Boy Scouts of America to allow girls to join


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/10/11/boy-scouts-allow-girls.html


#2

I guess that’s great? But Girl Scouts is a way better organization for girls – and not just for the cookies.


#3

I wonder if Girl Scouts will open its admissions as well.


#4

It has seemed to me this desire to join Boy Scouts has been more a sign of the failure of Girl Scouts to modernize than anything else. Some of my daughters friends have told me Girl Scouts sucks, they don’t do fun outdoors stuff like the boys do.

I have no idea whether this will be good or bad for Scouts. I’ve noticed Scouting is unique in our society in 2 particular ways, there’s virtually no other institution where kids of such different ages interact in a such an organized way, and there’s no structure where young kids can learn such leadership skills. In a properly run troop the Scoutmaster delegates everything via the Senior Patrol Leader and so on down the line. Hopefully girls will find the same benefits here, but I worry.


#5

When will they allow atheists of any gender?


#6

Plot twist: Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts unify into Scouts of America, divisions of which are then hijacked by the alt-right to form the Trumpian Youth, sowing the seeds for fascism for years to come.

(Don’t mind me, I’m suffering a flu of pessimism these days.)


#7

Are they going to change their name? I mean… My daughters would probably feel weird being in the “Boy Scouts”, even if it’s a “Boy Scouts Girls Den”, which doesn’t roll off the tongue well.


#8

What about lesbians ?


#9

I think it’s down to the local leadership. Our GS troop is focused mostly on community service, with a little bit of camping and cookie sales on the side. There’s a big national focus on training and standards, but what each troop actually does is going to vary quite a bit depending on who is interacting with the membership on the ground.


#10

But doesn’t that seem quaint in this Title IX era? My son’s college in the mountains is full of athletic outdoorsy young women, who likely weren’t Girl Scouts. Both he and his roomie are Eagles.


#11

Huh. I was pretty involved in Boy Scouts, earned Eagle and everything. As I struggled with my gender identity through my teens, my Eagle ceremony was…difficult. I felt like a fake.

Since then, I’ve kind of written off the BSA. I kind of feel like a lot of their moves have been too little too late, but hey, at least the leadership is trying.

So yeah, the BSA has already had plenty of female Eagles. I’m one of them.


#12

If they are allowing girls to join, they are allowing lesbians. The Boy Scouts don’t have any policy that discriminates against kids based on sexual orientation. They did have a policy that discriminated against adult leaders based on sexual orientation, but that policy has been changed. Their current policy is:

So progressive troops are allowed to be progressive, while conservative troops are allowed to be conservative.

However, I believe they’re still anti-atheist.


#13

Its challenges may not be as “outdoorsy” or survival-based, but my sister had to work her ass off to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award.


#14

I’d mentioned sentiments like this previously on this forum, but it’s been said that not all girl scout troops function like the way my sister’s did growing up. So I don’t really know what the current state of girl scouting looks like, and how it differs from boy scouts.

That said, I don’t see any reason why young women wouldn’t be interested and derive benefits from the programs that Boy Scouts offers. The more the merrier!


#15

I think the national leadership was wrested away from the LDS which had dominated it for decades. And local leadership always varied, right?

I guess it comes down to whether you view same sex programs as having benefits. My son was recruited by an all boys Jesuit HS, and they touted the program designed specifically for boys as a positive. He did not go. If I had to guess, the self selection of girls who want to be Boy Scouts will have a minimal impact on Scout culture. If it were a random selection of girl it might be different.


#16

Well the Camp Fire Girls went coed in 1975…And changed their name shortly thereafter.


#17

By leaps and bounds it is the better organization. But unfortunately it lacks the funding and support that the Boy Scouts have. Churches, which account for at least half of the sponsorship of Boy Scout troops, mostly despise the Girl Scouts for various reasons.


#18

Maybe? I really don’t know about the LDS, although it sounds kind of familiar?

But you’re quite right about variations in local leadership. My troop was heavily Catholic because of the demographics of where I grew up, although it was not sponsored by a church. Still pretty chill, though.


#19

LDS = “Latter Day Saints” AKA the Mormon Church, FYI.


#20

Mormons. Very conservative.