Boy Scouts of America to allow girls to join


#21

Hey, poor communication on my part. I meant, I didn’t know about LDS involvement in BSA leadership. I am familiar with the Mormons.


#22

They basically incorporated BSA into their church, all boys are Scouts. I’m not sure what the current status is since the recent changes to more inclusiveness.


#23

Sorry about ninja-ing you there; thanks for the info about the LDS/BSA, by the way. Just checked it out, and (thank goodness) it looks like LDS is pulling out of the BSA altogether.

That should help push it into… Well, not the 21st century yet, but maybe to at least some time after women got the vote?


#24

Checking my post to see that I actually typed, “I think it’s down to the local leadership” instead of “please judge my local group just in case our memberships’ wishes do not align with that of some stranger’s son’s college in the mountains.” Yup, I think I was clear.


#25

In my experience it doesn’t seem to be well known/publicized. My daughter joined last year; I had remembered it being co-ed but always heard it called “Camp Fire Girls,” and still run into people who don’t know it’s co-ed.


#26

If you’re curious, the BSA has opened up membership to TG individuals since January of this year, unless I’m greatly mistaken.


#27

My understanding is that the changes have been structured in such a way to allow the local troops to discriminate is that is their wont. I further understand that until recently, the LDS was threatening to leave if they had to run into…others at Jamborees and such not.


#28

That sounds right, but I was under the impression that they were open to trans boys, which still left out in the cold transfeminine peeps who participated in our dude days.


#29

Scouts Canada has been coed for a few years now, but the Girl Guides are still going strong. There are good arguments for single-gender organizations for girls in particular (see article below).

Back when my son was in Scouts, I actually overheard two Girl Guides say much the same thing. A lot depends on the leaders of the individual troops. When my wife was a Brownie volunteer, she pushed hard for more outdoor activities, but not all the other mothers were as interested.

This article suggests that the motivation behind the BSA move is to boost declining enrolment. They don’t even mention the Girl Scouts, and the Girl Scouts are pretty pissed off.


#30

I want to applaud, I really do. But first, I want to know why and why now? They’ve come around on allowing homosexual youth, but not on atheist youth. Now they will allow anyone regardless of sex, will this also allow any gender?

Some facts and a question:
BSA Enrollment has dropped from ~3.3 million in 2000 to ~2.3 million today. Somewhere around 25% of that ~2.3 million number is LDS, or Mormon scouts, who have decided recently to leave BSA and form their own program, largely due to diverging values. The LDS church was using Scouting as their male youth program. They aren’t moving them all away at once, but they are starting with ~200k older kids, so it will probably take a few years. I think that the departure of the LDS program is a positive move for BSA, as Scouting appeared to be slow to change with our culture due mostly to demands from that demographic (and some others). However, with enrollment now dropping by about half in the last 17 years, there needs to be a change. Maybe this is it, but is the decision to allow young women to fully participate made in desperation to save BSA, or is it a genuine desire to serve young women? What does this do to Girl Scouts, a completely different organization?

A note on my experience - I am an Eagle Scout and a former adult leader for several years in my late 20s and early 30s. We had young women in my units when I was a teen in the late 1980s / early 1990s via Explorer Scouts, now called Venturing. I was also a Venture Crew Advisor (equivalent to Scoutmaster) as an adult. The Explorer/Venture rules were carefully tailored not to allow rank advancement in those programs, only through a troop, so that young women couldn’t become an Eagle Scout. I questioned it then, and am glad it is changing now. We had a few excellent young women who deserved the chance to become an Eagle Scout. I’m sure there are more out there.


#31

I can’t see why, since women are active participants in the troop. My wife has gone on numerous hikes and backpacking trips, even gone to the Boundary Waters on the Venture trip.


#32

I am sure that a name change will happen fairly soon. “Scouts of America” sounds pretty good, I think.


#33

Some girls. And, like the Cubs/Boy Scouts, it depends on the leader. My daughter disliked how her troop was run. Too much arts and crafts and little camping.

I’m stoked about this news because that means my goalie can join my son’s den.


#34

I’m not saying that we would be unable to participate as adults, just that the official position still leaves us in kind of a weird place. Like, is my Eagle “valid” since an openly trans girl wouldn’t be allowed to participate?

I dunno. At one level, I really don’t care. But apparently at another level I do.


#35

How about Youth Scouts of America? “YSA” seems relatively open.


#36

Going to need more merit badges.

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#37

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.

I think she’d be a Cub Scout and I hear that they plan a transitional program, somewhat parallel to Boy Scouts, from 10-14, when girls can join Venture Scouts, which already has boys and girls. My daughter was a Girl Scout, but dropped out, and is now hoping to join our local Sea Scout (part of Venture) program to learn boating when she’s 14.


#38

This is great news!


#39

“Scouts of America” sounds pretty good, I think.

We’re going to call it “Kids in America” because Kim Wilde has her finger on the pulse of today’s youth.


#40

I wanted to go Girl Scout, but they wouldn’t have me.