Guest Blog: Girl Scouts Attend the Papal Arrival

Papal Visit

Jazlyn G. (Troop 1031), Sarah Y. (Troop 5366), and Emily G. (Troop 5366)

“On his first visit to United States, Pope Francis spoke at the White House on September 23rd about climate change and families. Accompanied by Ms. Gretchen Schreiber, myself and a handful of Girl Scouts, we heard him say, ‘We cannot leave climate change to the future generations.’ This is a challenge we Girl Scouts can help with when we pledge in the Girl Scout law to use resources wisely, and make the world a better place. It was a rare moment in history and a very special opportunity for me and my fellow teen Girl Scout sisters.”

~By Girl Scout Sarah Y.

“On September 23rd, 2015, Pope Francis came to the White House to speak about equality, relations with Cuba, and the importance of family to our nation. Some 15,000 people showed up to see his Holiness, and the South Lawn was full to the brim. Spirits were high, even though most people had woken up at unimaginable times to wait in line. When we arrived, we waited for two hours on the lawn before Pope Francis came rolling up in his Fiat, but it was totally worth it. Seeing our country’s leader and our the head of our Catholic religion working together towards a common good was so inspiring, and Pope Francis was smiling the whole time. Of all the things he said, the thing that touched me the most was that ‘…all are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom (religious liberty) from everything that would threaten or compromise it.

I am so grateful for this experience and the chance to come together as one people with our Catholic family. Viva la Papa, God Bless America!”

~By Girl Scout Emily G.

“As I waited on the South Lawn of the White House for the President of the United States and His Holiness, Pope Francis, to appear, I thought about democracy.  I marveled at the fact that the 15,000 people who had assembled there came from all walks of life.  Men, women, and children of all shapes, sizes, and skin colors gathered quietly together, waiting patiently in the chilly early morning temperatures.  Looking around, hearing different languages spoken, I realized that while everyone might practice different religions, align themselves with opposing political parties, or come from a huge array of foreign countries, each of us was there to watch history unfold.  People had come to our nation’s capitol to witness these two powerful men, the leader of the free world and the leader of the Holy See, peacefully meet in the service of humanity.  I thought about how fortunate I am to live in a country where that is possible.

Although I have always been proud to be an American, I recognize that until yesterday, I didn’t fully appreciate what that title means.  I’m still not sure that I truly understand, but after hearing President Obama and the Holy Father speak about taking care of the planet, about our shared responsibility to treat everyone with dignity and respect, and about our obligation to work together to solve our world’s problems, I do think I’m a bit more aware of just how privileged I am to live in this great country.  As a Girl Scout, and as an American, I was given a unique view of the world yesterday morning.  The words of these two inspiring leaders echoed the message of both the Girl Scout Law and Promise.  They called us all to think about God and country, respect and honor, helping others, using resources wisely, and making the world a better place.  Just steps from the White House, I witnessed real democracy in action.  Now the trick will be to reflect on that experience and figure out how to use my newfound awareness for the common good.”

~By Girl Scout Erin M.