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Girls in Scouts – My Opinion

When Did Girls in Scouts BSA Start?

In October, 2017, BSA released this still controversial policy:

“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 Scouts BSA Troop is not going to be coed

“Using the same curriculum as the Boy Scout 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 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 to girls in Scouts. The ones listed below are quotes from my Facebook page.  Let’s look at some of them.

Objections, Facts, and Opinions about Girls in Scouts

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. Boys can still do the things they have been doing with girls in Scouts.

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 and girls will have separate units. 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. The same should be true with girls in Scouts BSA.

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 having girls in Scouts 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. By having girls in Scouts BSA, they now have a clear path to Eagle Scout.

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 God Scouting 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. So girls in Scouts will not be a problem for your unit.

Add Your Own Thoughts

Feel free to comment with your opinions about girls in Scouts, but please keep it civil. A Scout is courteous.


5 responses to “Girls in Scouts – My Opinion”

  1. Steven Avatar

    I respectfully disagree. The once mighty Boy Scout program who helped millions of boys become good fathers, good husbands, good citizens, and helpful neighbors is no more. Having been a Scout since the ’60s, my Cub handbooks have been changed from traditional boy-specific activities (tools, learn chivalry, tie. ties, woodworking, baseball, football, etc) and dumbed down to be gender neutral. There is a reason why it has been BOY Scouts of America for over 100 years. In a world where we need strong men to lead their families and lead their communities, Society is raising boys to be directionless, devastated and scared. Male teen suicides have increased 300-400%, and have doubled their alcoholiam rates. And male teen crime rates have soared. This Societal Experiment to turn boys into girls and girls into boys is NOT working. And the Stats back it up.

  2. Patrick Avatar

    The “all girl dens” and “all boy dens” just don’t work. we have had to do co-ed dens. Mainly because we don’t have enough people to step up as a leader. That leader would have to plan a meeting that possibly covers several ranks. We love having the girls involved but I think it was pushing to still have the genders split.

  3. Evelyn Mogren Avatar
    Evelyn Mogren

    Boy and Girl only organizations were/are imposed on us. As someone who grew up on a farm; all hands were needed and I was doing what the boys did without the recognition that the boys got. This happened in all venues that I could see and only the strongest of us girls and women persisted to say it was wrong and we finally got enough men to agree to affect change in some places. Just because segregation of sex or race in organizations happened for too long doesn’t make it right (greater than 100 yr history of wrongs are not unknown) Our organizations are being “up ended” because justice and equality is finally being expressed.

  4. Jess Avatar

    My daughter spent two years with the girl scouts, with two separate troops that each dissolved at the end of the year. Bi-weekly meetings consisted of basic crafts that any parent could find on Pinterest if so inclined, and the only civic engagement was riding in the Christmas parade and donating leftover cookies (all boring flavors) to the VFW. In the two years, only one camping trip happened and it was an “unofficial” campout in the leader’s backyard. And just one hike. From December through March, the entire focus is SELL SELL SELL! Yet before an award ceremony, I had to fork over nearly $100 out of pocket for my daughter’s patches – which would get ironed on to a vest that wouldn’t even matter in a year as she (theoretically) advanced to Junior. This mimicked my memories of the couple years I spent in the girl scouts, where my most vivid memory is of sitting in circles singing Kumbaya in rounds. Could I be part of the solution by starting my own troop and doing it right? Maybe, but I recognize that I don’t have the bandwidth in my life to take on such an endeavor and clearly the organization doesn’t provide a lot of guidance to the troop-level leadership. Meanwhile, last year my son wanted to join cub scouts and my daughter had to tag along to the weekly meetings so we decided she may as well join that too – so she was both for one year. During that one year – and we just started our second – we’ve led the town’s annual food drive, done a couple campouts with another planned for this next weekend, gone on several wilderness hikes, learned basic outdoors skills including reading maps and using a compass, enjoyed structured competitions and games, led the Pledge of Allegiance for the town’s Veteran’s Day ceremony, and been visited by the Mayor Himself for an inspirational speech. Popcorn/nut sales season is underway but there’s no pressure to participate (though my kids both enjoy it so we do a few booths). I was recruited to be a den leader midway through the year and I find the leader handbook makes it easy to plan educational lessons. My daughter remains a registered, inactive member of the girl scouts because there is a great summer camp in the area, but cub scouts is hands-down the “Best Of” winner.

  5. Christina Thomas Avatar
    Christina Thomas

    Thank you for this site. I refer to it a bunch. My Daughter was in American Heritage Girls from 2017 to 2020. She couldn’t join a girl scout troop because they were either full or disbanded. The Girl Scouts camp occasionally. I was a Girl Scout in the 1980s and camped a ton learning to cook and camp enough to compete with any Boys Scout Troop in the day. American Heritage Girls were more about crafts and learning than about activities and leadership. My daughter joint Scouts BSA in the summer of 2021 and was a first class scout before her first year was completed. She just made Star Rank and is planning to make Eagle by 13. She loves to camp, and tie knots. As the ASPL of her troop, you can easily see how she and the other girls benefit from his program.

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