Loyalty to
ideals. Loyalty to country. This last, loyalty to country, has to be
taught. When a man learns to take off his hat to the flag, he has a new
respect for it.

Some of our girls need to be taught honesty. They cover their dreams
with small deceits. They seek romance out of sheer boredom, and are
driven into hypocrisy. The boy has fewer dreams to conceal, and he is
honest with the honesty of fresh air and the great out-doors. When we
give our girls occupation, when we get them out of doors, when we give
them organized play in the open, there will be fewer morbid women.

Give them something to do that interests them. Get them out into the
air. Fill in the waiting years with work and play. Give them some rules
of life which will appeal alike to their imaginations and to their
instinctive desire for something better. Let them look out as well as

Nearest of all the proposed plans to cope with what an increasing number
of families are finding to be their problem, the adolescent girl, the
Girl Scout movement fulfills all these requirements. It is sane, healthy
and normal. It teaches honesty, purity, vigor and love of country. And
it takes the girl in her 'teens and gives her a live interest in the
present instead of the future.

It should have nation-wide support.

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