Girl Scouts defend decision to march in Inauguration Day parade

The Girl Scouts of the USA defended their decision to uphold their 100-year tradition of marching in the presidential inauguration parade amid overwhelming criticism regarding their involvement in the ceremony.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) first announced the youth organization's involvement in the parade on Tuesday morning in a press release detailing inauguration events.

RELATED: Obama interacts with kids in the White House

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President Obama caves to Girl Scouts, wears tiara plus other Pete Souza photos
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President Obama caves to Girl Scouts, wears tiara plus other Pete Souza photos
Still editing 2014 Year in Photos. I may include this one even though it's a posed photo. This is from the annual White House Science Fair. The kids from Girl Scout Troop 2612 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, convinced the President to wear a tiara with them for their group photo. The girls had exhibited a Lego flood proof bridge project.
US President Barack Obama greets Girl Scouts from Accokeek Academy after arriving at Andrews Air Force Base May 9, 2014 in Maryland. Obama is returning to Washington after spending three days in California mainly fund raising. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Cool shadows in the Oval Office today.
Still editing my 2014 Year in Photographs. I considered this portrait of the President during a meeting with staff in the Rose Garden but ultimately decided not to use it in the final edit. Here's why: although I used the widest aperture on a long lens to blur the background, I should have also used a slightly lower angle so the brighter area in the mid-upper background was directly behind his head. Although some people might not be bothered by this, it actually torments me that I missed this detail while making this frame. Alas, another frame from this same situation will make the final edit and you'll be surprised how different it is from this one.
Winter Wonderland at the White House.
US President Barack Obama greets Girl Scouts from Accokeek Academy after arriving at Andrews Air Force Base May 9, 2014 in Maryland. Obama is returning to Washington after spending three days in California mainly fund raising. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Rembrandt meets POTUS. I'm in the process of editing my 2014 Year in Photos from the White House. Think this one from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam might make the final cut.
President Obama opens a Christmas present from his personal secretary, Ferial Govashiri, today in the Oval Office.
President Obama's feet during a town hall on immigration in Nashville today.
President Obama holds a koala before the start of the G20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia.
US President Barack Obama greets Girl Scouts from Accokeek Academy after arriving at Andrews Air Force Base May 9, 2014 in Maryland. Obama is returning to Washington after spending three days in California mainly fund raising. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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The Boy Scouts of America will also participate in the event, but the Girl Scouts' decision drew greater scrutiny among those who have questioned the president-elect's behavior and comments about women.

But the organization made it clear in a statement that it would not backing down from their decision.

"At Girl Scouts, our movement is made up of individuals who hold political beliefs and convictions as varied as our nation itself. And because every girl has a home at Girl Scouts, every girl in our movement is allowed her own ideas, opinions, beliefs and political ideology," the group said in a statement to AOL News.

"Of course, we are a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that by law cannot take positions on political candidates or parties — and we take this very seriously," the group added. "Advocating for change on issues one cares about isn't at odds with participating in a century-long tradition that represents the peaceful exchange of power."

SEE ALSO: Girl Scout cookie season has finally begun, with 2 new treats on the lineup

Still, despite the Girl Scouts largely apolitical history, the organization's stance has not quieted criticism from progressive parents, anti-Trump protesters and others who view the organization's participation in the parade as a means of endorsing Trump's values and rhetoric:

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