Boy Scouts to Admit Girls. Sigh.

 

As announced today, the 100-year-old organization will allow begin allowing girls into scouting. As a parent and former Eagle Scout, I can think of a hundred reasons why this is a lousy idea. Here are the first few that come to mind.

  1. Overnight co-ed camping trips.
  2. Overnight co-ed camping trips with adults.
  3. The Girl Scouts have a nice thing going.
  4. Modifying traditional scouting activities because girls won’t do that.
  5. Modifying traditional scouting activities because boys want to do that.
  6. Like co-ed dorms, girls don’t civilize the boys. Quite the reverse.
  7. This appears to be a push by BSA leadership to expand membership — so yet another non-profit abandons its mission to support growth goals and keep grown-ups employed.
  8. It will increase pressure on Girl Scout troops to shut down/merge
  9. One more duck peck in the effort to convince the nation that there is nothing different between boys and girls
  10. Yet another non-profit that abandons its core mission to try and be a social services agency
  11. It basically implies that the Boys Scouts are better, and that real scouts are in that organization, not Girl Scouts.
  12. It implies there is nothing positive about all-girl activities
  13. Or all boy activities
  14. Dating Merit badge?
  15. How about That’s Not Funny Merit badge?
  16. He Said-She Said Merit Badge?

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  1. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Yes, 100% agreed.  That’s what I thought too when I read the headline.

    • #1
  2. Wolverine Inactive
    Wolverine
    @Wolverine

    I am outraged by the decision, and as far as I am concerned it is a further devaluation of boys, male bonding and the importance of the father-son relationship. There is no area that is the exclusive domain of boys now, unlike girls. This is the response I received from our local council commissioner. I told him that I will no longer support the organization with my time or money.

    Peter,

    I want to say this the right way, so please bear with me.

    I am glad you reached out.  Everyone in our movement should feel that they can give voice to their feelings.  My job is to listen.

    First, let me thank you for your service to Scouting.  It would be a shame if we were to lose that. (I’m not talking about the money; sure that’s important, but I believe you and I will agree that time spent with our kids is the true indicator of our success).

    Second, I personally happen to agree with this decision.  It’s been in discussion for quite some time now, and I firmly believe that Family Scouting is our path to the future.  Assuming that everyone seems to be okay with having girls participate in the Cub Scout program, the next logical step becomes not kicking them to the curb when they turn 11.  Extend that thought a little, and you wind up offering a program not comparable to Boy Scouting, but identical to it.  There are a number of Scouting families with girls that have been asking for this for years.  Our mission and our values remain unchanged.

    Nevertheless, the final decision to welcome girls in Cub Scouts will remain with the Charter Organization.  All-boy Packs (and by extension, Troops) will continue, if that what the Charter Organization chooses.

    Finally, I will be at the Baden-Powell District Roundtable this evening (7:00 PM at Flourtown Pres.) where I expect to speak about this to our Leaders.  I would welcome your presence and your input.

    Thanks.

    • #2
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    If the “Boy” Scouts are going to admit girls, what are they going to call themselves?  Boy Scouts no longer works.

    • #3
  4. Wolverine Inactive
    Wolverine
    @Wolverine

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    RushBabe49

    If the “Boy” Scouts are going to admit girls, what are they going to call themselves? Boy Scouts no longer works.

    That’s one of the questions I asked our commissioner.

    • #4
  5. FightinInPhilly Coolidge
    FightinInPhilly
    @FightinInPhilly

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    If the “Boy” Scouts are going to admit girls, what are they going to call themselves? Boy Scouts no longer works.

    Why can’t the girls just identify as Boy Scouts ? Why change the organization ?

    • #5
  6. Wolverine Inactive
    Wolverine
    @Wolverine

    This was my response to the commissioner. I should have included Fightin’s practical problems:

    I am sorry but I totally disagree. Cub Scouts is an organization that for 100 years has been focused on boys. We already have an organization focused on girls. There are very few outlets available for boys and men only these days. There are plenty of organizations that are either bigender or focused on girls/women only. For 100 years the mission of this organization has been focused on boys,on making boys into men and to promote the bonding of father and son. It is going to become meaningless if you start extending the defintion and focus to girls. There are already plenty of activities that can be done as a family. There is such a thing as male bonding. I am extremely disappointed in this decision and will not support the organization any more. 

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    @gldiii and @bryangstephens, please pick up the white courtesy phones.

     

    • #7
  8. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    A lot of parents pulled their sons from BSA when they decided to allow homosexuals to become leaders, so they need a greater membership to obtain more money. By merging the boys and girls, these children will sink faster into immorality at a younger age. But they were going downhill in the early 1970s. I pulled my girls out and they went into different activities.

    • #8
  9. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds
    @RobertMcReynolds

    I have said it once and I will say it again: the Boy Scouts will never have the pleasure of counting my son as a member.

    • #9
  10. Wolverine Inactive
    Wolverine
    @Wolverine

    I think with the gay issue the BSA was under tremendous pressure where I know at least in my area liberal parents would not join for that reason.  I don’t know where this decision came from or what prompted it.

    • #10
  11. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    FightinInPhilly: Dating Merit badge?

    Abortion merit badge?

    • #11
  12. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    OK, I am going to respond as an Eagle Scout, a father of a Life Scout, and the father of a girl.

    I have long felt that the BSA is the only organization which teaches civics these days. That is, how to be a citizen. My daughter spent time enjoying family camping as a sibling. Cub Scouts right now lets the sisters come along, they just don’t get to earn anything for it. Girls are allowed into Venturing already at age 14, but again, they don’t get to earn anything for it. From 11-13, tough cookies. Girl Scouts is totally leftist and have lost their way. I would not want my daughter there. Furthermore, she has little interest in what the Girl Scouts do. She loved Cub Scouts.

    So, I think that this is in line with something I have long wanted. I got this news in my emails as a leader and I read the FAQ. I tend to think that there should be Boy Troops and Girl Troops. I hope, in 2019, that my wife and I can take some part in the development of a Girl BSA Troop in our area.

    The Scouting Experience is so much about what happens at the local level anyway. Strong Chartered Organizations and strong Troops are where it is at. This will allow a more local level of control. All-Boy Troops are not forbidden. One might almost call it “federalist”.

    Sorry, guys, but I think this is a positive about reaching more people.

    • #12
  13. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    FightinInPhilly: Dating Merit badge?

    Abortion merit badge?

    Wilderness ad hoc contraception merit badge.

    • #13
  14. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Majestyk (View Comment):

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    FightinInPhilly: Dating Merit badge?

    Abortion merit badge?

    Wilderness ad hoc contraception merit badge.

    What, an acorn between the knees?

    • #14
  15. Wolverine Inactive
    Wolverine
    @Wolverine

    @bryangstephens, my daughter voiced similar complaints. As a Girl Scout she envied my sons’ activities, but to me that is a problem for the Girl Scouts to solve. If the BSA once to sponsor a competing organization to Girl Scouts that focuses on girls, then that might be fine, but being focused on one sex to me is part of its mission. IMO part of the allure of scouting was its focus on molding boys as boys, on activities that were centered on boys and their development into men, and the chance for fathers to have a unique experience with their sons. It will be a far different experience if you start adding girls to the mix.

    • #15
  16. FightinInPhilly Coolidge
    FightinInPhilly
    @FightinInPhilly

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    OK, I am going to respond as an Eagle Scout, a father of a Life Scout, and the father of a girl.

    I have long felt that the BSA is the only organization which teaches civics these days. That is, how to be a citizen. My daughter spent time enjoying family camping as a sibling. Cub Scouts right now lets the sisters come along, they just don’t get to earn anything for it. Girls are allowed into Venturing already at age 14, but again, they don’t get to earn anything for it. From 11-13, tough cookies. Girl Scouts is totally leftist and have lost their way. I would not want my daughter there. Furthermore, she has little interest in what the Girl Scouts do. She loved Cub Scouts.

    So, I think that this is in line with something I have long wanted. I got this news in my emails as a leader and I read the FAQ. I tend to think that there should be Boy Troops and Girl Troops. I hope, in 2019, that my wife and I can take some part in the development of a Girl BSA Troop in our area.

    The Scouting Experience is so much about what happens at the local level anyway. Strong Chartered Organizations and strong Troops are where it is at. This will allow a more local level of control. All-Boy Troops are not forbidden. One might almost call it “federalist”.

    Sorry, guys, but I think this is a positive about reaching more people.

    You identify a lot of positives. And the idea of bringing girls along on trips and not allowing them to participate seems rather cruel. But the organization I think you are describing isn’t the Boy Scouts.

    • #16
  17. CarolJoy Coolidge
    CarolJoy
    @CarolJoy

    Wolverine (View Comment):
    Wolverine

    This was my response to the commissioner. I should have included Fightin’s practical problems:

    I am sorry but I totally disagree. Cub Scouts is an organization that for 100 years has been focused on boys. We already have an organization focused on girls. There are very few outlets available for boys and men only these days. There are plenty of organizations that are either bi gender or focused on girls/women only.

    I loved being in the Girl Scouts and I especially liked it not being co ed. A camping weekend was about hanging out with other young women, and not about primping for the sake of the guys. (As the 12 yr old and up crowd of young women tends to do.)  Those memories are among my happiest of that time in my life.

    The world itself is co ed. That reality descends on all of us much too soon.

    • #17
  18. TheRoyalFamily Member
    TheRoyalFamily
    @TheRoyalFamily

    Girl Scouts is really peeved about this. For some reason they think this is a direct threat to them. Why would this be so? It’s not like Boy Scouts has a century or so of knowing what girls want, and what girls need.

    But seriously, it’s been my experience that the kind of things that appeal to boys also mostly appeal to girls, if not necessarily the same amount, but that the other way around is not true.

    • #18
  19. GLDIII Reagan
    GLDIII
    @GLDIII

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    OK, I am going to respond as an Eagle Scout, a father of a Life Scout, and the father of a girl.

    I have long felt that the BSA is the only organization which teaches civics these days. That is, how to be a citizen. My daughter spent time enjoying family camping as a sibling. Cub Scouts right now lets the sisters come along, they just don’t get to earn anything for it. Girls are allowed into Venturing already at age 14, but again, they don’t get to earn anything for it. From 11-13, tough cookies. Girl Scouts is totally leftist and have lost their way. I would not want my daughter there. Furthermore, she has little interest in what the Girl Scouts do. She loved Cub Scouts.

    So, I think that this is in line with something I have long wanted. I got this news in my emails as a leader and I read the FAQ. I tend to think that there should be Boy Troops and Girl Troops. I hope, in 2019, that my wife and I can take some part in the development of a Girl BSA Troop in our area.

    The Scouting Experience is so much about what happens at the local level anyway. Strong Chartered Organizations and strong Troops are where it is at. This will allow a more local level of control. All-Boy Troops are not forbidden. One might almost call it “federalist”.

    Sorry, guys, but I think this is a positive about reaching more people.

    As an adult scouter with 16 years at Cub/Scout/and Venture Scouting levels, father of a pair of Eagles, with 7 year as a scout youth myself, I have to admit to an emotional mixed bag on this move by National.  I quoted Bryan because from first hand observation I have to agree with what he is saying.

    The Girl Scouts has morphed into some junior SJW wanna bee’s, and parents who have children in both organizations see this and eventually pull their daughters, who end up tagging along (i.e. the family camps near by) on the outings that are not too grueling.  As a troop/cub chartered organization we went around a for a few years before we succumbed to adding a Venture crew.  The fear was as many of you have outlined above,  fraternization and wussification.

    Yet the girls that this program appealed to are not on that end of the spectrum. Guns… hell yeah (they can use pistols (closely supervised)  @ that age level). High venture camping, I have had several @ Philmont hiking with me. Organizing training activities for the younger scouts (which is a large part of the older boys leadership requirements,) they step right in, are serious, and I hate to say it… better organized. We have had a Venture crew with our troop coming up to 9 years, and have had two of the young ladies achieve their Gold Silver Award (Eagle equivalent).  They have won district level awards for their service and if I can use the word “professionalism” in how they conduct their activities. As a final observation, the boys that chose to transfer into the Venture Crew (we allowed them to operate in both) had to step up their game if they did not want to be seen as immature by the caliber of the girls who chose to participant in Venture Crew.  I suggest this is similar to the environment that existed in the office corp of the military. The activities and live style that attracts women to enter the military make them a far more mature breed and they have no tolerance for….. Dorks.

    So I see this as a chance to save some of the girls from rot of a rudderless society since for the most part the core tenets of the BSA are still far to the right on the moral spectrum in this country.  As a final note, when we have taken the boys (and girls) to the Scottish International Jamborette where they mingle with 22 other scout organizations, the US is was the only remaining non co-ed organization.

    The world is changing, let’s try to respect the Burke/Lockean acceptance of keeping what is good without blind acceptance that new is better. The world my post WWII parents grew up in is not the one I grew up in, and clearly not the one my boys are developing in. Change happen, let just try to guide it into the right channels.

    Yeah I know TL;DR

    • #19
  20. Wolverine Inactive
    Wolverine
    @Wolverine

    TheRoyalFamily (View Comment):
    Girl Scouts is really peeved about this. For some reason they think this is a direct threat to them. Why would this be so? It’s not like Boy Scouts has a century or so of knowing what girls want, and what girls need.

    But seriously, it’s been my experience that the kind of things that appeal to boys also mostly appeal to girls, if not necessarily the same amount, but that the other way around is not true.

    Interesting as I had same thought. How often do you see boys wants to join an all-female organization? Rarely, while other way around is frequent.

    • #20
  21. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake (View Comment):

    Majestyk (View Comment):

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    FightinInPhilly: Dating Merit badge?

    Abortion merit badge?

    Wilderness ad hoc contraception merit badge.

    What, an acorn between the knees?

    Whittling a tree-bark prophylactic.

    • #21
  22. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    At least they should get a % of the GSoA cookie business.

    • #22
  23. RyanFalcone Member
    RyanFalcone
    @RyanFalcone

    This is why I’ve been a blessed leader of Christian Service Brigade for 16 years. In moments like this, I am so grateful to our heroic leadership! This is a true tragedy. Boys need these organizations!!!!

    • #23
  24. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Wolverine (View Comment):

    TheRoyalFamily (View Comment):. . . .

    Interesting as I had same thought. How often do you see boys wants to join an all-female organization? Rarely, while other way around is frequent.

    I disagree with BSA decision, as the how boys and girls approach even the same activities differ, and the hormonal interaction will affect the effectiveness of the existing activities.

    Nonetheless, Wolverine’s point is true. Compare the number of classes at Home Depot and Lowe’s on power tools and construction for women versus the number of classes at JoAnn’s on sewing or crafting for men.

    • #24
  25. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Boy Scouts is not limited to Christianity.  I like that. And let me also say, the coed groups at Philmont do just fine.

    • #25
  26. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    My son is in Trail Life and my daughter will be doing Heritage Girls.

    I think male bonding and female bonding are both critical to development. It is sad that GS is nothing but a planned parenthood cookie fundraiser, but the solution isn’t taking away the male bonding environment of BSA.

    • #26
  27. GLDIII Reagan
    GLDIII
    @GLDIII

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Boy Scouts is not limited to Christianity. I like that. And let me also say, the coed groups at Philmont do just fine.

    This is important. BSA is organized like a franchise. The flavor of how an individual troop/pack or crew operates is very much tied to the sponsoring organization. A very large proportion of the charters are held by religious organizations, thus many of the participants will be familiar with the mores of those who are contribution their time and energy to the boys (ok and girls).  Scouting does not operate on a super macho paradigm, or boys will be boys model. I would suggest it’s more like a “military light” ethos as embodied in the scout oath and 12 point of the scout law. These principles as not limited to one sex, they are characteristics we want all of citizens to embody.

    So despite what seems like my pro coed arguments, I am very feeling very melancholy about the full inclusion of girls for the 11 to 13 years age block.  Yet putting the screws to the GSA does not bring tears to my eyes either, after watch them morph for perceived increase in  relevance how they destroyed their core mission.

    • #27
  28. TheRoyalFamily Member
    TheRoyalFamily
    @TheRoyalFamily

    I didn’t see it in the OP link but here it says that Cub Scout dens (where everything actually happens) will not be co-ed, just the packs (potentially, depending on the chartering group). There are no specifics with the normal Boy Scout stuff, but I imagine they will be much the same, with single-sex patrols and co-ed troops.

    • #28
  29. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    TheRoyalFamily (View Comment):
    I imagine they will be much the same, with single-sex patrols and co-ed troops.

    For a host of reasons, this won’t happen.

    This does spell the end of GSA.  I predict something like a merger.  At least that’s what they’ll call it.

    • #29
  30. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    I race sailboats at my club every Sunday. Keelboat ownership is increasingly less common as the world of technology and the modern world gives budding young potential sailors a million other things to get involved with, and racing sailboats competitively requires a commitment of time and effort over the seasons.

    So the racing fleet declines in number, slowly through the years.

    Should we increase involvement by opening the regattas to motor boats? There are lots of motorboats in the marina, why shouldn’t they be able to join in our reindeer games?

    Wouldn’t this make the whole enterprise pointless? Or at least change it beyond all recognition?

    As many have mentioned above, there are plenty of orgs that have mixed the sexes in these modern times, because it was recognized that it wouldn’t hurt anything. But the Boy Scouts??  Jesus, is nothing sacred? (No profanity, I’m actually asking Jesus.)

    (This is an analogy. Our race crews are M/F, no worries. This is one of the sports that effortlessly combines the sexes – Susan on foredeck is the finest in the fleet.)

    • #30

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