Eagle Scout is the highest advancement rank in Boy Scouting. Eagle is earned after the rank of Life. "Once an Eagle, always an Eagle".

My Opinion on the BSA’s Decision to Provide a Path to Eagle Scout for Girls

“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.

 

62 Responses to My Opinion on the BSA’s Decision to Provide a Path to Eagle Scout for Girls

  1. Lisa M October 13, 2017 at 4:11 PM #

    I’m excited for girls that want more than what they’re getting out of girls scouts. Gurl scouts should have upped the Annie to keep and attract more girls to their program. Those who don’t see the good in this is wearing a blindfold.

    • Deb L October 17, 2017 at 6:49 AM #

      I led a GS troop for 20 years of 16 girls. We hiked, camped, went white water rafting, went on 15 mile bike trips, rappelled, traveled to New York, Chicago, Boston, and to the Atlantic Ocean (we’re from Ohio). The year they graduated we went on a cruise. Several earned their Gold Award. I also had boys ask me if they could join my GS troop b/c their Boy Scout troop was boring. I organized Day Camp for the county and had several brothers tell me they liked my camp better than the Cub Scout Day Camp so it goes both ways. I’m now a Cub Scout leader. Both programs are good for the children but each need their own group. Parents need to get involved to make both groups top notch.

      • Jessica October 19, 2017 at 11:38 AM #

        agree 100%

      • Ranger Rick October 20, 2017 at 6:02 PM #

        God Bless you Deb! You are right in my opinion. The more enthusiastic the parents are…the more enthusiastic the Scouts are. Girl or Boy! The better the individual program!
        I can teach a girl how to use flint and steel just the same as a boy. Both just have to do their best. Welcome all kids to scouting Now lets put away the politics and go get dirty in the woods!

    • Ranger Rick October 20, 2017 at 6:10 PM #

      This is a YUGE problem…??? -3 for spelling. HUGE…So the person above then believes that the Bible and its stories only pertain to men/boys and women are not at the same level…HHHMMM. Perhaps the women in the family still do not vote either possibly? Get with the 21st century please.

    • Mary Jane Landin July 2, 2018 at 3:33 PM #

      It’s about time! I was a Girl Scout and also a Girl Scout leader. Now that my son is a Boy Scout, I see a sharp contrast in offerings between the two. Regardless of what anyone thinks, the Gold Award in Girl Scouts does not compare at all to the Eagle. In case you want to verify this, just ask people what the highest level in Girl Scouts is…almost all will not know.

      Also, my son is 16-years-old and from what I’ve seen of these young men, their scout masters, etc., I would have no reservations in letting a daughter of mine be part of this wonderful program that is to come.

  2. Shawna October 13, 2017 at 6:30 PM #

    Thank you!! I have been answering and seeing the same comments. I find many who are saying them are people who don’t know much about BSA programs or are have been away from them for so long that they are unaware of how family friendly Cub Scouts is and that girls are already there. They just don’t get recognized right now.

  3. Brandy October 13, 2017 at 6:41 PM #

    Loving this opportunity for boys and girls! We all need more role models and those that have life skills. My son is an Eagle and he agrees that girls and boys can accomplish Eagle as there is nothing in the requirements that is gender specific.

  4. Seana October 13, 2017 at 6:42 PM #

    I’m happy about the decision. Wish it had come in time for my 15 year old daughter.

    My 16 year old son is involved in both a Troop and a Crew – although I’d like to believe we have shaped him to have strong respectful platonic friendships with girls, I think he has gotten a great deal from his Venture experience. (As well as from friendships with little sisters of older scouts along his path.)

  5. Janelle October 13, 2017 at 7:42 PM #

    I am stoked about this decision! What a great way to make the program grow and bring in more volunteers and ideas! It’s interesting that many of the comments I am reading on other sites, they aren’t even involved, but feel the need to form an opinion. This is a good move for the BSA! 🇺🇸

  6. Mark Foley Sr October 13, 2017 at 8:07 PM #

    It is amazing how girls are welcome to come to Cub & family events up till age 11 then they send them away to 14 currently. At 14th and have the option of Ventering or Sea Scouts, Explorer & Stem. Girl can earn the Venting Summit Award , Sea Scout QuarterMaster rank ( the Highest Rank in Sea Scouts since 1930 & only 33 youth earned it in the US.) Most BSA youth Leadership positions at the Consel, Area, Reginal , National & International level have female youth serving with male youth leader on commites Right Now.
    As a former Cub Scout Leader, Boys Scout Assistant Scout Master, Ventering Committee Member, Sea Scout Skipper and Dad of Two Eagle Scout. My third son is 14 Life Scout. Life is Co-ed my son know how to be gentlemen .
    Make no mistake boy can be boys while they grew into fine young men in Souting.

  7. Jennifer October 13, 2017 at 8:40 PM #

    I agree! Why not share the values and encourage even more model citizens? It’s a great idea that is long overdue. Most other countries have Scouting (not only boys or girls)

  8. Rick October 13, 2017 at 9:10 PM #

    “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.”

    So now girls have the option to be in an all girl program or join the boy/girl program, but boys no longer have there own program that just they can do.
    Why are all these parents wanting there daughters join BOY Scouts? There is an Organization for girls it’s the GSA. I keep seeing “it’s not as good as the BSA”, well then make it as good, with out the Scouts and parents there are in GSA you can demand it become better. If your a dad or mom then join GSA and be a leader. What it looks like to me is that they have a boy in Cub Scouts and they don’t want to invest anymore time in a different organization for their girl so they just push for their girl to join Boy Scouts. I keep seeing “this will be great for my daughter”, but I keep thinking this will not be great for my son. There is a difference in how boys and girls interact with each other. The boys I have play rougher then girls and I don’t want to keep saying don’t do that she’s a girl and YES they say it will be boy Dens and girl Dens but they will come together at all kinds of events. You say girls are already there but there a guest there so it’s different then being the member. So Just get more involved in your daughters activities and not shoe horn her in to your sons because it’s easier on you. I think there will be a lot of parents getting out of BSA if they let girls in. I know Eagle Scouts wont mean as much as soon as it is awarded to a girl.

    • Scouter Mom October 14, 2017 at 7:06 AM #

      Yes, girls are already present and participating at Cub Scouting events. It is a family program. They are welcome at pack meetings, council events, and more. You still have the option to join an all boy pack, but chances are the sisters will still be running their cars on the derby track and playing the games with the boys.

      The Boy Scout program will still be all boys. The new program will be all girls.

      • Tabi July 11, 2018 at 1:07 PM #

        So, it sounds like you will be first in line to make the girl scouts better, correct? Since you think it is as simple as wanting it…. As for the rest, you sir, sicken me. I guess astronauts are no longer cool since women have arrived on scene. Doctors are not saving lives as much. That is the single dumbest comment I have read all day. I am now dumber for having read it. >: /

    • Dawn October 14, 2017 at 12:30 PM #

      What kind of person holds the belief that an award is lessened because it’s been earned by a female. It’s an earned award, period. The only reason it has not been awarded to a female is because that opportunity was not available. Is the Purple Heart lessened because it has been awarded to females? Is the Noble Peace prize been lessened because of females? So disappointing

      • Kathy Ruppert October 15, 2017 at 1:19 PM #

        This is by far my favorite comment of all.

      • Nanette January 28, 2018 at 3:13 PM #

        Yes yes yes

  9. Tom October 15, 2017 at 11:03 AM #

    I think it is a wonderful thing having a son earn Eagle while his twin sister could not. Both are in venturing and she was at the national jamboree that allowed girls to attend. I do NOT believe they should be separate. Packs and troop have a hard enough time to find scouts as well as leaders. Venture Scouts is a great example that it works.

  10. Richie Palka October 15, 2017 at 11:41 AM #

    As a Cub Master, Past Scout Master, Den Leader, Asst. Scoutmaster & Cub Master , many positions on the committee as well as chair and Charter Organistion Exec and Rep, I see some obstacles to this decision, but they can be overcome easily. I look forward to the challenge. Without knowing the full story, I have already heard Scoutmasters say “I did not sign up for this.”

    I will put this forward, we will need to have a mother or father sign up as a Den Leader for their daughters Den as she signs up. Having been a Cub Masrer, Webelos Den Leader and Tiger Cub Den Leader at 5he same time is hard with only one gender to be concerned with.

    I think it is interesting. If people are unhappy, why don’t they get out and make the GSA better for the girls who want to join the BSA because the GSA does not do the job for them. I know many GSA Leaders who work real hard to give the girls a great program.

    I must say, that Camping GSA style is like checking into the Hilton, versus cutting down a site, clearing large rocks building a fire ring and then find wood for the fire, cut it up etc.

    Even cabin camping is so different. BSA is extreme rustic, for lack of another word. GSA is very nice as we found out one year when all BSA sites were booked and we were able to find a GSA camp which was having its annual boys weekend. I leaving the cabin to go to the latrine until I realized there was porcelain indoors, not to mention showers with hot water. I was in heaven.

  11. erin October 15, 2017 at 2:53 PM #

    It is hard to give a point of view when you see both sides of the coin. I have a pack that I am a de leader for and it co-ed for 15 yrs plus. And I am a leader for two packs that are all boys. I have a daughter who was a girl scout for 4 years before she was signed up for the pack in Cambridge mass. She had been in the gsa til her junior year was supposed to start. She is on her webalos year and switching to the troop this coming summer. And I have one that started as a lion and if I say a scout is. I have her attention as soon as I say it. I also have a brother is in his second year as a boy scout and he was not showing any improvement in scout with the pack her was with. He just got his tenderfoot last june. He has join the pack as one of our den chiefs. and we just had out pumpkin fest yesterday and he was able to tomahawk and had fun doing it. I see the improvement if the pack and troop are the right fit for the kids, and I would not treat my daughter an different that the boys do with me at scout. A scout is loyal and I am very loyal to my scouts and to my kids

  12. Jim R October 15, 2017 at 6:56 PM #

    I have 5 daughters and my job as a Christian father is to protect them physically,mentally and spiritually. This is the age when their hormones start kicking in. They start experimenting and pier pressure is ridiculous at that age. When the first girl gets groped or molested because of this decision all you who have daughters will say (How could we have been so stupid) we don’t know how others kids are raise but our own and we don’t know what their home life is like. Are you people willing to accept responsibility for this decision because it’s our kids who will be forever damaged by it.

    • Thomas Schuckman October 19, 2017 at 1:07 PM #

      Jim with that ill mentality i guess you keep your daughters away from boys like all girl school, all girl christian church and so on and so on. I have a daughter that was a Venturing scout and camp with a crew of boys and girls. Scout program in the rest of the world is actually co ed. My daughter made great friends more male than females thru out her scouting life. Worked on several Eagle projects since she would never be able to do her own. For a man to have those thoughts that you have proposed in your statement, it is not the boys I fear but people like you.

    • Kenneth Shaw December 4, 2017 at 10:14 AM #

      Mr. R,

      To step up to a leadership position (Cubmaster and Wolf Den Leader for me) is to accept responsibility. Scouting reinforces a positive home life and the chances of something bad happening doesn’t stop at gender.

      I respect your opinion but things will work out.

  13. Joshua October 15, 2017 at 6:59 PM #

    I disagree with the sentiment about the Girl Scout Gold Star not having the same recognition as the Boy Scout Eagle Award. Per the Recruiting Manual, we are allowed to give Advanced Pay Grade of E3 to any male with an Eagle Scout award from the Boy Scouts and any female with a Gold Star from the Girl Scouts. That literally gives them the same level of recognition by the United States Government itself.

    • Dave October 17, 2017 at 6:46 PM #

      I agree with you about the government recognition.

      But many private universities and most corporations don’t know what the Gold award is. I tell everyone who has earned his Eagle Scout rank to put that on his resume, even if he is 50, because it has virtually universal recognition. The Gold award is not known by many in the general public unless they were involved in Girl Scouts.

      • RC in SWFL April 7, 2018 at 12:11 AM #

        Even if they were involved in Girl Scouts, they may not know the Gold award. Having been a Girl Scout in my younger years, I sure don’t remember this award (granted, I left Girl Scouting in 6th grade, so didn’t make it that far) but always knew Eagle Scout rank. As a mom of 5 it is so nice to have this opportunity for my daughters. My oldest daughter has always said she’d be a Cub Scout and will sell popcorn with her brothers. Well, next year as a first grader, that can happen for her!

        Also, it’s not as easy as people think in terms of scheduling. She’s in American Heritage Girls this year and having 3 nights of Scouting (or Scouting-like…AHG, Cub Scout, Boy Scout) and 3 different camping opportunities (oh, wait, I can’t take my older or younger sons on AHG camp outs, or anything for that matter) it is challenging. looking forward to next year…and hoping an awesome parent steps up to lead her den as I can’t do Web 1 and Tiger 🙂

  14. catsmeow123 October 16, 2017 at 10:42 AM #

    I think girls should have this opportunity the same way that boys do. Just because its a girl doesn’t mean that the award is less deserved. Girls and boys both have the right to get awards and basic survival skills. People shouldn’t say that it is less meaningful because a girl got it.

  15. Carol October 16, 2017 at 12:17 PM #

    Jim R., are you aware that girls have been in Baden Powell Scouts, Venturing, Explorers, Sea Scouts, all camp staffs, Jamboree, and most camporees for decades?

  16. Ann Perrone October 16, 2017 at 10:19 PM #

    As with most other major changes (from going vegan to block scheduling to mandatory seat belts to gay people in the church), there are several stages that people seem to go through. With social media as well as anonymity the stages are expressed publicly, loudly, and sometimes fact-challenged. Nevertheless, expect to see mocking and counter-factual memes, dire predictions of hell and damnation, ecstatic over-enthusiasm, taunting, fence-sitting, signing up, quitting, unexpected alliances, and nuts-and-bolts questioning. Personally, I prefer to hear from people with recent experience in both the BSA and GSUSA or at least recent experience with one of these. Take a look at the world model of “Scouting” (Canada, UK, Germany, Mexico, India, Greece, Trinidad, etc) and learn what works. Read up on how the proposed single-gender dens and patrols will be structured and run. Look for market research on what many Scouting families indicated they wanted. Listen and listen and think and don’t shut down. I think it’ll work. I’m going to work hard to make it work in my Troop.

  17. Dave October 17, 2017 at 7:05 PM #

    It’s important to understand that the BSA and GSUSA charter units differently. The BSA partners with community organizations (churches, civic clubs, businesses, etc.) to charter units. The chartered organization has full control over the unit.

    GSUSA charters all troops through their local council.

    So the statement “Some churches have severed ties with the Girl Scouts due to…” might just infer the support of GSUSA, but they have not been able to charter a GS troop.

    • Deb L October 18, 2017 at 6:26 AM #

      Girl Scouts do not charter troops. Troops form and meet wherever they choose – schools, churches, fire stations, community buildings, etc. There is no charter fee and their meeting site is only supplying that – a meeting site.

  18. Lance October 18, 2017 at 10:00 PM #

    This is another sad step in the feminization of America. Allowing girls into the Boy Scouts is just beyond ridiculous. Mike Surbaugh and every BSA executive who approved this have destroyed a 100 plus year old institution.

    • Scouter Mom October 19, 2017 at 9:31 AM #

      If you don’t want girls in the BSA you need to find a time machine and go back to the 1960’s. The BSA has been serving young women for decades – through Exploring, Sea Scouts, Venturing, STEM Scouts. I believe Explorer Posts became coed in 1971.

      The Boy Scout program itself will remain for boys only. Girls in that age group will be served by a new program.

      • Lance October 19, 2017 at 11:58 AM #

        Okay, let me jump in my Delorean and kick it up to 88 mph to visit the 1960s

        Really sad to me that so many people try to justify this. Boy Scouts is for boys. Girl Scouts is for girls. If girls were unhappy with the Girl Scout program, then they should have worked to fix it.

        This is going far beyond “equality.” This is about suppression of men and masculinity. This leftist ideology has already been working its way into corporate America and the public schools for the past several years.

        Yahoo is now being sued as the company’s female-heavy leadership tried to virtually eliminate all men from the company…how’s that for “equal opportunity.”

        There’s a big difference between girls and women being involved in BSA sponsored programs (Explorers, Venturers, etc.) or with women being in support roles, as well as members of other BSA programs, as opposed to having girls as actual registered members of the “Boy” Scouts of America.

        • Scouter Mom October 19, 2017 at 12:33 PM #

          I can say with 100% certainty that Venturers are “actual registered members of the Boy Scouts of America”. They fill out the same application as Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. The young women in our crew get a BSA membership card just like everyone else. This is fact. I’m just saying this is nothing new. Nobody made this much fuss over girls being BSA members until now.

    • Hut November 12, 2017 at 5:57 PM #

      Lance,

      Simple question. How did Mike Surbaugh and every BSA executive who approved this destroy a 100 plus year old institution? I see a lot of emotion and not much thought. I see lot of right or left, but no middle.

      I was and am a Cub Scout leader. Little sisters are so prevelent that we create many “sibiling dens” which work and act separate from my son’s den. I get tired of hearing about “absolutes” and seeing all the “histrionics” from crtics. It sounds like you are only interested in freedom for yourself and taking it away from others to do what they deem fit. Just saying… that is how I see it.

  19. Christopher Allen-Poole October 22, 2017 at 11:02 AM #

    I’ll start by admitting I would prefer all boys.

    > Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls

    Balderdash. This statement assumes that there will be both enough scouts of both genders to be able to support multiple dens. If there is one first grade boy, and there are five first grade girls, what will happen? Are you saying that the boy can’t join a den because he’s a boy? What about the reverse?

    Cub Scouting is about the family, and families will always be involved (of both genders), but I find it impossible to believe that “your den will be only one gender”.

    Actually, come to think of it, I’m surprised that the standard is “if a pack wants to have coed dens, or single gender dens, that will be up to the pack.”

    • Christopher Allen-Poole October 22, 2017 at 11:03 AM #

      And, as a side note, my Tiger only has three in his den (including him), if a girl wanted to join us, I’d be very, very glad of it.

    • DismalDave December 17, 2017 at 2:14 PM #

      Even in the large urban area I live in we have difficulties getting enough adult staff for Packs and Troops. Even with the stated plan of National that the option for coed exists, eventually the staffing problems will necesitate that units go coed. Very few units will have the staffing to maintain two units.
      If you look at high school leadership programs during the last 10 years you would see that the programs have come to be dominated by girls. This is partially due to girls maturing at a slightly faster pace. It’s also due to changing social norms.
      As HS leadership has come to be dominated by girls, so will the leadership in a Troop.
      Please take a look at the six national leaders for the Venture program. Five of six are female. This is a template for what Scouts will become.
      I have nothing against girls, having two daughters, and having made sure they have every opportunity. But I also want my son to also succeed.

  20. Jenny Burroughs October 25, 2017 at 1:10 PM #

    Hello, do you thing councils should start implementing a committee of volunteers that can assist in the transition. So I’m thinking of starting a committee in my council where a few of us can assist with questions from volunteers or even assist in pack transition. Packs are going to need representation from the chartered organization all the way down to the public. Let me know!

    • Stuart Weinberg January 23, 2018 at 11:16 AM #

      Yes ! but not just for the cub scouts. This just came up at our district committee meeting. We realize that one year to get a unit up and running is not a lot of time so even with the incomplete information we have on the new program we are starting to form a committee to help facilitate the transition for the the boy scout program. Having a group of “experts” to help with any transition is always a good thing.

  21. Wendy October 25, 2017 at 7:45 PM #

    I find it interesting that scouting in most European countries is co-ed and has been for some time. So if we need to see an example of what may or may not happen we should look to our friends across the ocean.

    • Debra A Lovensheimer October 26, 2017 at 7:31 AM #

      Guide Girls, another name for Girl Scouts, is in Europe. Girl Guides/Girl Scouts is in 150 countries around the world. http://www.wagggs.org. I post this merely as a point of interest.

  22. Tom Fellrath November 2, 2017 at 9:39 AM #

    I wish that the BSA would get out of the identity/membership game (religions, sexuality, gender, etc.) and instead focus on delivering a fantastic youth leadership development program with top-flight resources. Just wave the white flag at the culture warfare going on in our country and move on. The Bob Gates-driven model of letting Chartered Orgs determine the suitability of leaders is perfect (and, to a degree, is being used with the Cub Scout repositioning). Let each organization decide if they want to be open or not, whether to embrace traditions or not. That immediately solves a lot of problems for the BSA.

    The frustrating thing about the Cub Scout move is that it “kinda-sorta” allowed girls in. Once the bloom is off the public relations rose of this decision, we all intuitively know that the BSA is once again going to be forced to explain why they treat one group of people differently than another. It may have been what was necessary to move the ball forward, but there was another way.

    Let the Chartered Orgs decide membership composition, BSA. Please!

  23. KAREN MILLER November 2, 2017 at 1:48 PM #

    well, as much as BSA would like the units to be separate I know of an existing boy troop in TX and one in NC that will start unofficially incorporating girls as of Jan 2018, and I’ve seen similar notes posted on several Girl Scout leader facebook groups. Girls don’t want to be part of a brand new unit without institutional knowledge, equipment, trained leaders. They want to be part of the groups already doing cool stuff.

  24. Eric M. February 6, 2018 at 3:01 PM #

    I’m sorry to have to say this, but your argument doesn’t hold up when you look at the details. I.e.
    – What about multi-troop campouts? Ive already seen (much to my disappointment) that at competition campouts where there are co-ed Venture Crews, the scouts, especially the older ones who are supposed to be leading, are nearly completely distracted by the 3 or 4 girls present. (Sadly, I’ve seen the same thing in the Navy) To maintain the effectiveness of the scouting program, boys MUST be separate from girls, especially in their puberty years.
    – What about summer camps? There would need to be separate gender camps (which would take a while to get stood up), or at least separate gender weeks at the camps (which would limit the boys’ current availability) to maintain the true character of *BOY* Scouts.
    – …and many others…
    The fact is, boys and girls are different, and they need to grow up differently to fulfill their rolls. Boy Scouts is (was??) designed to help boys get there.
    Boy Scouts is where boys can learn to be men, to be faithful providers, and to be the responsible, buck-stops-here leaders of their families. These qualities are not as required of our girls, and certainly we don’t want them to become men!!

    • Scouter Mom February 7, 2018 at 8:00 PM #

      They will be separate programs for the 10yo Boy Scouts and whatever the girls program will be called. And honestly, as a woman, I feel like that if boys cannot see a girl without being distracted perhaps they need some more education about viewing women as people rather than objects of distraction. I know plenty of young men who are capable of working side by side with young women without viewing them “like that”. If not, then we need to teach our young men to cherish women rather than viewing them as objects.

      • DismalDave February 7, 2018 at 8:37 PM #

        ” if boys cannot see a girl without being distracted”

        Your not having been an adolescent boy has you at a bit of a disadvantage in understanding how a boy’s brain works. Any male 15 to 20 is going to be distracted by a female. Actually, that’s just the range where it’s worse. Just how it works.

        Up in the air is whether the Scout programs will be sustainable as seperate programs. Limitations on days available, space, and numbers of adults available for leadership will make two seperate programs problematic for many Troops. My guess is that many dual Troops will merge within five years into single Troops simply because of those constraints.

        Bigger question is how the differential in male/female maturity rates will affect the programs. Look at who the Venture National Regional youth leaders are. How many are male vs female?

        • Scouter Mom February 8, 2018 at 3:05 PM #

          I do have four sons who have worked side by side with young women at summer camp staff and are good friends with them. They are not distracted by young ladies to the point that they cannot work together all summer long. In some cases, the women were their supervisors. And this is a good thing, because in a few years (around age 22 or so) they will have full time jobs and it is unlikely those will be in an all male environment.

          I think a lot of this is cultural. Boys who view women as objects do so because they have been bombarded with that sort of image of young ladies in the media. And sometimes because their male “role models” are in the habit of making derogatory comments (sometimes subtle ones) or have otherwise indicated that a woman’s value like in her appearance and not the strength of her intellect or leadership capabilities.

          And the fact remains that what is being proposed is separate programs, separate troops. You are not arguing against the actual proposal, but something else you are imagining might happen. The Boy Scouts of America could also decide that the age for Eagle be raised to 21 because our youth are so busy. But that is not a current proposal. But there is no point in debating an infinite number of hypotheticals.

  25. Terresa February 17, 2018 at 8:57 PM #

    I was the first girl in Future Farmers of America in my high school, the guys treated me just like another guy. I had a Girl Scout troop in the 80’s. I have 2 boys and 2 girls. The girls are outdoorsy and the boys not so much. My oldest daughter has been in scouting as a Venturer for several years, works for a nearby BSA Council working at Base Camp, has worked at Camp for the past 5 years and will be Program Director this year. My youngest daughter will be going to her first Venturing meeting tomorrow and has been invited to a troop meeting tomorrow too. She wants to go to it too.

    Girl Scouts have changed in the years since I was a leader. Their badges are geared towards city girls. When I asked at the Council office about it, I was told “This is what the girls want.” Mine doesn’t. She said “This is stupid.” And she didn’t join.

    I think Boy Scouts will weather this change and will be the better for it. There will be growing pains, that is to be expected. My daughters prefer the programming over that of the GSA. I joined to help with badges and will support our troops and crews because of what the BSA stands for and what they offer.

  26. Cyndi March 5, 2018 at 9:33 PM #

    This is my sons second year in cub scouts and any outing we do I have to take his sisters due to my husbands work schudel and my 4 year old lives doing it. She runs with the boys and is already asking to be in boy scouts. I’m all for girls being in BSA. I actually didn’t know there was a gold rank for Girl Scout and had a step sister in GS.t

  27. DWR April 13, 2018 at 5:22 PM #

    I think many are forgetting some of the events leading up to this decision. First, the government ruled that a person’s gender is whatever that person says it is. There was a lawsuit against the BSA involving a transgender individual in New Jersey, and the result was that the BSA would accept anyone whose parent checked the “boy” box, no questions asked. There is no way the BSA could afford to do anything but allow transgender youth -they would be bankrupted by lawsuits. A parent could also lie and check the boy box to get a girl in Cubs or Scouts. So the makeup of Scouts was changing as a result of legal rulings even before the BSA made the decision to have girls programs. I remember thinking that if any girl is to be able to earn Eagle, why not girls like my daughter who worked on five brothers’ Eagle projects and earned the Venturing Silver and Ranger awards?
    I have been in leadership capacities with the BSA for 25 years in Cub and Boy Scouts, and I was a Girl Scout leader for my one daughter for 10 years, and the leader of an all-girls Venturing unit for 4 years I am glad that I was my daughter’s GS leader so that she had an outdoor program, and didn’t feel like she was worth less of my time than my boys were. We hiked and camped from Brownies on, went dog sledding and cross-country skiing in Canada, backpacked, rock climbed, etc. We ran a nice Girl Scout program, but it was pretty much in spite of the GSA, and both my daughter and I would rather have worked with the BSA even though we prefer all-girls units. The GSA is way too liberal for my taste, and their political views are part of some requirements. It has gotten worse in the years since I was a leader. That is a big deal for me. Many other requirements are not well thought out, and they don’t publish the information needed for requirements in their books like the BSA does, so we had to find it elsewhere and sometimes we weren’t even sure what a requirement meant.
    When I go to my BSA Council office I am greeted by name and I get the help I need. I did not have any personal interaction with anyone in my Girl Scout council in ten years. I had to sign into the building just to buy badges as if I was under suspicion, and saw no one but the clerk in the shop. If we wanted to go on an outing we had to answer essay questions about everything we had done since Brownies to prove that we were ready to go on that trip. The problems are with GSA national and to a lesser extent the councils. And it is not getting better.
    There are too many differences in the organizational structures of the BSA and GSA to mention here, but one significant difference is the BSA’s emphasis on family involvement. I have known many “Scouting families”, often with both parents and multiple children involved in BSA programs for many years. That just doesn’t happen in Girl Scouting. If we could go back to the way things were 15 years ago I would say leave things well enough alone – but that is not where we as a society are today, and we can’t go back. So the BSA has chosen to serve the whole family, and I am fine with that. I think having boys and girls separate until Venturing is a good compromise. Since so many other aspects of our children’s lives are in mixed gender environments I do hope that leaders will be on their honor to follow the rules and keep boy and girl groups separate.

  28. Georgie May 2, 2018 at 4:32 PM #

    Interesting comment about religion. I’ve been a scout leader for over a decade and guess what, I’m not religious at all. My son isn’t religious either and I encourage him to find his own path in life. That being said, we respect the religious practices of others and don’t judge people for their beliefs. We are polite and sit quietly during prayers inside and outside of scouting. Maybe this is a lost art in society, but it’s most definitely the parent’s fault for failing to be tolerant and respectful of others. It’s a valuable lesson in tolerance and respect. It also demonstrates that we can get along with each other, despite our differences and find value in what we do, which is scouting. Our troop is part of a church. I love everything about scouting, even the religious aspects; even though we’re Agnostic. Scouting is valuable in soooo many ways and is good for boys and girls.

  29. Natt May 3, 2018 at 8:47 PM #

    As a Eagle Scout and a proud Navy vet I cannot express my disappointment to this insane decision, but I will try to explain why my blood is boiling. Eagle Scout is not a participation award it takes years of hard work dedication mental and spiritual growth, the list goes on and on. Young boys grow into young men with morals and values and life lessons never to forget. With that said and hopefully the honor of this rank understood, why would someone want to completely destroy it in the name of “fairness” or whatever leftist pc term you want to use? But the gold award is the same thing in girl scouts um no its not so instead of changing the girl scouts we can rid the world of toxic masculinity and little butch betty can go to bsa wrong. I am sick and tired of you pc Nazi women and beta male soy boys who are pushing this garbage. Women do not belong in boy scouts period. Look i dont care if you were a den mother or whatever thats great for cub scouts but I know this will shock some, but women and men are completely different and there is a reason for this and we evolved this way. Guys need a break from women sons need a break from moms fathers and sons get to spend time together bonding and doing guy stuff. Its so important for a young man to spend time with his dad even more so in the wilderness camping hiking hunting ect. Not only did scouts afford dads and sons these great experiences but it really helped the guys without dads around to share the same experiences with male role models. Women spend way more time with boys now a days almost all teachers female daycare female dad is at work and is lucky to get a few hours a day at best with his kids. Women are the main reason boys are so confused these days single mothers cannot come close to filling the shoes of dad and do a huge disservice to the young man and society as a whole. Now the reason behind all these changes is also money well this was never a problem before a certian agenda was pushed and pushed in the name of inclusiveness and bla bla bla let gay men run the show after all ladies you have gay guy friends they would be great with kids well that was not what the bible belt middle America Christian men were thinking thus causing an exodus of scouts and churches as well as funding. But still not satisfied I guess there was a hold out troop or two still doing good in this world and not affected by these wonderful progressive changes, so now you hammer the final nail in the coffin of what used to be one of the best times ina young mans life. You have made a yet again a poor decision to wreck boys scouts and for what, so your fake ass friends on facebook can see how progressive you are get a life stop ruining others think about someone besides yourself.

    • Scouter Mom May 4, 2018 at 9:02 AM #

      I’m not sure how “A Scout is Kind” translates into name calling like “PC Nazi women”. 🙂

  30. jennifer May 8, 2018 at 10:36 AM #

    I am the Contact Scouter for our Beaver program (5-7 year old) in Canada, and I am a Mom. Our Canadian program includes both boys and girls. I wanted to be in Scouts when I was young, but I couldn’t and went into Girl Guides. I did not stay in it for long as it was not want I wanted to do.
    We do ensure that there are separate areas for sleeping and changing, especially in the older sections.
    It is about time!

  31. SM Ron May 22, 2018 at 11:36 AM #

    Why would you want to deny a young person the opportunity to camp, to play, to lead, to follow, and to be challenged in this wonderful program? And why would you keep our current youth from learning how to work together with others who have different perspectives? I have gotten so much from this program over my 50 years in it and we need to share this amazing program with every kid we can.

    Together – we all can win!

  32. Committee Chair in Colorado July 21, 2018 at 12:01 PM #

    As a female leader in Scouting, I applaud the fact that girls can now participate officially in Cub Scouts and soon, Boy Scouts. My son’s den had 2 little sisters who participated and we had a great time. Explorers, STEM, Learning for Life, Venturing – and international scouting – all co-ed and all successful programs.

    I support the “single sex” troop approach for two reasons: because of the psychological results from the testing phase and because of my son’s feedback. In some of the leadership challenges from the testing phase where boys and girls teams were competing against each other, the differences in the ways boys and girls mature became very apparent. For example, in areas where girls far outpaced the boys such as working together as a team to accomplish a goal, it was observed that the boys became more and more reluctant to put themselves in a position where they might fail and participation and morale decreased. The second reason is related to the first. My son’s feedback was “I feel like something is being taken away from me” and “Why does everything with girls have to be a competition.” I tried to encourage him with the fact that his journey toward Eagle is one that many start but relatively few complete. He chose this path for himself and it’s not for him to choose that path for anyone else … even girls.

    Chartering Orgs are going to be the key players here.

    • DismalDave July 21, 2018 at 2:49 PM #

      Not sure how you were able to get a hold of the psychological results from the testing phase. Would love to read that. If possible, can you suggest where to look for it?
      Very similar to what I would have predicted would happen. That’s with 30 years teaching high school.
      You are very correct that Chartered Org is going to be key.
      My prediction for sequence is this:
      Some Chartered Orgs will sponsor a girl Troop. If held another night from the boys, it will eventually be moved to the same night due to time/space restrictions.
      There will be problems getting the quantity of adults for the girl Troops.
      Once they are held on the same night, merging the Troops will be necessary due to a lack of adults needed to run two Troops. By this time National will have recognized this and said it’s all right to have coed Troops with gender specific Patrols. ‘Well, gee, it worked in Cubs.’
      The problems you pointed out regarding the differentials of males and females will kick in.
      Results similar to what is seen in the Venturing national leadership positions will occur. Please look at who the leaders are at the national level for Venturing. Almost all young women. Similar to what has been seen in high school leadership programs the last ten years.

      I’m not anti-girl, having raised two of them. I see a need for boys ages 11-18 to have a space and time where they are gender seperated.
      Yes, I’m an Eagle and ASM and was Den Leader.

      • Committee Chair in Colorado July 21, 2018 at 3:23 PM #

        More than halfway there already Dismal Dave.

        The testing results were communicated to me by our DE from a training session he went to – I think seeing that whole report would be interesting as well. The last I heard, girls are going to be using the same program materials as boys with identical requirements and awards. To form a unit, they’ll need at least 5 female scouts and their own Scoutmaster but they can meet on same night at same facility as male Troop. Patrols are supposed to meet separately and everyone can merge for “circle time”. Female/Male troops can share committees and share the same Troop #. (as if recharter isn’t already annoying).

        The sad part is thinking of my son who feels like “something is being taken away from him”. Healthy rites of passage for young males are becoming more and more rare. I’ve received an email from one group recruiting female scouts so I imagine there will be a few more.

        • DismalDave July 21, 2018 at 9:03 PM #

          Your DE actually gives you stuff? Wow.
          Thanks for the update. Didn’t think my schedule was that far off. I meant that all to be in the future. Just means the end point is closer.

          I’m in Orange County, Calif. The 40 square miles of conservatives in Calif. I’m guessing we will be some of the last to see many girl Troops in our state.

          Perceptive of your son. Don’t think many Scouts have thought it through that far. And many on this blog will have a difficult time understanding his view. In this case I think we have a zero-sum game, in that for something to be given to one group another loses.

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