WOMEN
11/14/2012 09:29 am ET

The Girl Scouts Are Taking Over Congress

When I was in high school, I regularly woke up early on Saturday mornings and drove out to one of Massachusetts' medium-security prisons. I was a Girl Scout, and these prison visits were part of the Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program, where I helped lead a troop of girls whose mothers were incarcerated. In the prison's visiting room, we worked on badge activities together, and outside of that room, the mothers took part in intensive training programs that would help them build more secure lives for their daughters when they were released. By that point, I'd sold cookies by the caseful, learned how to make camping stoves out of tomato cans, and owned vests and sashes covered in badges. But it was Girl Scouts Beyond Bars that made me really prepared for the world around me, and is the experience that I associate most with scouting. And because of it, I wasn't at all surprised to read this morning in Mother Jones that 60 percent of the women in the incoming Congress—including 70 percent of women Senators—were once Girl Scouts.

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