Boy Scouts of America to allow transgender boys to enroll


Beschizza , are you aware of the Explorer and Venturing programs of the BSA? They are coed and open to youth over the age of 13 (completed 8th grade). I know this is probably a bit hard to grok, considering the knee-jerk reaction of the Boing Boing commentariat to anything traditional.

Female venturers can wear their GSA Gold ranks and boys their BSA awards.

BSA venturing


Neither of those orgs are nearly as prestigious, and they both are tiny in comparison to the Scouting program. Yes, it’s good that the Venture and Explorer programs exist. But they aren’t replacing Scouting anytime soon.


Explorers always seemed cooler than plain old Scouts.


Order of the Arrow?


Are you active in Scouting? There are almost a quarter million youth Venturers which is a sizable portion of the 900,000 registered BSA youth. Venturers is what Explorers was prior to about 2000, when the BSA spun exploring off into a separate organization. Venturing isn’t intended to replace Scouting. It’s intended to allow older youth more autonomy and freedom to learn. It’s intended to augment Scouting and to keep older youth interested. your suggestion that it’s intended as a replacement seems to me the comment of a person who doesn’t know what they’retalking about.

It bothers me to see people claiming to be Eagle Scouts dismissing the organization. If you don’t like the direction it’s heading, find a unit and register. become a merit badge counselor, join a troop committee. It’s not monolithic. A troop registered in a Mormon church is not going to be the same as one registered in a Unitarian church or a mosque.


Indeed. Brotherhood of the Arrow.


I played the BSA’s political game long enough. I wasn’t “Patriotic enough” (straight and married and conservative and religious) in my region of the US for me to get very far.


Order of the Arrow is an Honor camper association within Boy Scouts.


I can only speak for my boy’s Cub Scout troop but our pack leader is both a single parent and a lesbian. Then again I live in San Francisco so YMMV.


…with fun ceremonies and cool patches and sashes!


Really? What council were you in? Were you a professional Scouter?


Ordeals. They were OA Ordeals. Shh… we wouldn’t want anyone to think it was fun.


Mt. Baker Council. Never was a pro scouter, but once I got my eagle, the dads made it pretty clear either I needed to do other stuff and that they didn’t really want me around anymore. The troop I was in was “boy run, boy led”, which meant that once I got my eagle and turned 18 I wouldn’t really be much of a resource like the parents who had stuff like money and cars.

At the time the official policy was still to ban non-straight adults, and I definitely am not-straight, so they probably felt I’d be some kind of bad influence on the boys. As if queerness is contagious or a choice.


The night out in the stars was nice. The day of no food while basically doing prep work for summer camp not so much. Nah actually I enjoyed the work of getting summer camp in order before my troop came in.

Then again ai volunteered to take on everyone’s kitchen duties in the troop so ai’m kinda weird.


To be fair, the Girl Scouts could accept boys just as easily as the Boy Scouts could accept girls. It would be interesting if both became co-ed–I think it’s unlikely they’d merge, but if both became coed one might “win” over the other.


Um, no, actually a lot of us do not. If we wish to “pass” then we may do that, if only to avoid a lot of harassment or because a lot of psychiatrists still won’t sign off on your transition if they think you’re not presenting enough like how they think the gender to which you were assigned at birth wish to transition should present. (This assumes, of course, that one wishes to physically transition in the first place.)

To bring it somewhat back on topic, the idea of gender norms are probably still going to be enforced by the Boy Scouts, but as long as someone presents and acts “male” the BSA will allow them … I suppose that’s still a form of progress.

Edit: corrected “were assigned at birth” to “wish to transition”


I was aware of it. It’s become the scouting equivalent of a unisex coffeecup–it might be the best coffeecup in the world, but has become saddled by the context that gives it meaning: insane beliefs about who drinks from what coffeecup.


Depends on the troop.

One of my greatest regrets from scouting is pertinent to this.

We had a boy who is a couple years younger than me who was effeminate and sensitive. He was bullied ruthlessly by the other boys. I hated seeing it. A lot. And they bullied him for years.

And I did nothing to stop it. I thought just not being involved in actively bullying him was “good enough”. But that’s not what the BSA’s stated values are. I was just taking my queues from the adults and working on “passing” as completely straight, due to my terror at what would happen if I were out in that situation. I thought that if I defended him, I’d end up lumped in with him and get the worst of it. I lied to myself for a very long time. The BSA’s stated values say that we value everyone and respect our troopmates.

And I did nothing.

It haunts me to this day.


Long story short, at this point in my life, I’ve resolved to never be a coward like that. It’s too contemptible to myself.


Venturing programs are new on me, but Explorer posts were sort of a desperate way to keep teenagers in scouting.

Not coincidentally, they had about 1/4 of the activities on the schedule.

I don’t think Explorers is a useful model for coed–rather, it’d probably be better to just integrate the GSA into the BSA’s activities and just call it SA. (The GSA from what I recall my sister being involved with was very much built off the notion that women were fragile, weak and generally didn’t aspire to much outdoorsy)