In a move that just might save scouting in the United States, the Boy Scouts of America announced on Wednesday that they would be admitting girls. Yes, girls. Girls will be able to be Cub Scouts and young ladies would be allowed to earn the coveted Eagle Scout rank.
“We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children,” said Michael Surbaugh, chief executive of the Boy Scouts.
The scouting board of directors voted unanimously to make the historic change in an organization that has been primarily for boys since its founding more than 100 years ago.
Starting next year, young girls can join Cub Scout units, known as dens. Local scouting organizations can choose to have dens for girls and dens for boys. “Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls,” the organization said in a statement.
A separate program for older girls will be available in 2019, the Boy Scouts said, enabling them to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
The Boy Scouts said the moves reflect the changing nature of American life, adding to the appeal of a scouting program that can serve the entire family.
And all readers thought the dens would be unisex with birds and bees trial by fire. (WHEW!)
Since Juliet Low’s Girl Scouts of America have left the reservation when it comes to traditional values and morality, this might actually be the better option than trying to reform that organization. (It’s hopeless.) The Boy Scouts are by far the more staid group, and their achieved rankings are considered to be a resume item. And with separate dens, the two sexes can pursue their own avenues in scouting without having to tolerate either locker room talk, or under the hair drier type drama depending on gender.
Earlier this year, the National Organization for Women urged the Boy Scouts to admit girls to the entire program, supporting the efforts of a New York teenager, Sydney Ireland, to attain the rank of Eagle Scout, as her older brother did.
“I just want to do what the Boy Scouts do — earn the merit badges and earn the Eagle Award,” she told NBC News. “The Girl Scouts is a great organization, but it’s just not the program that I want to be part of. I think girls should just have the opportunity to be a member of any organization they want regardless of gender.”
The Girl Scouts really did use to be a great place to learn the same sorts of life skills that the Boy Scouts teach. (Plus some essential skills like sewing and cooking.) Of course, the Girl Scouts don’t like this move, but they brought it on themselves. In the last decade at least, since they have adopted a singularly progressive style, the Girl Scouts have lost membership (and revenue) prompting several councils to sell their camps just to pay pensions.
What’s the point of being a scout, if there is no camping?