Boy Scouts of America to allow girls to join


I suppose neither organization wants to have to restructure itself to accommodate the other.

So even though I think this is ultimately a good thing I also understand the concerns of the GSUSA that this move could pose a serious threat to the survival of their 105-year-old organization.



As an Eagle Scout father of daughter, I’m glad to see this decision. I’ve met one serious Girl Scout in my life (and she was particularly impressive, with Gold Award and all). Most other former Girl Scouts I’ve met say they did it for a while, sold some cookies, camped at a motel, and quit.

Your mileage will vary everywhere, but BSA nationals is a lot less heavy-handed, the boys themselves always got the lion’s share of any fundraising effort, and there just seem to be more well-run BSA troops out there.


Does she store her beaver insignia in a fanny pack? /hides




I still want to (and don’t want to) join the hipster scouts:


Son’s troop had both, Catholic Church sponsor and Officer vet scoutmaster (Jewish). As said upthread they went to Mass once a year before Camp to pay their respects to their sponsor.

Me too. I made the ignorant mistake of joining a sponsored location rather than a troop. The troop had just decamped, and the sponsor found a new scoutmaster. I was an 8th grader and basically the oldest kid with a bunch of Webelos. The old codger Scoutmaster literally told me once “I went to the school of hard knocks”. I gave up after that year. Looking back on it, a great, healthy troop would have changed my life, which was not in a good place.


Okay then.


Red kerchiefs. Definitely a thing.

Oh… and… this…


I can give you a unique perspective here!
I was in Cubs in Australia when we went from “Boy Scouts” to “Scouts”.
It was initially boys only, then girls could get accepted, whilst I was there.
At first it was a little bit ‘eggshells’. However, we soon learned. The girls were there because, in their words, “Brownies Sucked”. Now, there are girls that love Brownies. This is good. But there are girls that want to go abseiling, canoeing, kayaking, building bonfires etc etc.
The girls that came to cubs/scouts WANTED to be there. It took about 2 months for the eggshells to vanish and for them to ‘just. be. scouts’ which is all they wanted.
They gave as good as they got.
My son is now in cubs. It really is still like this. The girls are there because they want to be there. Some of the girls in my sons cub pack are awesome. Their attention to detail when doing things like raft building or whatever? Exceptional.
So. For all those worrying. Don’t. The girls are there because they want to get dirty, have fun and have adventures. That is what scouts is all about. Fits right in with the law and promise of the scouts.
Great work BSA. (Although, I will say it did take about 30 years to catch up! The change happened about 30 years ago in Australia)


From my experience with Girl Guides and Scouts Canada, I don’t think they should open admissions. Some girls want and need a quieter and calmer space than boy scouts provides. My daughter tried cub scouts but hated how crazy all the kids were, but when she tried brownies, she fell in love with it (sadly, we left Canada shortly after). I think some girls just need and want the energy that Girl Guides provides, which would not be possible if there were boys.

I think it’s similar to how girls tend to perform better in math classes if there are no boys around.


So, are you against boy scouts opening admissions? I.e. that gender segregation in youth is a generally a good thing?


Brownies still exists where I am 30 years later.
But why should a girl that is not satisfied by Brownies be denied?
My biggest complaint: Boys still can’t go to Brownies! They should be allowed. I have got a friend whose son LOVES doing things that the Brownies do. He doesn’t want to abseil/camp/canoe/whatever. He wants to do more sedate things. He loves cooking, tie-dying, costuming and things like that. He can’t go to Brownies.
It’s kind of odd how the Brownie movement is less accepting of gender… (At least by my observation)


Right now, the path is to have single-sex denss, but allow the units to be co-ed packs.
Packs can be all boys, all girls, or co-ed- but it looks like dens are gender separated.

I’m not sure how this is going to play out in the scout troops.


Family logistics is a huge reason for this change. I can make a few millenial jokes here, but the BSA is facing a few challenges.
The LDS evacuation is a huge black hole that they’re looking to recover from. I applaud the BSA’s decision to let them go, and they deserve more credit for it.
But many people have expressed concern that they can’t join the BSA programs because they don’t include the whole family.

Now if the BSA can get an entire family of kids, they’re likely to also get the parents to sign on to help shepard them through the process.


I’m not seeing the problem if some girls self select for whatever this is going to be called. I don’t hear anyone calling for the end to Girl Scouts, and anecdotally, the girls who will join the boys aren’t in, or aren’t happy in GS.

Can someone explain the Den/Pack structure of Cubs? My son wasn’t in it, met on Sunday nights which was just not a good fit.


Indeed, a lot of play soldiering goes on in the scouts. Far more than any actually going on to the military, from what I have seen.

The ones who go on to a successful military career aren’t always the ones decked out in camo with knives bigger than the rules allow. Very surprising seeing how everyone from my scouting days turned out.


Nope. I didn’t say that (though re-reading I can see that maybe I wasn’t clear enough). I think that’s fine. And I see no contradiction there. From my experience of having one son and one daughter, I’ve seen that one high energy boy can change the dynamics of an all girl or mostly girl group, but the reverse generally doesn’t happen.

Yeah, I can see that. Some boys will do better in Brownies than in Cubs, but I also see the value in having a place where the girls who need it can avoid the too much boy energy.


Cub scouts are divided by age/grade. During the year of your given strata, you can work on things to achieve the rank (get a patch to wear on your shirt) - or you don’t.
No matter your progress towards meeting the rank requirements, at the beginning of the next scouting year, you begin the next ‘class’.

Lions - Kindergarten
Tigers -1st Grade
Wolves - 2nd Grade
Bears - 3rd Grade
Junior Webelos - 4th Grade
Senior Webelos - 5th Grade

A den is generally 5-12 scouts. If you’ve got a lot of scouts of that age, you’ll have multiple dens.
In my experience, dens usually meet at their meeting place twice a month.
A den will go on an outing once a month.
All the dens associated with the Pack will then meet together once a month. So you’re getting together once a week for the school year.

Cross over into Boy Scouts, and suddenly the ranks become more achievement based. There’s a few time-gates built in- you have to be with the troop for a certain amount of events or timeframe before you can advance. In addition, you have to prove that you can plan a meal, tie a knot, splint an arm, etc. But you may have a 16 year old kid that’s still a tenderfoot scout, and a 13 year old scout that’s pushing into Star.

Second Class
First Class


The first rank of scout is kind of new- this is just some basic rote memorization of boy scout oath, law, etc- prove that you kind of understand what scouting is about.
The next ranks through First Class are all about learning skills that you stereotypically associate with a Boy Scout- the knots, the first aid, the camping.
Then at Star through Eagle, the incubator shifts slightly, and the boys are now supposed to start using their learned skills to start taking charge of the troop. They’re the ones driving the troop and providing the leadership to the younger scouts. They have to earn some Merit Badges (which serve a purpose of diversifying your interests and skill set- do you want to learn about robotics, or prefer to do auto repair?) but at the heart of it, the last three are just a crucible for leadership. The famed Eagle Project is really just teaching scouts to organize a project involving people outside of themselves. Collect requirements from a user, determine resources that are needed to meet those goals, gather the resources of time, people, and materials, and then execute on the plan. Doesn’t matter if the project is built as designed, or a total failure- the Eagle rank is really just about the road of planning and executing. It’s just a mini Project Manager certification wrapped up in khaki, red, white, and blue.

I’m sure that’s more detail than you were hoping for.


Which is kind of a QED. The boy in question gets anxiety around other high energy boys. So why shouldn’t he be allowed to go to a lower energy environment.
Here’s the thing I’ve observed (and have no scientific backing on. Personal anecdote follows). Girls self-select themselves in scouts.
If they have the energy to keep up and they enjoy it, they stay.
Those that don’t. Leave. It’s not something nasty. It’s not like “Get out of here!” It was “OK. This obviously didn’t suit you. Would you like information on other groups that you may be interested in”.
The leaving is not after 1 session in my observation. It tends to be around week 5 or 6.