I am a mom of a boy scout. I have 4 sons, and the youngest one has participated in scouting and has stuck with the program. Hopefully, in a couple more years, he'll reach Eagle Scout, the highest level in the scouting program. His troop is a part of the River Trails District in our […]
I am a mom of a boy scout. I have 4 sons, and the youngest one has participated in scouting and has stuck with the program. Hopefully, in a couple more years, he'll reach Eagle Scout, the highest level in the scouting program. His troop is a part of the River Trails District in our part of Missouri, under the Ozark Trails Council, based in Springfield, MO. In July, we received an email about an upcoming meeting happening in early August, to discuss the possiblity of adding girls to the Boy Scouts, and wanting parental opinions from the River Trails District. Unfortunately, I wasn't going to be able to attend the meeting held in Rolla, or the other two meetings held in other areas of the state guided by the Council, but I hoped common sense would prevail at these 3 meetings.
Fast forward to a week or so ago, and the BSA National HQ's announced that girls would now be allowed to join Boy Scouts. I was dismayed at this news. From my understanding of the announcement, it will be left up to individual troops if they will let their existing troops become coed, or if they will also begin troops exclusively for girls. My objections are that for 100 plus years, the Boy Scouts of America has been a group for boys. Not only for boys to learn about outdoor activities, camping, fishing, hiking, respecting nature, canoeing, kayaking, etc. but for boys to learn leadership skills. In the 1969, Venturers were added, and then there are the many Explorer troops, which are all co-ed groups within Boy Scouts. Since those co-ed programs already exist, I don't see the need for adding girls to the regular cub scout packs and boy scout troops.
The Girl Scouts of America are also not pleased by this new announcement. Their organization, a part of American life since 1912, doesn't want this new option to pull girls away from their organization and I don't blame them for their concerns. Here is a link to a report by NPR, aired on August 24th, 2017, about the Girl Scouts negative opinion as to the Boy Scouts possibly letting girls join Cub Scout packs and Boy Scout troops.
I can't agree more with the Girl Scouts opinion. For over 100 years the two organizations have operated with similar goals, one for boys and one for girls. In my opinion both organizations have worked well for the youth of this country for a long time. Both of these organizations present unique opportunities for boys and girls and one group doesn't need to possibly undercut the other by possibly taking away potential scouts. I say, leave the two organizations as they are and drop this new plan before more damage is done to the two scouting organizations. From what I have seen since the BSA announced this new policy, longtime adults in scouting are dropping out and no girls have been knocking on my son's troop's door to join. Again, I say to the BSA, drop this new idea before more damage is done by it's implementation. It's a new idea that's not wanted or needed.