Last week’s decision and announcement that the Boy Scouts of America would begin allowing memberships to girls sent shockwaves throughout the county and specifically the Girls Scouts organization.
But a number of factors makes this no surprise to those who know the rest of the story.
First and foremost, both scouting organizations, which includes Cub Scouts and Brownies, have been seeing declining numbers for a decade or more — caused by the rise of youth athletic organizations as well as Christian youth groups like Trail Life USA and American Heritage Girls.
A loss of numbers means a loss of revenue, which has sent the Boy Scouts looking for new avenues for members. Not long ago, that led to the inclusion of self-proclaimed transgenders and homosexual youth.
Another issue is the fact that a percentage of girls see the Girl Scouts program as less adventurous and challenging — specifically in the chance to earn an Eagle Scout badge that carries far-reaching acclaim — than the Boy Scouts program, and they want an opportunity to be part of that.
While these are all valid reasons in the big picture, they are far from worthy enough to convince us this plan by the Boy Scouts is a good one.
We hold tight to the reasoning that Boy Scouts is for boys and Girl Scouts is for girls.
It is important, in our mind, that boys have the opportunity to mingle with, socialize with and be mentored by other males — especially in this era of single-parent homes where men are often missing.
It is also important, in our minds, that girls be able to mingle with, socialize with and be mentored by other females.
For more than 100 years each (Boy Scouts began in 1912 and Girl Scouts in 1914), both youth scouting organizations have offered invaluable leadership and life lessons in their own ways. But there will always be some who are drawn more to the other’s programs — to which we offer this: If the Girl Scouts can see where their male counterpart offers a more adventurous and challenging program then their leadership would be looking for ways to improve what they offer.
Allowing girls to join the ranks of Boy Scouts is clearly an attempt to increase numbers and revenue by stealing what could be considered the cream of the crop from the Girl Scouts, and it’s a pretty underhanded ploy by the Boy Scouts leadership.
Although the decision and implementation is pretty much a done deal — allowing, perhaps, the chance for girls to earn an Eaglette Scout badge and boys to begin selling Boy Scout cookies — we still voice our collective opposition to the whole thing.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Girls and boys are wired differently — you can’t just put out the same curriculum.” (Jan Barker)