“The Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its iconic Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. ” Read the full statement.
First, let’s get the facts straight. Quotes are from the statement.
Your son’s Boy Scout troop is not going to be coed:
“Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scouts program, the organization will also deliver a program for older girls, which will be announced in 2018 and projected to be available in 2019, that will enable them to earn the Eagle Scout rank. This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families.”
Your son’s Cub Scout den is not going to be coed:
” Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls.”
Your pack might be coed, but that is up to your chartered organization:
“Existing packs may choose to establish a new girl pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens or remain an all-boy pack. “
In my opinion this is a positive change. It provides additional opportunities for young women. There is nothing gender specific in the Boy Scout curriculum. I know there are objections. The ones listed below are quotes from my Facebook page. Let’s look at some of them.
Objection: Boys need to be boys
“I don’t agree with this. There are times guys just need to be with guys. There are things to be learned and discussed when in a same sex group.”
“It’s awful. Why can boys not have just one place that is just for them? Why does it always get ruined?”
“So, where can young boys now go to “just be boys” without having to worry about girls being around? Or is that not “PC” enough anymore?”
First of all, their den is still going to be all boys. And there are already girls at pack meetings, events, family campouts, etc. Cub Scouting is a family program and in order for parents to be there, siblings come along also.
Objection: Raging hormones
“As hormones rage in teen yrs. And boys fart burp and are crude, most girls wont stay in. I dont know why boys cant just be boys. Poor Lord Baden Powell.”
They will not be together in the teen years. Boys will be in Boy Scouts and girls will be in the new program. If they want to, they can join a coed Venturing crew. Personally, my experience with our coed Venturing crew is that the young men and women are respectful to each other. And we have clear rules in place about things like tents/cabins, showers, being respectful, hand holding, etc. It has never been a problem having teen boys and girls do activities together.
Objection: Why not Girl Scouts?
“Or maybe change the way girl scouts are ran”
“The Girl Scouts are already have such a program. Getting your Gold Star is the Girl Scout equivalent of the eagle scout. “
“I don’t understand why girls need to be in boy scouts. There is girl scouts.”
Right or wrong, the Gold award does not have the universal name recognition that Eagle Scout does. And the Girl Scout program does not appeal to all girls. Many people prefer the BSA curriculum. Some churches have severed ties with the Girl Scouts due to parts of the curriculum and the people they are holding up as role models. So this gives girls another option.
Objection: Why not Venturing?
“How is this different than venture scouting”
“I just don’t understand why this had to be a ‘thing’– there is already co-ed venturing.”
Venturing (please don’t call it Venture Scouts) is for young men and women ages 14 to 20. Since the Venturing program starts at 14 so it would only allow girls about half as long as boys to complete the requirements. And the program uses completely different methods. It is not possible to complete Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class with the Venturing model. Venturers can in fact currently earn the rank of Eagle, but only if they completed First Class as Boy Scouts. It is possible to complete the Star, Life, and Eagle ranks as a Venturer.
Objection: Religious objections
“As a Former Cub Leader Mother of two Eagle Scouts Grandmother of a Tiger Scout and a Former District Commissioner This is WRONG! This is Breaking the Scout Oath and Law! Reverence to GodScouting is NOT a social club! Scouting principles are based on the Bible! This is confusing to young children ! This is beyond heartbreaking disappointing and disgraceful! Shame on them ! Problems will arise YUGE problems!”
Yes, this is a direct quote. The bottom line is that your chartered organization has control over your units. If your church thinks that boys and girls need to be completely separated, then they probably aren’t going to charter a coed pack.
Feel free to comment below, but please keep it civil. A Scout is courteous.