If you have been following all of the news coming out of this long-standing organization, then you probably have heard the latest. It was just announced that the Boy Scouts of America will soon be allowing girls to enter its program. While this may come as a shock to many, and perhaps controversial, what most people don’t know is that the BSA has actually already had a co-ed program that goes back to 1971. Following what amounted to some negative press, the BSA had already made a big announcement earlier this year that they would begin accepting transgender boys. It was only soon after did the first transgender child officially become a member of the Boy Scouts of America. Now on the heels of that change in policy, they are stepping up yet again to make a major change and they are now welcoming girls into their club. What will that mean for the girl scouts and more importantly how are they going to react to this possible poaching of their members, one may certainly wonder.
Now you might be asking, well does this mean they’re going to be co-mingling the boys and girls. (gasp) How is that going to work? Before you get your knickers in a bunch, let me break it down for you. Starting next year in 2018, according to new policies that have recently been written by the BSA, boys, and girls from first through fifth grade will be permitted to sign up for the Cub Scouts. Any existing Cub Scout packs can choose from three options, which is to remain all boys, create two dens, one for boys and girls or create a new girl pack. It’s worth noting however there will be no co-ed dens, so parents need not worry about any issues arising out of that question. Both genders will still follow the same curriculum, making them an equal opportunity for both boys and girls.
According to the press release from the Boy Scouts of America, Michael Surbaugh, the Chief Scout Executive had this to say….“This decision is true to the BSA’s mission and core values outlined in the Scout Oath and Law. The values of Scouting – trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example – are important for both young men and women,‘We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children. We strive to bring what our organization does best – developing character and leadership for young people – to as many families and youth as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders.’”
The BSA has stated that they have made this change to help single parents and working families who don’t have the time in their schedules to participate in multiple activities in a different location, and they need the ability to consolidate their activities to one group while satisfying both genders needs.
To revisit the question of what will this mean for the Girl Scouts of America, it seems ironically enough that the biggest opponent of this decision is, in fact, the Girl Scouts themselves.
Featured image – A Boy Scouts of America uniform is pictured in San Diego.