BSA to welcome girls into Scouting programs — here’s what that means for your pack or troop

The Boy Scouts of America’s volunteer-led board of directors on Wednesday unanimously approved a plan to welcome girls and young women into all Scouting programs.

The historic move means boys and girls will soon experience the values-based, life-changing, Instagram-worthy moments offered in all of Scouting’s programs — from Cub Scouting all the way to Scouting’s highest honor, the rank of Eagle Scout.

Cub Scouting will be available to girls beginning in 2018. A program for girls ages 11 to 17 will be announced in the coming year for projected introduction in 2019 and will enable young women to work toward Eagle.

What drives this change? As a Scout leader, you know that the values of Scouting — encapsulated in the Scout Oath and Scout Law — are more relevant today than ever. Those values are vital for young men and young women.

“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 Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh. “We strive to bring what our organization does best — developing character and leadership for young people — to as many families and youth as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders.”

Interest extremely high

I’m sure you’ve seen sisters tag along at pack and troop meetings and events. You’ve watched them experience the fun of Scouting without earning any of the awards and recognition afforded their brothers.

And I bet you’ve heard from the busy moms and dads in your pack or troop who crave more time to interact with their kids. A Scouting program for the whole family will help them maximize that time. They’ll get one great Scouting experience in one place.

What kind of interest is out there? The survey results are overwhelming and echo the flood of requests the BSA has received from families wanting a BSA program for girls.

At a glance:

  • 90 percent of parents not involved with the BSA expressed interest in getting their daughter involved in programs like Cub Scouts.
  • 87 percent of parents not involved with the BSA expressed interest in getting their daughter involved in programs like Boy Scouts.

Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T and the volunteer who leads the BSA’s national board, said the BSA’s “record of producing leaders with high character and integrity is amazing.”

“I’ve seen nothing that develops leadership skills and discipline like this organization,” he said. “It is time to make these outstanding leadership development programs available to girls.”

How this will affect your pack

When girls join Cub Scouting in 2018, beginning at age 5, packs across the country may welcome them right away.

An existing pack may choose to recruit girls or remain an all-boy pack. When creating a new pack, a chartered organization may form an all-boy pack, an all-girl pack or a pack of girls and boys.

Cub Scout dens will be single-gender — all boys or all girls. Cub Scout packs, meanwhile, can include any combination of all-boy or all-girl dens. The choice is left to individual pack leaders in consultation with their chartered organization.

This hybrid model builds on the benefit of a single-gender program while also providing character and leadership opportunities for both boys and girls.

Some big things won’t change. Activities, rank advancement requirements and Youth Protection policies remain the same. Uniforms will remain the same, too, though the fit and styling may change.

Existing program content and activities are appropriate for boys and girls alike, so there’s no need to change anything there. Education experts have evaluated program content and confirmed the relevancy of the program for young women.

As always, great volunteers like you can tailor the activities to meet the developmental needs and abilities of your kids.

What about Youth Protection? The policies match existing rules in place for the Venturing program for young men and young women. When a Scouting activity includes both boys and girls, there must be both female and male leaders present. At least one of those leaders must be registered as an adult member of the BSA.

How this will affect your troop

 A program for girls age 11 to 17 will be announced in the coming year with a projected introduction in 2019.

Using the same curriculum as the current Boy Scouts program, this will allow participating girls to work toward — and earn — Scouting’s highest honor, the Eagle Scout Award. Eagle Scout requirements will be the same for young men and young women.

Girls who are in the fourth grade in 2018 will surely want to cross over into the next phase of their Scouting journey once they complete their time in Cub Scouts. Rest assured there will be such a program in place when the time arrives. And it will be awesome.

Have questions? Watch this


  1. And there it is. Who didn’t see this coming?

    I eagerly await a comment from the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.

    Will your daughter be an Eagle Scout?

        • As a SM in a small troop that had to start a crew so the full families could participate – and now run two separate programs with the same set of adults – I’m a big fan. It will make it easier for me to deliver program to the boys and make it possible for me to offer the girls in my crew what they wanted in the first place – to be part of the the adventures AND advancement that are among the methods of scouting.

          I’m glad that units get to choose their own path. But for my part, I only wish it had come sooner.

        • I was a Scouter survered by the BSA as such. I have a son in the Troop and a daughter of age. The surveys were done about 3 months ago from recollection.

        • I attended several of the meetings a my own council as well as nearby councils. The Scouters and parents in attendance were all in favor of the change to including girls.

        • Third generation BSA family here. My younger son is an Eagle Scout, older son was SPL, Order of the Arrow, etc. We’re not outsiders. We’re happy with this decision and think it’s long over due.

        • Charlie, I’ve completed several BSA surveys on this and other membership issues, as have a number of other Scouting volunteers I know. Some of these were e-mail invites while others, I believe, were posted by BSA on social media for open comment. If you would like to be included in future survey polls, please try contacting your council or the national headquarters to find out how.

        • There was no meaningful survey and the fact AT&T is behind the change says it all . Why doesn’t AT&T use thier money power and influence to start thier own gender neutral program wait I know why! nobody would join. The backbone of the BSA is by far the conservative Christian and there are those who can’t stand that.

    • They are not going to be happy. I wouldn’t be surprised if they start to adjust their program to more closely match the BSA

      • Competition is never bad – but then why didn’t GS listen to the girls who have been asking for a more active program for years? Every single girl I asked about GS said they prefer the BS program – but nothing they could do about it.

        • I couldn’t agree more. My daughter is one of those girls who tried GS and Heritage Girls only to be disappointed. She really just wanted a tried and true program similar to Boy Scouts. GS had an opportunity to provide, and its ok if they don’t. I believe that the girls that were wanting something different then GS will find it in the new Scouting program available to them.

        • How did they weaken both? The article clearly states the requirements will remain the same. If anything this strengthens the BSA, cementing the idea of family within the BSA.

          My Aunt and Mother (Both were Den Masters of my Cub Pack) were extremely active in my scouting life, with my father trying many times to pull me out. Without them I would’ve never earned my eagle.

      • That’s what should have been done all along, in my opinion. I always loved what Boy Scouts offered, but rather than wanting to join Cub/Boy Scouts really just wanted the Girl Scouts to do more adventurous things.

        • Hey boys need time to be boys and I’m thirteen a first class boy scout.there would be so many more problems like boys and girls sharing the same tent.there is something call venture scouts it is a boy girl program just like scouts but I think boys join boy scouts partly to just be boys with their friends

        • Sebastian, the same youth protection rules apply when camping as they do in meetings. Girls are not able to earn Eagle Scout or even merit badges in Venturing. We are the only country in the world that doesn’t have a Scouting program that accepts boys and girls. Separate and not equal is never okay. I understand the need for boys to be boys and girls to be girls. However, I don’t think having girls around will change the BSA that much. If anything it will help the opposite sex understand and respect each other a lot better. I think you will find that many girls will make good friends too. Change can be hard but our attitude towards it depends on just how difficult it really is. Good luck

        • Stearman You are Wrong! If you don’t think massive changes are coming you are deluding yourself!

          I don’t care what every country in the world does WE ARE AMERICA!

          This is not about helping the opposite sexes to respect each other NAME ONE Eagle Scout who is not completely respectful of women! I haven’t met a single one who isn’t!

          And What? “Separate and not equal are never okay” So you see no uniqueness in Boys and none in Girls they are equal and the same? No Sir, we are not. I have gifts you do not and you have gifts I do not. That is what makes us special – our uniqueness not our sameness We celebrate the differences in each other not strive for an army of stepfords. How would this world ever have had any innovations if we are all equal with the same everything WE ARE NOT! That does not make us less special it makes each individual MORE special!

          This is simply about gender neutral agendas and will COMPLETELY change how Scouting is implemented.

          Are teenage girls going to be just fine w/tan shirts and shorts? (Really? chew on that for a moment) What about the name BSA? How about the fact that sexual harassment claims will skyrocket? On and On.

          The curriculum WILL change as well. You think all that is done now will be acceptable to girls without modifications and add-ons and even more likely a complete overhaul?

          BSA wants to accept girls into BOY Scouts – MAKE NO MISTAKE – The further changes to come are numerous and inevitable!

        • Fine point: BSA is not the only unisex scouting movement. Saudi and Pakistan are also. Both have had steady membership increases over the decades. In contrast to declining trends elsewhere.

        • Or the American Heritage Girls program. The AHG Stars and Stripes award requirements are more stringent than our Eagle Scout rank requirements. Our Eagle Scout son is fulfilling the “I will give back . . .” from the Eagle Pledge as Mr Outdoors and Camping Dad for his daughter’s AHG Troop.

        • it seems as though not only national gs leaders are nasty but so are local…we arent going to steal any girls…we are a family oriented pack and as such we have lots of hangers on at all of our activities…we dont sell pop corn at the church so the gs have full run over the cookies…

      • It seems to be going both ways in Facebook conversation groups I am in. leader in both groups, got a daughter interested and disappointed she has to wait another year, 10th grade right now, She has earned her Gold Award so earning Eagle is not attainable , but she is like merit badges her I come. She would have done Eagle had this been sooner. but oh well. she has interest in the badge also.

    • They already did. After discussions exploring the possibility of the two organizations coming together didn’t work out, they don’t like it.

      They are two VERY different organizations and I don’t see them ever finding common ground. It isn’t going to be a competition for the same girls necessarily, and it will provide another Scouting option for families. I am willing to give it a try.

      • This is how I feel. The values of the BSA are too important not to share them with as many young people as possible!

        • Girls have been a part of BSA for decades. They have been Explorers, Varsity and Venture Scouts. I welcome the change. I just wish this would have been available 10 years ago so I could have spent scouting time with my daughter and not just my son.

        • Why were the results of surveys conducted from currently registered BSA leaders not included when making this announcement? Very high % from those outside BSA, but why not include the numbers from those in now if it was favorable? I have seen far too many changes in the past couple of years for my personal preferences and this simply adds to the feeling of uneasiness.

        • Your article mentioned specifically about Packs opting for coed vs single sex (dens or packs), but curiously those options were not discussed on the troop level. Can you say explicitly whether existing troops will get the same options?

          Also: safe to assume that Troops will receive implementation guidance from BSA on a range of gender integration aspects? Two-deep leadership, logistical arrangements at troop outings and at camp, need for women leaders at meetings and outings, and much more all come to mind right off the bat.

        • There was really nothing objective about it. When BSA did survey Scouters, it was hand picked. For example, our Council specifically did not invite anyone from LDS units to participate in the discussion. I guess only some diversity is important.

        • To assume that no LDS scouter would be supportive of this progressive move is erroneous. I am an LDS leader, received a survey and 100% believe that this is the right move. If there is a desire by girls to be a great citizens, enjoy adventures and learn skills… why would we not foster this through BSA? Our boys could only benefit by increasing their fold with enthusiastic, honorable, just as intelligent and gifted girls.

        • If Girls want to be able to do what boys do in Scouting, they can choose to voice their opinions and change Girl Scouts to conform to what they want or form a group of their own. Why does Boy Scouts of America always feel that it has to change to everyone elses wishes? Why can’t boys be boys? In Boy Scouting, I can see boys being unwilling to be themselves in front of the girls…not to mention the competition for the girls attention and the problems that come with that at that age. I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t just a way to try to keep the numbers of Scouts up and the money coming in…

        • @rickchappell – if they didn’t include the LDS, it might be because they already know, from the national level, that they need single-gender male units to match their Young Men’s program. It’s not that they didn’t care about the LDS; it’s just that they knew what the institutional answer would be.

        • Bryan, the BSA statements have neglected the fact that girls have been Sea Scouts since the beginning (1914? can’t remember off the top of my head)…so anywhere you can correct that forgotten gem of our scouting story there are many of us who would appreciate it. Sea Scouts has been awesome for one of my daughters and Centuring has been awesome for my second one. More adventures to come.

        • And They can’t get that from Venture Scouts, Explorer scouts, Sea Scouts, STEM Scouts or the girl scouts?

        • Just tell me that the requirements will not be changed (eg, watered down) to accommodate those girls who will not want to do everything currently required to “make rank” (which seems to have become the overriding goal of Scouting today).

        • Hi, John. The requirements will not be changed. The girls who join packs and troops wouldn’t want watered-down requirements anyway.

        • Were the values of the Girl Scout insufficient? This is not about values, don’t hide behind that straw man.

        • Not at all. I’m a big fan of the Girl Scouts program and think it creates powerful, innovative women. The truth is, families and young women need options. For some young women, the Girl Scout program is a great fit. For others, Cub Scouting and the older-girl program will better align with their interests.

        • Yep, and as soon as scouting gets rid of the religious requirement you can get all the atheists kids to join.

      • I have no problem with the concept, however having been involved in Scouting for almost 10 years as a leader and on committees, the implementation always seems to fall on the volunteers to sort out. This just adds another responsibility on to the Pack/Troop/Chartered Organization who is finding it difficult enough to cope with the always increasing responsibilities that BSA doesn’t want to handle.

        • And I can tell you right now that our Council Scout camp is having enough problems raising funds to update the camp facilities – much less being prepared to handle coed camping. Who is going to pay for that?

        • Not only that, the BSA had the umbrella of the Supreme Court decision to protect the organization from liability of membership discrimination claims. They tossed that and dumped it down to the Chartered Organizations. Sure, leave it to the CO, but now the CO has to fight the battles if they want to remain single gender or other membership policies. Just wait until some local “Parents Of” chartered organization tries to keep a single gender program. They will be unable to face the legal potentials and so will have no choice.

    • If only my daughter would have had the chance. She is 21 now. As a scoutmaster, I would have loved for her to join her younger brother as an eagle scout.

      • Thank you for everything you give to scouting as a SM. People seem to forget that women make up a Hugh percent of leaders and and masters.

    • I’m very excited about this (even though it’s too late for my daughter and her friends). I’m going to start exploring how we can set up a ‘sister’ Troop in 2019 to the one we have now and look at what we can do jointly. GS model didn’t work well for us since you couldn’t shop for a Troop that met your needs. We couldn’t even find one that was open for new members when we moved. Never had trouble finding a local Boy Scout troop though. But then – they do have the cookies… Way better than popcorn.

      • Way better than poporn, lol. Darn! Think we could kidnap the thin mints from the girl scouts since we will have a lot of the girls, lol. JUST KIDDING….sort of.

        • dont even joke about cookies…local gs leaders are already up in arms…they have even blocked some of their women who have cubbie and gs…nasty already

    • I for one am excited for this as a parent who has tried to get my daughter into Girl Scouts only to be turned away at every corner this is a warm welcoming to me ,I have a son who is an Eagle Scout and would love to be able to say both my kids are Eagle Scouts.

    • Well well well troubles are everywhere and BSA they are allowed to treat the young use however they desire that means if they don’t like you they can kick you out way to go BSA

    • You better believe she will be an Eagle Scout!! She’ll be able to earn the Arrow of Light next fall and bridge on over to a Troop. I hope they are going to make the troops co-ed as well and not have a completely separate troop for girls. We’ll see what they decide to do.

      • As long as it’s going to be separate troops – I plan on starting a ‘girl’ troop to work alongside my boy troop. I will spend the next 2 years training leaders and figuring out how to make the 2 troops work together so we can hit the ground running when the first girl bridges over. I’m hoping to have the first girl eagles in our Troop!!

    • Our oldest granddaughter will stay with the American Heritage Girls program. The BSA girl program won’t be online until she’s in high school. The Stars and Stripes Award is AHG’s highest award. I read the requirements and think they are more specific and stringent than the Eagle Scout requirements.

    • THANK YOU BSA for stepping up. I am so proud of the forward thinking of the BSA and in the implementation of females in the group. YIPPIE!

    • Why is so much of what I see about getting the Eagle award? Advancement is only one of the eight methods of Scouting, yet I see great emphasis on Eagle, as if this were the goal of Scouting.

      • You’re right John, it does seem that way! It’s the parents that are moving this forward, the parents that want to “go down in history” (Eagle Scouts)… it seems.

  2. This is a good idea, but is wrongheaded to have separate sex dens. If one of the goals is to make life simpler for the parents, why not have mixed sex dens be made an option?

    • Because unless the siblings are fraternal male/female twins, wouldn’t they be in separate dens anyway since dens are based on the year of school of the Scout?

      • I know a family in Cub Scouts that do have a set of fraternal twins. One is in Cub Scouts and the other is in the Girl Scout program. Different dens would be better than what they do now, but agree same den would be better.

        Also, I can see in a smaller pack where you might run in to a situation where there is a den of 1 if dot single streaming a den. I think that should be up to the CO if they want to single stream a den just like they have the option to have a separate pack if the want.

      • Dens are based on school year, so unless you had a boy/girl twin combo they would be in seperate dens already. My problem, being in a rural area, and having a small pack and limited leaders (I am Cubmaster and Bear Den Leader) We have one den per age group, and the biggest den is 5 boys. So along come the girls, now I have ten dens (if girls from every age group joins) and now I have to have more leaders, and I have dens with 3 to 4 kids each, instead of a coed den with 6 to 8 kids. I think it could be coed dens and accomplish the same thing. I am sorry the Girl Scouts is dropping the ball program wise, but do not make more work for small dens in the process. ASK the leaders running the program what they want to see.

        Cubmaster Pack 150

        • Where is your pack located? The Pack 4150 I’m COR for is in Kansas City.
          The devil is in the details and I am not totally convinced yet.

      • this separate but equal system will require many more den leaders. It is setting packs up for paper leadership and dens combining.

        Small units will have double difficulty funding leadership at the in the franchises (units)

        so if Corporate BSA HQ is mandating this change, why not combine the genders like in 4H, or most Church Youth Groups?

    • I’m not certain I agree, Michael. Boys and girls have different maturity levels for certain and since the program isn’t changing, it might be easier to deliver the program across the den that reflected this. Then again, there are certainly different levels of maturity and development amongst the boys within a den today… so ??? This will merit some thought and perhaps a bit more guidance as to the reasoning behind why same-gender dens are suggested by the Board.

      • This is already happening in classrooms at schools. They mix fine. We just have to encourage the change in a positive way and the kids will follow our example.
        It’s based on grade. So 5th graders will be with 5th graders and so on. I think it will be a change, always hard for people, but a positive change that won’t be as difficult for the kids as it is for the adults.

        • Try this. Schools don’t have a Congressional Charter that limits students to boys. Last year BSA said its Charter blocked admitting girls to Scouts or Cubs.

    • Because one of the major advantages of single sex is that boys and girls learn differently. There is a limit to how convenient we want to make things for the parents of it results in a sub standard program for the youth

      • I completely disagree with this post. Boys in my Troop all learn differently. i have some Scouts that blaze through and make Eagle without much help – others struggle with talking to adults – others cause trouble and act out. Girls will easily fall within the range of what we see today. I’m looking forward to figuring out how to make this work and be part of the solution. If anything, I see a better program with this.

      • I am not an expert educator but all the reteach I could find that is recent points to advantages of coed education. The only research I found supporting single sex education was either dated or not research per se but rather anecdotal.

    • I didn’t see any comments around prohibiting joint den meetings. That may be implied but we typically have den meetings that include multiple dens of the same rank with multiple adult leaders that way the calendar is not overbooked and you get the benefit of planning one meeting or outing.

    • It feels to me like this is a baby step on a longer road to eventually have integrated dens. I think it’s a good way to introduce and see how the program works and to make changes without disrupting the well established program for boys. I wonder how this will eventually affect Venture Crews where they already exist alongside a Troop.

    • Separate but equal was not the answer before and we should not repeat it. What a nightmare for ununits to run a dual program when all they need to do is add a few adults to cover the gender/ YP.

    • Perhaps it’s not as much about having siblings in same sex dens as it is about objecting to same sex dens in general. We don’t segregate children in classes at school. Why would we do it in scouts?

        • Not much longer. A gender exclusive name like Boy Scouts won’t last in today’s PC world; expect a name change by 2020. Probably something like Scouts of America (SA).. Bye ‘B’

      • There have been some studies that show that children in single gender classrooms (both female and male) both learn more than co-ed classrooms because (a) the boys are less likely to “show off” to get the girls’ attention (2) the girls are more likely to speak up and be called upon. Just being a devil’s advocate on why single gender dens may be appropriate. I have the feeling that in a couple of years when it becomes impossible to find enough leaders for 10 dens (or more) in a Pack, the dens will become co-ed.

        • I don’t think Scouts should be like being in a classroom. The only real competition in Scouts should be within yourself.

      • I have been a scoutmaster for 15 yrs. (I’m old school when it comes to scouting). We can not change that girls are coming into the boy scouts. The powers that be, have made that decision. To address a few comments made: 1. classrooms do not go out camping together, we do. 2. boys and girls always act different around each other, we leaders have to now learn how to respond to that. 3. If you are in it for the pat on your back to say my daughter made Eagle, you are in it for the wrong reason. 4. If you think this is a numbers and money gain for the BSA (you are probably right), but for the betterment of our young ladies. 5. And, if you think there are not more scout altering decisions to be made in the near future (what is the saying) you haven’t seen nothing yet.
        I still love scouting and what it stands for, for all those involved.

    • That is what will happen – coed dens – National, nor council monitors packs and how many or how big dens are. We have had girls in our dens for 3 years – no problems except they did not have uniforms, that is solved now.

      • No, you have not had girls in your den and if you had them there, and something happened to them, then you have hung out your charter organization to dry.

        The liability of having unregistered members participating in sanctioned scout activities is shameful at best.

      • Your actions in allowing girls participate in scouting activities is part of the reason why we’re here today.

    • I agree it’s already hard to find den leaders much less have to have 2 dens for each rank. If the program is the same then why separate them. I was a den leader and now am the committee chair and our whole pack thinks this is a great idea. I already have 10 female scouts waiting for August.

  3. I don’t see how smaller Packs, who struggle to find den leaders now, can expect to recruit even more for gender-separate dens.

    Look for the single-gender den concept to dissolve within a year, and become truly co-ed for all intents and purposes.

    • Trying to please both sides for now. Letting the girls in while keeping them separate. In a couple of years, probably due to lack of volunteers, they will go to coed dens but if YPT is similar to Venturing is now they will need a leader of both genders.

        • The name is going to have to reflect the change as well. Probably drop back to the seventies and call is Scouting USA again

        • Hopefully this is so the BSA can change it’s mind when the donations dry up. I have held my check expecting this and will not send it. I’m sure it’s all about the money!

      • We have female den leaders for boys now. Seems to me that requiring a female den leader for a girls’ den would be hypocritical.

        • For the Troop level, I’ve been working on getting female ASMs trained so we can have both male and female role models in the field. This change makes it even more important to get this going now so girls can see that it’s not just male leaders in the field. Nothing wrong with having male leaders in the girl troop – but I’d like to see a balance to show it’s not just guys that know how to camp.

        • I am 63 years old and during my involvement in Cub Scouting as a Den Chief in the 60’s, pretty much all Den Leaders were female, Cub Masters male.

      • Two deep is for trips and outings, so it’ll probably be like for Ventures where you need at one male and one female if both boys and girls are attending.

      • Fair point, but the daughter’s parents should know there is a heavily increased need for them to be active in the Troop/Pack. I don’t think you’ll get much argument from parents of girls in the beginning, it’s new to them too and they want to make sure all is well.

      • Think on the bright side, you now have incentive to discover leaders who only have daughter, the window open for both youth and adult

      • We have some very involved families who have both sons and daughters, and right now they have to split their focus between two different groups. If anything, in our pack it should streamline things for a few families and give them more time to volunteer.

        • Who cares about your inconvenience? How dare you people impose unwanted, alien ideology on me and my sons?

          Oh yeah — I forgot. In feminism, despite all the big talk, it’s all about pleasing and indulging the female. The male is nothing more than a resource to be acquired, consumed, expended and discarded.

          Culture war, people. This will not turn out the way the selfish think it will.

      • Two deep leadership has always been required. The big difference is that there will have to be one of each gender if there are both genders of youth.

        • I’ve seen several people make similar statements, but I question the accuracy. In the current program, there’s no requirement that cub leaders are male. I’ve seen several units with mostly female adult leaders. I believe the at least one from each sex rule only applies to overnight camping.

        • Coed leadership in BSA only applies if there are girls present. If you look at the YPT and G2SS, coed leaders are required when there are coed activities. Single sex programs don’t require it. Today female Scoutmasters can take boys out without male leaders – it has been a necessity for some time. Technically it’s not in spirit with YPT, but since it’s not the letter of the law there seems to be a blind eye. I’m sure it will get more detailed – but I doubt we will exclude women only leadership for boys. Otherwise the program would collapse in some areas.

        • David is correct. As it says in the G2SS:
          “Male and female adult leaders must be present for all overnight coed Scouting trips and outings, ”

          Not for day trips. And there have been several occasions when I’ve taken the women in my crew to day activities. (Or, to overnight activities where I’d meet the female chaperon there.)

          I would vehemently discourage BSA modifying its requirement merely for the sake of an all-girl unit. I would rather those girls be with two men the parents can trust than include a token female who they can’t. That said, recruiting a female leader with integrity is the better part of wisdom.

    • I can’t see separate Dens. I have a Bear den with 4 boys. Will there be a second Bear den with one or two girls? If Scouts are Scouts, regardless of gender, uni-sex dens makes no sense.

      • As I understood the proposal, there is no prohibition on Dens (or troops) meeting together as long as coed leadership was present.

  4. I read the statement from BSA “Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose…” to mean June 1, 2018. Can Boy’s Life confirm that?

      • DO you really think people are going to wait now that the genie is out of the bottle? I bet my right show that it will change and be effective in January – at least at some level.

      • The “follow up” press stuff says “fall”, but the initial press release announcement by the CSE and Board says “Starting in the 2018 program year, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for Cub Scouts”.

        I think some folks “think” the program year starts when the school year starts (fall-ish, but often August, sometimes late July).

        But as noted in the “Guide to Advancement”, “Cub Scouts do not “move ahead” to the next rank until the completion of the current school year”. That’s when the next “program year” begins.

        That’s consistent with this resource:

  5. I had thought that the BSA would just lower the age for the Venturing Program to include girls. So now I wonder what may become of the Venturing Program. Also interestingly, in our troop, the most disapproval of this move is coming from our scout mothers.

    • I’m a Scout Mother, Assistant Cubmaster, and Popcorn Kernel for our Pack – have been for 6 years – and I am deeply disappointed. This was the only place I found where my boys could be with other boys and just be boys – behave like boys – have fun like boys. Even their sports teams are co-ed, and they play hockey and lacrosse. It’s not that I don’t want girls to have the same opportunities as boys, I just wish either the Girl Scouts would have seen this need and adapted their program or someone somewhere would have started a new and unique program just for girls. Either I would have 100% applauded and supported.

        • Until a girl decides she wants to join. With this move, the BSA abandoned any protection from membership discrimination lawsuits and dumped it on the Chartered Organizations.

      • Your Pack can choose to remain boy-only. Plus, given that the dens have been mandated to be same-gender, it would seem to be that your concerns can be addressed at the unit level.

        • A mandate without any sort of penalty is not a mandate. BSA is stating separate dens, but if you read the discussion, there’s little support for that. Most folks are going to create coed dens and BSA will accept thier $$ the same. So many units struggle to find enough leaders, and now with the same number of families they expect twice as many leaders? Come on, it’s pretty obvious this is window dressing for those of us who disagree with combining. It’s about mitigating our complaint officially while the units go ahead and do it.

      • I agree, and there is a program for girls that is very much like boy scouts. It is called American Heritage girls. I have a son and a daughter, he is a life scout, she is in girl scouts. She would have been in American Heritage Girls if I had known about it sooner and I didn’t put either into campfire because it is coed. They needed and still need separate programs. Not that she didn’t want to be in boy scouts way more than girl scouts, just because the BSA program is an overall better program than GS for preparing youth to be outstanding citizens.
        I feel that if BSA is doing this they need to make it separate for girls and boys not coed at all. Just an exact duplicate of the program for girls only and keep one for boys. Siblings, at least in my case, want separate stuff and my two are 15 and 16.

        • I have three children, two boys and one daughter. Both of my boys are Eagle Scouts (and one of them is a Quartermaster in Sea Scouts as well), and my daughter is a Stars & Stripes recipient as well.

          Personally, I disagree with BSA’s decision in this. Boys need a place to learn how to be men, and I see the day when, for “convenience’s sake” that we have to merge the boys and girls programs together.

      • Remember the patrol method. The patrol is the fundamental unit not the troop. Patrols can go on patrol specific outings with out the troop.

        Also, the CO can decide if a unit will be co-ed or if it will form a different unit for the opposite sex.

      • Exactly. If the dens do stay same sex, Cub Scouts may not be as much of an issue, as we often have sibling tag alongs anyway. Boy Scouts is where I really see it being an issue. Campouts are never just a patrol, it’s the whole troop. I can’t see how the whole spirit of boys won’t be affected by girls being around. It’s not fair to the boys to force this on them. And, yes, BSA says it’s up to the pack/troop on whether or not to become co-ed, but I feel like if we don’t do it, there’ll be complaints. Boy Scouts is a more rigorous program to achieve ranks and badges, the Girl Scouts should think about strengthening their program.

        • When girls are part of the program, the boys get their act together. Venturing proves it. If you want to talk rigorous, take a look at the Venturing Award program and what it takes to achieve the Summit Award.

      • Genuine confusion here, how can boys not “behave like boys” or “just be boys” if there are girls around? How does that even work? Does the mere presence of the opposite sex cause that much of a personality switch that they can no longer be themselves?

        • Nancy R. – compare it to ladies going out on the town – the chick chat, laughter, behavior and banter would not be the same with the husbands there – it’s a totally different dynamic if it’s not all ladies. Plus girls are a real distraction to boys in their teenage years with lots of fresh testosterone flowing – they’re a siren’s call. Case in point – I could not keep my Den Chief’s attention at a recent campout since a girl he was interested in was camping with another Pack in a nearby campsite

        • The Scout Oath and Law exist in Venturing, where girls have been for 20 years. I have 18 years in with Venturing. This is an issue only if you make it one. The reality is that they get along just fine.

        • Oh dear Lord! Are you in earnest with that question? It reads like something out of the old Young Pioneers USA.

      • I’m with you 100% Virginia!! Our family has been in BSA for 10 years and we still have 5 years to go. The War on Boys must stop. We have so many success stories of single Moms who put their boys in scouting so that they could have more male mentors in their lives to teach them how to be fine young men. Question #1 in Boy Scouting is who runs the troop? Answer: The BOYS! BSA already has co-ed programs and has for 20 years. Rather than impose upon BOY SCOUTS, use all that “girl power” to create a program that suits the empowered girl! This is a brotherhood and I don’t think founder Lord Baden Powell envisioned this as the future of BOY SCOUTS of AMERICA. The last 2 not-so-well thought out decisions BSA made lost membership yet Friends of Scouting still shows up every year with their hand out looking for $$. Dues just increased without notice, just in time for the recharter process. Disenchanted parents will pull their boys from BSA and there is no way that girl membership will even come close to replenishing that loss. What will that mean? More funds will be needed and FOS will have their work cut out for them. BSA needs to stop caving to social justice nonsense.

        • Kathleen, I’m with you 100%. I was a Girl Guide, my husband was a Boy Scout, and we have two Eagle Scout sons, with another just to finish his Eagle project. We also have a Tiger Cub – who I will now pull from Boy Scouts. I firmly believe that boys NEED boys – they need a safe environment in which to gel with their fellow boys and learn to become ‘men’, just in the same way that girls need their space from boys. My own thoughts is that this is ALL about money. Our troop recently decided to pay upfront for the year, as opposed to yearly membership and paying for trips as and when your calendar permitted – as well all know, many boys join but rarely attend trips and then drop out. Paying a yearly dividend gave the BSA money upfront and thus lack of participation and ‘funding’ per trip was irrelevant and didn’t hurt the BSA piggy-bank. Girls and boys are different and I am confident that you will never get the same participation level from girls as the years go on as you do from boys. They think differently, and as they navigate their teenage years they act differently. Why were current BSA members not consulted? I wasn’t asked and our family has been scouting for more than 17 years. I will remove my Tiger Cub and seek another BOY activity so that he can experience a male orientated environment as he journeys towards adulthood. For all those parents of girls who think this is a great idea I can only ask why they feel that because they have a daughter they felt compelled to hijack a BOY activity just so their daughter isn’t ‘left out’ [there is Girl Scouts but obviously that’s not quite good enough]. Ah well, another thing we lose I guess.

    • Venturing should still remain, for one key reason – the ability for youth to continue participating until they reach 21 (unlike 18 in the Troop).

    • As a Scout mom of two boys (one just received his Eagle and the other on his way) AND the lead advisor of a Venturing Crew, I have so many reservations with this whole co-ed idea. There are many issues that arise with the co-ed program, especially when a small, rural unit currently struggles for adult involvment. I wish current leaders had more voice in decisions such as this. I have been involved with BSA on many levels for 10+ years and had intended to continue after my sons both Eagled, but have made a decision that once my second son gets his Eagle I will no longer be involved in Boy Scouts of America.

  6. I was most upset that I had to find out about this by listening to the car radio at lunchtime. I disagree with the new policy. If they did so much research and surveys how come no scouter I know was ever asked their opinion or for their input. I will have to give serious thought to my decision to renew my membership.

    • All district volunteers in our council were invited to a presentation and discussion, at the time of our regular district committee meeting. For one district that had poor attendance, they did a second meeting. Then there was a followup survey from national. Please check with the registered district volunteers in your district. If you don’t know who your district volunteers are, perhaps that is part of the problem in your area.

      • I am a volunteer at the troop, district, and council level with positions at all of them. I was never invited to participate in any discussion regarding this issue. If I had been, I would have attended.

        • Instead of just giving a thumbs’ down on a response, why not articulate your issue with the post. In this case, I am wonder what someone disagrees with in my post. That I volunteer at 3 different levels of Scouting? That it was proper to exclude me from any “town hall” on the topic so I should not have been invited? That if invited, I shouldn’t have attended? Or if some people just give out a “thumbs down” for GP?

      • I’m a Unit Commissioner and this is a surprise. Some of us thought something like this was in the works but we’re told nothing.

      • I heard about the presentation and survey from scouters outside my council but it never made it to either of the districts I’ve been involved in.

      • Our district roundtable was last Wed. We saw the film about this proposal then. We were told we would be sent a survey in a couple of weeks to give our feedback. So even though I had been hearing bits and pieces for weeks, that was the first “official” information our district was given. So what or who is our problem in getting this information out in a timely matter.

    • Maybe you don’t know the right people? 🙂

      As our SE explained it, we held in-person open meetings to discuss options and he had to show the now infamous video explaining the national committee’s thought process. Only people who attended one of the meetings were sent an invitation to do the survey (talking about BSA members here). That was so people would answer thoughtfully, understanding all the facts, instead of the knee jerk “this is BAD” or “this will be great” emotional reactions everyone has when they heard rumors.

      • Then why cherry pick those who could answer the survey? The decision was made and then they did a survey to confirm it.

    • Scouters were asked – after the town hall meetings that you signed in to and you had to put down yur e-mail address, survey’s were sent out to all and opinions were asked in those survey’s. If they didn’t attend the town hall meeting then they were not poled.

    • Our Council had three “town hall meetings” about six weeks ago. They acted like the Girl Scouts or Venturing didn’t exist. You could tell from the tone of the meeting that this change was already in the works.

    • I went to my council meeting and voiced my opinion that BSA should pursue this. In fact, I didn’t hear any dissenting opinions out of the 100 or so Scouters that cared and showed up to a Council meeting that had nothing to do with their Troop.

    • I am a long-time Scoutmaster, district and council volunteer and NYLT Scoutmaster (coed) and I received an online survey asking my opinion. I was marginally unfavorable because of some issues that I can see arising. But notice that the results of that survey are never mentioned in the announcement. I wonder why those surveys are not disclosed.

  7. Why Fall of 2018 for Cub Scouts? The Tigers can join in June after kindergarten and go to day camp and earn achievements. A boy finishing 4th grade can join in June and start the 6th month count towards AOL and cross over as early as December, but a 5th grader joining in September can’t earn AOL until April. The program is designed for a February crossover, so April is considered late.

    • Why April? If they join June 1st, 6 months is December 1st- September 1st to March 1st would be the same (and there is no rule on having to cross over in February, that only started after the lengthening of Webelos to two years, since 1 year wasn’t enough time but 2 wound up being a bit too much so they cut back to 1.5 years, give or take).

  8. I can’t help but think this is just another way to generate $$$. This has PR and $$ written all over it. Don’t get me wrong I realize the costs needed to run a quality program like BSA but there are other ways. We just started trying to “grab” them younger with the Lion Cub program… As a past resident BSA summer camp director I know how hard it it to integrate females into the program and the safety/privacy issues involved I can’t imagine the issues this is going to create in camping and outings. I also recognize that the Girl Scout program (at least in our area leaves a LOT to be desired as far as being more than an arts and crafts meeting. Is this the right way to go who knows long term. I think there are enough other CO-ED after school activities and while I do understand BSA’s struggles to compete with membership and I am all for traditions the need for changing with the times this is a huge step in the wrong direction.

    • I agree with Steve C. Boys need space to to be boys and girls need space to be boys. I earned my Eagle in 1960 and am still active in scouting. It is my appinion that that this ill concieved change will destroy scouting. Truly a sad event in our history.

      Dave D

    • Those arts and craft issues were / are driven by their leaders (mostly mothers). Now imagine those same leaders are wearing a BSA uniform. Why should they do anything differently?

      • Some mothers aren’t all artsy and crafts. However, I got my daughter in Girl Scouts, assuming it was like the Boy Scouts. I grew up outdoors and in nature. That’s what I wanted for my daughter. I may have to make my own GS troop and actually take the girls camping and what not. I’m not for integrated genders when studies prove that girls are more confident when competing or working with others girls. The opposite is true when competing or working with boys. Isn’t the idea to build confident leaders?

        • FYI – the department of education has not found any such studies to be conclusive.

          Thanks for all that you will do in advance for the girls! You will have a paperwork quagmire with GS/USA — unless they change. It will be especially challenging if you welcome more girls into your outdoor-oriented troop than the organization allows. But, work for smiles! As a crew advisor that has filled in the gap for disenfranchised girls, I can assure (again) GS moms like yourself that you are truly precious.

    • Steve C. has mentioned $$$ and PR to support future membership and facts support that opinion. Small but numerical declines in BSA youth membership have existed for the last 20 years. Primarily because of the failure of the National Board’s & Professional Staff to diversify enough of its adult/ youth membership to get closer to the U. S. Demographics. When I became an Eagle Scout (1963) their were 8 mil youth and an notable increase in youth & adults representing various ethnic & religious differences. My recent visit to the last National Jamboree in WV indicated how much the membership changed. It remains to be seen if the BSA camps in 50 states will have sustainability to exist with overhead costs skyrocketing.

      • You could also say that summer camps will be something to figure out as part of this overall plan. You could just say it will be a mess and walk away – or you could see the positive parts of this. I agree it will be challenging – but nothing that can’t be figured out.

        • It’s not as if most of the world doesn’t have co-ed scouting already. Look at the list of nations that don’t have girls in the program and tell me which you want to be on.

      • Well, I’ve taken Venturing girls to summer camp for 3 years now and we got along just fine. Yes, it’s a new and different dynamic having a group of girls in a camp full of boys. But it provides all kinds of new opportunities for teaching moments… 😉

        • There have been Venturing Girls on staff at our summer camp for many years and we’ve had Venturing weekends and Area – level events there as well. For many of us that have been in Venturing long term, this is good news.

    • On top of it all who will be absorbing the cost to safely integrate summer camps and activities to mixed troops? National? Heck no! It will fall on the individual local councils which are already taxed for funds! Short of a HUGE membership enrollment of new members the numbers won’t add enough $$ to local councils to cover the changes needed.

      • So we shouldn’t do the right things because we can say the sky is falling? We can make this work. It already works in many countries around the world. Lets move forward and figure this out.

  9. Boy Scout has finally destroyed the organization with this money grabbing move. Sad to see what was once a great organization become irrelevant with the questionable decisions the past few years. After 34 years in this once proud organization I will be forced to leave. All the traditions amd meaning of BOY SCOUTS are gone

      • I believe that after not getting its way and being told no by the Girl Scouts as to a merger, the BSA is now flexing its muscle to hit at the Girl Scouts to either raid it or force the Girls Scouts back to the negotiating table. It is dirty and uncalled for. If successful, the BSA program could force the Girl Scouts to go under, as Girl Scouting is already on shaky ground. This is not Scout Like and shame on Bryan for promoting it.

        • Why should the GSA listen to BSA? GSA hasn’t listened to their girl members for years. Most want a better program. My son could pick and choose which Troop he joined when we moved – twice. My daughter was told all GSA troop were full and to start her own. I hope GSA revamps their membership policies and does a major upgrade of their program. Competition is never bad. But GSA will never get their from their current position.

          GSA has not marketed the gold award as anything equivalent to the Eagle. Every time I mention the GS Gold, I have to add “It’s the GS equivalent of Eagle”.

    • After 45 years of Scouting, I am elated and very Proud of National for standing on their hind legs. BP would be proud! Sorry to see you go but we’ll struggle on without you.

      • For those that say they are leaving due to this – why is that? I’m reviewing the Scout Oath and Law – I don’t see why these values don’t apply to girls as well. One can say the sky is falling – but you can also see why this is a great move and help it succeed.

        • Alan I am not here to help others with their agenda. I am with Scouts for my children and the BOYS I serve as Den Leader. This is most certainly NOT a great move and will never succeed as the program is. I will most definitely become a twisted gender neutral non developmental for BOYS, Mess!

  10. Love having girls being part of the program, hate the idea of separate dens. We are struggling big time to get enough leaders for units now we are going to add more dens. What are we going to do when we have one or two girls or boys in the same grade want to join? Boys and Girls are in the same classroom in school, why aren’t we using the same model?

    • Not having been involved at the Cub level since I was a youth, but from conversations overheard at District, there is nothing 2 dens meeting at the same time. Several small packs I know already have multiple ages meeting together. Acknowledging that this isn’t ideal, an imperfect program is better than none, yes?

      • Two dens from different years meeting together makes little sense, given that all but Webelos and AOL have different adventures to work on. Our pack usually has some dens with 1-2 boys, and we have a hard time getting enough den leaders, so separate dens for girls is really impractical. Hopefully, this will change soon.

    • BSA is jumping into this – but starting conservatively. I’m guessing they’ll be a lot of ‘joint’ dens with the same leaders and the 2 dens meeting at the same time/place. I plan on creating a ‘sister’ troop and figuring out where we can jointly do things and leverage the same adult leaders. I expect to see more changes from BSA as time goes on and they start figuring things out.

  11. My thoughts are way don’t BSA and the Girl scouts join together instead of fighting against the other for kids? That way if and change the name to scouts of America so to have one uniform.

    • The BSA has had merger discussions with GSUSA over the years and they have steadfastly refused. So, the BSA is moving on without them.

      Look at GSUSA’s recent press releases and social media postings–they’re all promoting all-girl troops and why girls supposedly do better in those environments.

    • BSA has been progressive and moving forward with changes the membership wanted to see. GSA haven’t bothered listening to the girls in the organization that wanted a more BSA-like experience.

  12. I echo Christine. Why wait till fall of ’18? I can see waiting until the end of the current scouting year but the end of that is actually May 31, not when school starts again next fall. Many packs run robust summer programs (we do resident camp, day camp, pack campouts and activities, etc.) which allow for scouts to earn adventures that they may find it more difficult to earn during the winter months given the weather. It would be great to get them going right away in June so that the young ladies have the same benefit. In fact, for those groups that are signing people up for summer camp now (like my pack is) it would be great for the families to be able to state their intention to join this fall so that they can be signed up along with the current scouts.

  13. Funny how this is being presented as a natural occurrence yet this will be the biggest disaster for what was once known as the Boy Scouts. Glad my son got to go through the program as unisex but although this is done for both financial reasons as well as liberal capitulation, this is the beginning of the end of the scouts and it can never be the same. The sports programs all over the country are ecstatic.

      • Yes but those countries have a completely different view and upbringing regarding COED activities. In today’s American views of “poor me” and let’s not offend anyone this will only degrade into a quagmire of issues.

        • Well, a proper Scout would always try to avoid offending people, that’s part and parcel of being friendly, courteous and kind. So that shouldn’t be a problem, in any case. If other countries are better at integrating girls into activities, we should emulate them. In almost every case, when the civilized world does something one way and America does it another, America is the one doing it wrong.

      • Thank God we are not other countries. I get tired of being compared to Europe. Ive seen these programs up close and they are not as successful as US programs either.

  14. It would be nice to see some guidance and thought process on how this will affect troops and how as a scoutmaster I should go about preparing my adult leaders and scouts for this integration. Or is the plan to create all female troops? I’m disappointed about the lack of information in this announcement.

    • It is my understanding that troops (age 11-17) will be either all-male or all-female. There will be a new program for girls that age which parallels the current Boy Scout program. Which means that organizations will have to charter new units with new adult volunteers (SM, CC, etc). Existing Boy Scout units would ostensibly not be affected (except possibly by the drain of adults to go start a new unit).

      • Or you can use the existing Troop infrastructure to support a new Troop and help it grow. In fact, I’m thinking this would run as a dual troop system until BSA figures out an approach to have it integrated.

      • I have already heard from volunteers that they will form paper girls’ units and fully integrate them as patrols withing existing troops. One volunteer commentiend that national’s proposal for ” A separate program means another meeting a week, another campout a month, and another week of summer camp a year. Plus the necessity of getting all new equipment.

        And when I mentioned this at my council’s town hall, 90% agreed with that.

    • I just volunteered my services with council and district to figure this out at the local level. I’m also going to start planning right now to figure out how a sister Troop can work jointly with my existing troop. I’m not waiting for National to spoon-feed me information. One thing I’ve been pushing for the past year is to get our Scout mothers ASM trained.

    • He would say, “what took you so long?”

      Baden-Powell was a big proponent of girls in Scouting. He recruited his wife and sister to start the Scouting for girls movement not too long after founding Scouting for boys. UK Scouting, his founding organization, has been coed for decades. The United States is one of only a couple of countries that does not have a coed Scouting program. If over a hundred countries can figure out a coed Scouting program, so can we.

      • It still surprises me how often negative feedback is indicated with the up or down arrows, even when the statement is basic historical fact. I can only surmise that these individuals simply choose to be negative and are too lazy to actually learn the history.

        • Not lazy or negative – just scared. Saw many scared Scouters at the Council meeting when National was asking about becoming more inclusive a few years ago. The sky won’t fall down… it’ll all work out for the better.

      • BSA WAS also one of the most healthy of the Scouting organizations. It is now going down the same path as those smaller programs.

      • Read the history. Mrs. B-P asked for a girl’s Scout program and B-P said “sure” but it could NOT be called “Scouts” , hence the founding of the Girl Guides. There never were “Girl Scouts” until the founding of same in America. And they were originally very different program than today. Very outdoor oriented. Back in 19 and 63, my home Troop camped with a local Girl Scout Troop often. . The competition in cooking was, as I look back, interesting.
        My mom was in the campfire girls, I have photos of her camping in Teepees. Competition? Let’s see if the GSUSA changes their program to promote a more “rugged” opportunity.

        • Juliette Gordon Lowe learned scouting directly from B-P. As MR. Lehman says, GS was very outdoor oriented.

          Flashback 20 years: My Venture Patrol is backpacking in Bear Mountain State Park. We come over a ridge line and the Patrol Leader (with the loudest whisper I ever heard, yells “Girls!”. You never saw a bunch of guys straighten up so quickly in your life). Turns out they’re a Girl Scout troop. Two of the oldest (Gold Award) girls ask if we are thru hiking the AT. We say “no” and describe our program. I remember their sad faces as they said, ” I wished we could have done that” – it was heartbreaking. Started a Venturing crew in 2000. I DO NOT want girls to miss out on what Scouting offers and never want to see those sad faces again. This hasn’t been an all boys club since Exploring started. Kind of tired of hearing those with no experience working with young women saying that this is the end of BSA. Nahhh. It’s the SCOUT oath and Law, and its another step into a wider world.

      • I get it but in today’s American society of “poor me” and lets not offend anyone we are nothing like BP’s original plans nor are are we anything like the kids of the rest of the world when it comes to stereotypes and opposite sex interaction.

    • Lord Baden Powell founded the Girl Guides in 1910, on the same basis as the Boy Scouts. He was a very forward thinking man. Girls are equal members in Scouting organizations throughout the world, including England. I think Baden Powell would say “It’s about time.”

  15. As I sit here and eat my tiny bag of $20 trail mix purchased from a co-worker’s cub scout, I can only hope this means BSA will eventually migrate to cookies instead of the overpriced popcorn they currently sell.

    The only reason I have heard parents of daughters wishing they could join BSA is because those parents are involved in hunting/camping/fishing and want programs that are more outdoor-focused than GSA. I am not sure I believe this change will drive a big uptick in membership, particularly in troops. Unless, of course, BSA decides to water down the outdoors programs like they did in the 1970s to try and drive co-ed growth, which will only serve to drive away members seeking those programs.

      • Fortunately, this is something the girls will be able to look for. Every troop is different. Some focus more on car camping and others do more high adventure. Girls will be free to find a troop that meets their needs – just like boys do today. GSA locked girls into their neighborhood Troops – unable to find other troops that did things they like. When I moved to San Diego, I was surprised to find that all GSA Troops in northern San Diego were full – no one could possibly take another girl.

      • Sadly, BSA did indeed watered-down the OUTING in ScOUTING in the 1970s “Improved Scouting Program.” William ‘Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt had to come out of retirement, write another edition of the BSHB, and create outdoor based leadership program, Brownsea 22 ( NYLT’s grandfather course” to save Scouting.

        sad thing is, I see outing being pushed aside. with 4 camp outs minimum a year for JTE and STEM Scouting, yes, BSA has wateried down the outdoor program

    • Time will tell regarding membership. Just in my small survey of the girl scouts I know (my daughter and her friends) – they all prefer the BSA program and some actually quit the GSA when they found out about what their next door neighbor Scouts were doing. I expect a healthy membership in the ‘girl’ Troop in our area. I was in an co-ed American Red Cross Explorer Post in the late 70s, early 80s. I thought it was great!

  16. I’ve watched the scouts I had as cubs grow and develop. Most of them are pushing Star and Life now and I am so pleased at how they have grown. GSA as implemented in my area is a poor imitation of scouting. They rarely camp, segregate into a troop for each grade giving few leadership opportunities. This gives families a choice and an opportunity. Remember scouting isn’t about camping it is about developing better young adults now the other half has a chance.

    • Respectfully disagree. “OUTING is three-fourths of ScOUTING.” William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt, 3rd ed. SM HB and “SCOUTING IS OUTING!” Green Bar Bill

  17. Personally I think the Dens will be single gender until about 3 years after we have Girl Patrols in Troops, (2019 is when that’s supposed to start). By that point it will be obvious to everyone that the Boy and Girl Bear Dens are meeting on the same night at the same place, and are just single gender on paper only. The same thing will be happening with the Boy and Girl Patrols at the Troop level.

    By that point everyone will agree the whole single gender thing is a joke and we’ll go truly co-ed.

    think this is a couple decades overdue.

  18. This absolutely terrible. Yes, let’s not only neuter a boys program who’s core benefits come from the comradery of doing manly life with fellow guys and growing as young men with young men, but let’s put hormone-filled boys and girls together in situations where they will be dressing/showering together and unsupervised. I can see it now, BSA will announce the latest merit badge: Teen Pregnancy Merit Badge. This is the last straw by the BSA, fulfilling the circle of giving into the Left and forsaking it’s mission for boys and morality.

    • You do realize the Venturing program exists already right, and deals with a co-ed membership of even more mature youth and young adults. I don’t recall hearing statistics of teen pregnancies amongst Venturers spiking. Perhaps you underestimate how serious the youth take their Scout Oath and adherence to the Scout Law.

      • My wife as a Venture Crew advisor had a terrible time on the campouts. She repeatedly had problems with the youth going off together in the night. To say it doesn’t happen is to stick your head in the sand.

        She could only get one other woman to go on the outings, and then only sometimes, so with 20+ youths it became a problem of having enough women to do things. We had to shut the unit down since she couldn’t get enough parent help.

    • I fail to see where the boys and girls will be dressing and showering together when there are separate facilities at bathrooms and showers. They have been separated for years at BSA camps. If this is going on, it would be a lack of adult supervision on the unit level. My kids go to church camp in mixed sexes, but they do not dorm together. If a couple decide to take off alone, then they are sent home and are not allowed to go to camp again. So the youth control themselves.

      • Sorry. Boy Scout and Cub scouts camps I’ve been to don’t have girl facilities unless you count paper signs on boy restrooms with urinals.

        • I just spent a weekend at Seabadge at a Boy Scout camp with plenty of separate facilities for all of the women/men who were there. And my daughter spent a week at NYLT with separate facilities. There are female staff at camp, so there are female facilities.

      • Yes but the YPT program of BSA is probably WWWWAAYYY above what your church camps require. As a former BSA summer camp director the needed changes of a camp to support mixed troops/packs will be very costly. Who will pay for it? National? HIGHLY doubtful… it will fall to the already tapped local councils. Some will unfortunately close because they can’t support the National policies that will be put in place to accommodate the mixed units.

        • It will cost more money and take more leaders and membership will drop not go up. So every problem that the BSA faces now will be exacerbated and more of the unpaid leaders who are what make everything work will leave.

        • I taught Venturing YPT at the council level for 10 years. This is old news – the camps had to change to accommodate Venturers years ago, as well as female youth camp staff.

        • It can be done as it was at Philmont in 2000. Times at the shower houses. Signs – Adult/Youth – Male/Female. There may have to be a few other modifications, but the model is there

      • That about sums it up leaders-read close- any incident that occurs due to this is going to be your fault due to a “Lack of unit leadership “-not poor decisions on BSA’s part.

    • Wow – another sky is falling post. The core benefits come from the Scout law and oath. And nowhere does it say it’s not applicable to girls. Why is this immoral? Nothing immoral about this.

  19. I posted on Instagram in support of this change as I think the Cubs should be a family oriented experience that will benefit all young children, especially those of single parent households. At the scout level there are challenges but they can be worked out. Many quality camps have facilities that they rent out to coed youth groups already. It will make the others step up some capital investments in their camps.

    I was attacked on Instagram by many claiming to be Eagle scouts and/or leaders who expressed very narrow minded opinions. Sad that they evidently did not learn from their experiences in Scouting.
    As a Life Member of NESA, SM, MB Counselor, Jambo SM, Unit Commissioner, and parent of an Eagle Scout and a daughter who loves the outdoors I welcome the change. Let’s
    Advance the program by being inclusive.

  20. I LOVE IT!! In our very large pack, for years, we have had sisters participating right along side their brothers – all the way through the program. Now they can make it official! This will be huge for our families!

      • We have always been a family pack. Some of our girls are better cubs than the boys. As far as getting leaders, this will open up new families joining the packs. That in turn will generate more volunteers. We always should put the kids first by offering a quality program for both genders. Im ny area GSA is almost a joke.
        In border states we have girls going to Canada to participate.
        As far a a capitulation to political correctness, that isn’t it. There is no one more conservative than I am, but this should have been done years ago.

  21. I’ve always enjoyed having a space where the boys can be boys. It’s harder and harder for young men to grow up these days. Already at school the girls are the leaders in everything. Boy Scouts was one of the last places where they could not put on that “cool, disengaged” personas that boys put on around girls. Now they will likely sit back and let the girls run their troops and one of the last places where boys could learn leadership without competing for girls’ attention will be gone. As a teacher, and a parent of boys, I found Boy Scouts gave them a place to “be boys”. I worry about the long term effects of this on young men. We already see more girls going to college and more girls graduating college. The world is not friendly to young men these days. Where do they turn?

  22. For those that don’t know it, we in the United States, are one of the few countries that are not co-ed in Scouting. The United Kingdom (Britain), where Scouting started has been co-ed for quit a while now and they are running just fine.

  23. I think this whole issue was about declining membership and nothing else. This comes at a time when the cost of membership is seeing one of its’ largest increases with out any real justification. What’s coming next? Stay turned.

  24. I have two immense disappointments in this decision. The first is the adults who are planning to leave the program because of it. We spend way too much time looking at what divides us rather than what unites us. We are trying to develop youth into good citizens, and that does not change. The idea of turning “boys” into “men” is long outdated. And frankly my daughters are as qualified or more qualified to be Eagle, and have as much or more Scouting experience, than any of the boys I have met. The second is that, as I had expected they would do, BSA national leaders are trying “separate but equal” despite the vast evidence over eons that it doesn’t work. I expect, in the end, pragmatism will win out and there will be “separate” troops and dens that just happen to meet at the same time and conduct the same activities before national sees the need to simply join the programs.

    • You just set the example of why this is going to be a taxing time. MY DAUGHTERS ARE BETTER THAN ANY BOY. If this is going to be your attitude to the Boy Scouts, then you need to re-think why YOU want your daughters in scouting.

  25. This does not bode well for my troop we are chartered to a church with an existing coed youth group. Tensions have already been strained ever since the last membership policy change and I fear the our charter org may see this as “against the values and aims of our church” and choose not to renew out charter.

  26. This is so disappointing. They have GIRL Scouts, I just don’t get it? I loved that my son became an Eagle Scout a year ago and won’t have to deal with this.

    • Respectfully: I am a Scoutmaster, Eagle Scout, Vigil OA member, camp staff alum. Most facilities can support this change right now. Most troops have active moms; and tag along sisters. Girls will have separate patrols, or more likely separate troops. The ONLY downside I see to this is that we will have some challenges keeping the boys out of the girls tents and vice versa.

      I would urge you to resist your initial gut-response to this policy change and look at the upside: more participation, more opportunities to teach young people leadership skills & values, more introduction to the outdoors and outdoor skills. I’m excited.

      I hope I can be the Scoutmaster for the first female eagle scout in the country.

      Please, look beyond your initial reaction, and look at all of the good that can come from this.

      • I would gladly place a wager with anyone here that the membership #s of scouting will be lower in three years than they are now. This change is not an answer to financial and membership problems. Rather it is an example of digging a deeper hole.

        • The reality was, the BSA kept saying they were making these changes because it’s what everybody wanted, and we’d see an influx of new members; but after every vote/change my unit’s membership would crash and I never saw the hordes of new members they kept promising. It was all we could do to maintain the previous year’s numbers, in spite of a great program, lots of PR, and lots of enthusiasm.

      • Greg – I will accept your challenge to have the first female Eagle Scout! My gut reaction was ‘it’s about time’ – but it looks like some don’t like the change. I too hope the experienced leaders will see the good things about this and help with the transition to make it successful.

  27. 1) Is this not a tacit admission that the Girl Scouts have failed?
    2) Is that because parents aren’t interested in GSA’s real or perceived feminist ideology?
    3) Was there no thought given to BSA and GSA working together to define and achieve common goals?
    4) How closely is this decision related to the removal of gender distinctions from everything?
    5) How long before we see an Eagle required “Diversity” merit badge and mandatory “sensitivity” training?
    6) Don’t know Randall Stephenson but it doesn’t surprise me that he’s the CEO of AT&T. Despite the veneer, these guys are inevitably going to bring their liberal, corporate values into BSA and leave behind an organization that is less in touch with its own heritage and traditions.
    7) I stated 2-3 years ago that BSA would follow the trajectory of the Girl Scouts. Bit by bit, piece by piece, it will morph into an organization that is a shell of its former self.

    • 1 – the Girl Scouts have failed many girls.
      2 – it’s because the GSA doesn’t offer a program that is similar to BSA
      3 – BSA has tried for years. GSA doesn’t want it.
      4 – this has nothing to do with removing gender distinctions
      5 – Friendly, Courteous, Kind. A scout should already be accepting of diversity & sensitive to the needs of others
      6 – if you think CEOs & Corporations are liberal, you are sadly mistaken.
      I cannot speak to your 7th point. you may have stated anything.

      I know that I will continue to support Scouting as an Eagle Scout, Cub Master, & Father. My experience in Scouting taught me to be prepared to overcome any obstacle. I am confident that like minded Scouts and Scouters will continue to bring a tremendous experience to not only boys, but girls too.

      My son is thrilled that his sisters will have the same opportunities as he’s had. And I’m certain that the female councilors at every camp he’s ever been to will appreciate those opportunities as well.

  28. Sorry, but I am so glad that my son just earned his Eagle rank. I have been involved in the Scouting program since he was a Tiger cub (and now he’s a high school senior) and have continued to work with the troop. I can see how this change could work in Cub Scouts, but as an involved Troop leader it is hard enough guiding young boys to become leaders as they mature into young men. Adding girls to the mix just creates drama that’s not needed.

    • I respectfully disagree. I think it will make it easier to recruit and keep boys in Boy Scouts. It will make leadership positions mimic real world situations. I don’t see any downside to this new policy.

      • Well, you posted an earlier comment that that the ONLY problem will be keeping boys out of the girls’ tents – that just proves my point. It’s added pressure put on the shoulders of individual unit leaders. The enticement of girls should not be the reason for a boy to join Scouting. What do you say when the first boy-girl incident happens in your troop? Well, at least our membership numbers are up?

        • Voice of experience: Venturers put together a Code of Conduct when the unit (Crew) starts. It’s usually stricter and more comprehensive than if the adult leaders had put it together for them. In many Crews, each Venturer signs off on the C of C – in some Crews, the parents of the Venturers sign off, too. Violation of the C of C could result in a call to the parent to come and pick up the offender – even if the unit is 500 miles away. Guess what? Venturers treat their rules like the Ten Commandments – and these are on top of Scouting regs. in 18 years I’ve never had a boy-in-the girls-tent problem – or vice versa. Can’t speak for for the younger set, but for 13 to 20 year olds, this is not a problem.

    • Likely this isn’t a problem – except you’d probably be hard pressed to find boys that *want* that kind of program 🙂

  29. As Cub Scout leader and parent of two current Girl Scouts, I know how different the organizations and programs can be (both have things I like and things I’d like to change). I’m happy that my girls (who are in first grade now) will have the opportunity next fall to make a choice. They’ve already been to plenty of our Pack’s events, gone camping, and build pinewood derby cars and now they’ll have the option to choose to earn recognition for doing those same things. I could not be happier about this decision. Great job BSA.

    • I completely agree, Braden. In fact, the BSA surveyed Scouting families, and more than 90 percent said they believe the BSA programs are relevant to both boys and girls.

      • They didn’t survey me, or indeed anybody in my Troop. I’m a former Cubmaster and we were always inclusive, but I can bet you that a private survey of Troopmasters would make it clear they’d rather stay all boys. The additional logistics of handling boys and girls camping, just as a single issue, is mind-boggling. This decision will cause as much negative fallout as kneeling for the National Anthem, and for similar reasons.

        • I have a feeling those surveys were only sent to areas that would support what National already wanted. They never made it here and I only found out about them from scouters in other councils.

        • Not mind-boggling at all. Just something to figure out. From my troops perspective, this is long overdue. Any challenges can be met and overcome. I plan on figuring this out now for what needs to be done in 2019. So it’s not so clear all troop leaders would rather stay all boys.

      • I think the programs are relevant to boys and girls alike. That’s a different question from whether or not I want co-ed Scouting to be the only choice. And from what I see, that’s exactly where this is headed. We’ve seen this movie before.

      • I’m a proud Eagle Scout who started in Scouting as a Tiger and have never left. As for the surveys, the BSA surveys included two external surveys and four internal surveys conducted from April to September 2017. They were conducted online.

      • I wish I could agree that the “survey” stats really make any difference as to what direction they take the program. Remember insta-palms? 80+% were against that, but the BSA did it anyway. I do welcome the addition of girls to the program as long as it was done for the right reasons and not just an attempt to boost membership and, in turn, increase revenue.

      • Relevant is not the same as desiring integration. The Survey through SCRIPPS was really vague in its wording and tailored to make those surveyed seem like they were all for the program integration and not just whether it was “relevant”

        • Indeed! I think scouting skills and values are relevant to everyone of any race, creed or sex but that is far different from believing that the BOY scouts should have girls.

      • Back in 2008-2010, don’t remember the year, I happened to be on an informal panel at the Philmont training center and this was talked about back then. Just wished it happened sooner. I would probably say that most against this, never led a unit or were a crew adviser with both males and females in the same unit. It works very well.

      • As a Troop Committee Chairperson and a World Scout Jamboree traveler to 4 different jamborees as a visitor and a venture Scout advisor involved in Boy Scouting since 1994 as a den mother and later in my current positions. I can tell you i have never had a problem with females and males visiting their oposite sex tents. We adhered in Venturing to a strict code and the Venturers never crossed the line. My fervent hope is that Boy Scout Troops will be co- ed like they are in every other country. I do have a daughter who is a gold award and then became a venture and earned her silver , ranger, quest and every award available when she was a youth. Now both my Eagle/ Venture silver and ranger son, and my daughter are both giving back to scouting as Assistant Scoutmasters. I just hope that National will hear our requests that Troops be co- ed just like Venturing is. In small towns it is very hard to keep separate troops who are doing the same requirements in fact it seems silly and expensive as the girl troops would need all their own troop supplies and in small towns that maybe difficult. Leadership would have male and female leaders as well and things would run smoothly if everyone gives it a chance. Our council camps already makes accommodations for female youth (venturers ) who are on staff to share the adult female showers. Im sure it can be worked out the same for the youth showers with time slots. i think if the BSA chose to have the BSA allow girls i think it would be a disservice to have the girls in separate dens, troops. Please listen to the people who are the leaderships of troops as to what would be the best way to handle this. I have been to Jamborees, in thailand, England, Sweden ,and Japan . I have also traveled to Ireland and Scotland and interacted with Scouts in both countries. My husband the Scoutmaster/ Associate Venture Advisor have also taken the boys to the Bahamas. Also in all those countries and the countries like Singapore,Spain, France, Malaysia, Philippines, ect all are co- ed. and are called Scouts. I can tell you in all those countries the troops are integrated and it is good for the boys as well as the girls as their competition to excel helps everyone Oh and by the way my son made his Eagle Scout under a different Scoutmaster. in case anyone is wondering.

  30. 87 percent of parents not involved with the BSA expressed interest in getting their daughter involved in programs like Boy Scouts. REALLY – I guess they never heard about venturing. How many of these parent would be involved or will just dump and run. We have a program for girls, called venturing why invent another

    • Virtually no one outside of Scouting circles has ever heard of Venturing. Don’t pretend that it’s a well-known program. And it doesn’t offer a path to Eagle Scout. Why shouldn’t girls be able to earn the Eagle Scout rank?

    • Venturing is currently a very different program than the troop operational program and is not set up for rank advancement that is needed to progress to the Eagle rank. In order to become an Eagle through Venturing one (currently a young man) must first attain First Class in a troop. After that requirement is met there is a path toward Eagle in the Crew but it requires the youth to seek out the MB counselors to complete the required merit badges. Most Crews are not set up to provide that environment currently. Earning the Eagle award is one of the driving reasons many people are pushing for the female involvement at the Troop level. One avenue I think should be pursued is to drop the age limit of Crews and allow the youth to operate as a troop patrol. Since national has recently revamped the Venturing program I don’t see that happening, But then again I didn’t see this decision coming down this year.

      As for the hormones in Venturing, I was pleasantly surprised by the way the youth don’t want the couple thing going on in their unit. They police themselves and watch over each other as brothers and sisters, which is the way it should be. It has lead to interesting conversations with behavior expectations. The youth are respectful enough of their peers and adult leadership to agree to these expectations.It has been interesting bring coed groups to summer camp.

      i have seen how coed leadership in units are a good thing. Not all moms want to camp and not all dad want to camp. I do think the coed unit (youth and adults leadership) is a positive step and the youth hold each other to a higher standard. There is no other organization that can offer what the BSA does. The GSA may decide to up their game but I don’t see that happening until they are pushed to do it. This may be the push they need to reorganize the structure of their programming. Many conservative parents do not like the GSA’s ties to questionable organizations also (I definitely don’t see that changing).

      • Districts are to provide MBCs, not units. But, yes, only one scout out of the hundred who could have advanced to Eagle in my crew expressed an interest to do so. That scout decided to continue advancement in the troop because he wanted to respect the efforts of that committee.

        Venturing is awesome, but rank advancement is tangential to most crews. So is dating and other shenanigans that any reasonable parent should be concerned about.

        GS/USA is an excellent program and most of he women in my crew loved their troop. Others were not permitted to join it. 🙁 The unit size limits imposed by e organization are probably the main reason we are where we are today.

  31. My son (high school senior and recently earned Eagle scout) just texted me a screen capture of the announcement (email sent from our Council) followed by a screen capture of the definition of the word “disappointment”… I guess I know how he feels…

        • I’m not name-calling. It’s an apt description, but I’m open to others. What is there to be disappointed about? That qualified, deserving young women will be given the opportunity to earn the rank of Eagle Scout? That doesn’t take anything away from young men. The notion that it’s bad when previously-excluded people are allowed access to things they otherwise are able to earn is what I consider un-Scoutlike. Making access to Scouting more universal makes it stronger.

  32. I’m a scoutmaster in MN. I would like my troop to be the first troop in the country to have an all-girl patrol.

  33. If this was asked for by so many people and discussed etensively, why hasn’t anyone I know heard about it before now? How are the Girl Scouts responding to this take over of their program? I have spent 60 plus years in the Boy Scout program and have observed many changes but this is the worst idea ever forced upon us by the ” leadership” if you can call those responsible, leaders. Was a survey done asking the leaders in troops for their input? I truly doubt it was done. Perhaps it’s time for a change at the National level.

      • Not alright at all! Recall the Scout Law? Trustworthy? really – Who are you to make that decision for your entire pack and all families and decide to not get the opinions of those who make your Pack run? Afraid of healthy debate?

        You took the heat off yourself and waited for News announcement LIKE SO MANY OTHERS. You weren’t very Brave Courteous Friendly or Helpful here were you?

        • We have been discussion this with the Scouts and families in our Troop and Pack for several years. We also discussed it with our charter organization. This has been the topic of discussion for some time.

          At the Jamboree this was a discussion at the Chat and Chew and the chow hall very frequently. There was rarely anyone vehemently apposed. Rather most people, Scouters, were in favor of going coed.

  34. Honestly, I’m ok with this as long as the older boys still get to do boy things with just boys…. to the commenter above who said that boys learning to be men is an outdated concept – I think that is a dead wrong statement. Kids need *some* space to be who they are without the opposite gender around to complicate things… they get enough co-ed stuff in the rest of the world. Even the Girl Scouts believe this, and I think at its core, BSA believes this too. Yes, the values and skills in the program are applicable to boys and girls, but the experience of it all is better suited for single gender units in my opinion. That may be old-school and super unpopular these days……

  35. We always included the sisters/family members in our field trips and outings. They begged us to let them be part of our cub scout program. It gives families a fun time out and about together learning and experiencing something new with other families. This will be great for everyone!

      • Bryan, how come you never respond to any negative comments? There are alot of people who need reassurance. They will not get it if you only preach to the choir.

        • Hi, Mr.J. Like a lot of you, I’ve been involved in Scouting for a long time — 27 years, in my case. The beauty of this new opportunity is that it gives families, especially those with multiple kids, plenty of options. There will be all-girl packs and all-boy packs. There will be packs made up of both all-girl dens and all-boy dens. The choice is up to each individual family.

          I can already see the benefit for my own family. Rather than taking our daughter to an event on one side of town and our son to an event on the other, we can all — all four of us — go to the same place on the same night. We already get so little time together as a family. This will give us family time back. And not just any family time. This is family time surrounded by the Scouting values I already know and love.

  36. For those that feel this is a ruination of BSA and have suggested they will cut their ties with them, I can only say, you may be overacting a bit. Like any change, it will likely spend a good while with small, and eventually, large adjustments as it moves forward. But, as long as the basic foundation of BSA, the Oath and Law and related supports remain the keystones of the group, it will be viable. And, there is even the great possibility that, over time, it may even evolve into a stronger youth organization that truly serves a broad spectrum. Reality is that much of the rest of the world Scouting groups have been coed very successfully for a long time.

    Ultimately, it is your decision to jump ship, or to find the best route to make the challenges successful and beneficial to the youth in general.

    • Whereas, international, most counties have vestigial scout programs, the BSA is the most successful and robust in the world. But sure, let’s follow the herd to irrelevance.

  37. This is about membership. With the LDS pulling out, BSA is going to need to fill that gap. I suspect that the BSA is being somewhat disingenuous about its motives

    • LDS is not pulling out of Boy Scouts. They pulled out of Venturing. Someday, they may pull out of BSA, they may not. I think BSA did this because the program is THE BEST youth program in the world. And it was only available to half of the population.

      I would urge you to stop impugning motives and celebrate the idea that many millions more people will have an opportunity to experience scouting.

      • I have an LDS Elder that works in my office. The LDS pulled out of Varisty AND Venturing. He says that his feeling that within 10 years, maybe a lot less, LDS will pull out of BSA and start their own youth program. The LDS has separate youth programs for boys and girls. The boys used to be done concurrently with the BSA program. I can see that the more gender integration in BSA, the more likely it is for LDS (about 25% of the chartered units) to pull out of BSA.

  38. I’m disappointed in this decision. I’m all for equality but there are times that young need to be around other young men. My son’s father is not really a part of his life. His Boy Scout time has always made him feel like he was getting some male bonding. Now it will be the same as a day in school where he is mixed with girls. I also would not be comfortable with him going away on camping trips with girls. This will be his last year in the scouting program due to this change.

  39. AJ became a Scout because it was fun, but he stayed because it’s a place for him to bond with other young men in an environment where they specifically don’t have to worry about girls or all the issues that go along with them. Boys are different than girls, and the Boy Scouts was one of the last bastions of that truism. When you put boys and girls together you change the interpersonal dynamic, and anybody who says differently is naive or disingenuous. This was the last place they didn’t have to deal with that, and now you’ve destroyed it. I’m glad AJ is well on his way to finishing his Eagle.

  40. As a mother of three boys and one girl, I was thrilled today to learn of this change to Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. I hope in the implementation of this change, our local packs and troops will truly welcome girls. My boys are all in involved in Boy and Cub Scouts and my daughter is a Girl Scout. The programs seem very different to me as a parent and I am so excited that my daughter may have the opportunity to fully participate in the Cub and Boy Scout adventures of her brothers instead of just joining in at family events.

    I do have a question about the last paragraph of the article: it mentions that 4th grade girls joining next school year will be able to transition smoothly into Boy Scouts the following year. What happens to the 5th grade girls who join next year? Or will they be put on “hold” for Scouts until their 6th grade year when the Boy Scout program begins?

    • More details to come, but I do know the program for 11- to 17-year-old girls is projected to be available in 2019.

      • Currently, boys who have completed First Class in a Troop and are 13 and finished 8th grade can earn the subsequent ranks up to Eagle in Venturing if they want to. I think in coed Scouting, the gilrs will want to stay in their troop and earn Eagle there.

    • I found this survey to be deeply flawed. Never once did it ask an opinion on whether girls should be included. It only asked questions that any reasonable person couldn’t help but agree with. if you control the questions you control the answers which is exactly what the BSA did on this survey.

      BSA if the survey really supported release all of the questions and answers and show us. Given the lack of national leadership and communication on other membership changes I’m not hopeful. The silence has been deafening. If all of these decisions are really in the best interest of all why has national consistently shown cowardly leadership in not standing up and being counted and communicating with the volunteers????

  41. Totally opposed to this. Boys need to be with boys, not girls in these activities. The name of the organization will also have to be changed, since it would be false advertising to admit girls and still call it the ‘Boy Scouts of America’. Also, totally opposed to the BSA board. Their decisions to allow homosexuals and homosexual leaders,
    and now this will end the BSA. The elitists on the BSA board do not like the scouts and want to change it to bring about their social engineering views. We have stopped giving to the local council as a result. Suicide is what the board is bringing about. What a bunch of jerks who care nothing about the well-being of boys and their families. Trail USA here we come!!! North American Explorers here we come! We have 6 Eagle Scouts in our family and one more to go. Goodbye BSA! Other organizations will be true to the Scout Law and Oath and carry on Lord Baden Powell’s scouting legacy! ‘Morally straight’ is still the only honorable way to go!

    • I’m so sorry you’re scared of these changes. Admitting all boys whether they are homosexuals or not was the right decision. Admitting girls is the right decision. When I read the Scout oath and law, I see it applying to everyone. Hate is not the way forward.

      • Leftists always call speech they disagree with HATE It is not and Staytrue is entitled to his opinion without you calling him hateful because he disagrees with you. The BSA HAS made wrong decisions MANY OF THEM! Why does everyone have to agree with you for you to feel good about yourself. We are individuals and have our own opinions and are voicing them. Stop trying to be the thought police.

      • Nice of you to bring “hate” into the conversation. If we don’t agree with you, we can just shut up and pound sand because we’re bad people. What a convenient way to win every argument.

  42. You could see this coming over the summer when the Professional lackeys were sent out to start socializing the idea. I sat through one Chief Council Executive pitch on how the National HQ was “thinking” about the idea of Girls. You could tell the decision was already made and we now he had to go out and sell the idea. First let’s sort fact from fiction. The Boy Scout Mission goes back to 1910 when it was incorporated. Clearly stated the “The particular business and objectives of the Society are to organize the boys of the …United States, into units, and to teach them, or cause them to be taught, through duly designated leaders, discipline, patriotism, courage, habits of observation and self-control and [the] ability to care for themselves in all exigencies of life.”

    Note it says the ”boys” of the United States, not the families, girls or others. Boy Scouts as an organization survived for over 100 years and in the last five to seven years under the dubious leadership of Tillerson and Gates have suffered some of the greatest losses in numbers ever sustained. And now they think they can make up the numbers by bringing in girls. How about you stick to the purpose of the organization as it was originally designed. It works every time it is tried.

    Unfortunately we as an organization have leadership who can’t stand up to outside bullies and have truly forgotten what the original charter was all about. But no worries all the board members will pat themselves on the back and celebrate how enlightened they are while the rank and file once again have to deal with the steaming pile just laid in front of us.

    Also note that 90 percent of parents not involved with the BSA expressed interest in getting their daughter involved in programs like Cub Scouts. As well as 87 percent of parents not involved with the BSA expressed interest in getting their daughter involved in programs like Boy Scouts. What were the percentages of interest of the parents who are involved in the BSA as well as the rank and file leadership? Where are those numbers? Doesn’t the opinion of the people who make the program work day in and day out matter? Once again we have no vote, no transparency, just a bunch of social elites making unilateral decisions that boarders on a dictatorship.

  43. Is anyone addressing the fact that national outright lied to us at the last video conference where they said this was just a discussion and no decision had been made . Lets have conversation was a LIE.

        • Interesting – I think this decision is completely in line with the Scout oath and law. NOT allowing girls in would be wrong. I wholly support this change and will work with others to figure this out.

        • Alan – Neal is absolutely correct – We had a paid member fully informed of all of this but told nothing to our leadership. We found out on the news today.

          to help other people at all times – except Den Leaders
          Trustworthy – nope
          Helpful – mm no
          Friendly – nah
          Courteous – uh no
          Kind – not so much
          Brave – LOL they knew the fall out!

          Whether YOU agree or not is not the issue Seems the majority does not and that is why this was kept under wraps AND IT WAS FOR A LARGE MAJORITY.

          You’re opinion to not let girls in is wrong is NOT EVERYONE’S opinion. As you are entitled to your opinion those of us who disagree are entitled to ours without your self righteous sarcasm!

  44. As a former Cubmaster, current Scoutmaster and Advisor with fraternal boy/girl twins, I’m ecstatic that this has been implemented. I was sent the survey and was hoping that this would become a reality. My daughter grew up in my units and was so disappointed that she wasn’t allowed to earn awards. She was involved with the other two girl programs but really wanted to join in on the adventures in BSA. As soon as she was 14 we started a Venture Crew and immediately started her working on leadership skills by completing ILSC and NYLT.
    This organization is fantastic for developing leadership skills that are unmatched by any other program. Where else do youth have a true laboratory component to leadership development where they weekly have the opportunity to put theoretical knowledge into practice through practical application? By utilizing the patrol method laid out by Baden-Powell and the current leadership practices taught in NYLT and Wood Badge, my kids and the other youth in my sphere of influence have grown tremendously in their skills as leaders. I welcome the addition and am glad that young women will soon have the opportunity for leadership development that their brothers have experienced for decades. I just wish it would come sooner so my daughter could earn Eagle along with the Summit Award.

  45. I am in favor of this move as long as the Pack utilizes seperate gender dens. Boys need to be able to act like boys and girls need to act like girls. I know both sexes like to rough house at times but boys and girls interact differently. Also boys and girls mature at different rates, especially in the first years. The seperation of gender should also continue into Boy Scouting. Children start to mature sexually around 12 or 13 and the Scouting program should not put any undue pressures of the Scouts, I am not saying we should not trust our youth to act inapropreately (sp) but it would be bad policy to place our youth in situations that could encourage unfortunate outcomes. I guess my concern is that all through the Scouting program we should allow boys and girls to be themselves and not have social pressures forced upon them

    • If we don’t want boys and girls to have “social pressures forced upon them” then please stop referring to boys acting like boys and girls needing to act like girls. Obviously many girls are tired of “acting like girls” and they want more opportunities than arts and crafts.

  46. Hooray! Finally! The program is planned just as I would have suggested. Now our young men will have a chance to learn side by side that girls and young women are just as capable of learning, doing, thinking, and high character as any boy in all most anything. For too long, too much of the male populace has thought that females were somehow inferior in some way and were to be treated with disrespect and condescension. Unfortunately, some religions also subtly teach those attitudes. Those who sit in front of TVs and watch Hollywood or the music industry put down females as ornaments instead of some of the smartest, most hard working, and caring people on the planet, need the education and practical experience the BSA program provides. A life long Scouter, I chose my wife of 57 years not because she was the prettiest, but because she is smart, and lives the Scout law. I want to see more women like her available in the world when my Scout grandson is ready to choose a mate!

  47. I’ve read many of the comments on this forum and many have valid points. A few points to ponder with this announcement. …it is so stated that girls will be able to attain the rank of Eagle – the fruit of years of hard work and learning and of community service ; the Girl Scouts have the Gold Award, which is their equivalent and encompasses hard work, learning and community service. Discussion was also made in regards to camping and outdoor activities, like high adventure, that would be a reason for the girls to join Boy Scouts – Venturing Crews are highly involved in all aspects of the outdoors – camping and high adventure….and they are co-ed. How will the Boy Scouts be able to maintain their name, being that they will be encompassing both genders? That will be another change down the line to accommodate the membership. Some of the posts are highly against the change, and others are very “gung-ho”, as we actually let it sink in and start to think about logistics – dual leadership, tenting, costs of new literature, transport to events (if you transport boys and girls, you will need both male and female adults in that vehicle)- this will not be an easy transition by any means.

    • so True – It will be quite a journey for those that are inspired to expand. Those that are comfortable where they are will continue to be able to do so (for now at least). Exciting

    • Like you stated above, camping will be an issue. I am Asst Den Leader and Asst Cub Master. I camp with my 11 year old all the time. If my 10 year old is camping , will she be able to sleep with us or will she need separate accommodations and a Female Leader? It is very hard getting Mothers to camp with boys. Now we will need them on all camp outs and hikes.

      • At the cub scout level my experience has been that families sleep together. My husband, son and I always did as did all the other mixed gender families camping with our pack. Has your son been in scouts since the age of 6 and never had someone’s sister, niece or mother attend an overnight outing?

      • I’ve been trying to get female ASMs this past year – this will hopefully motivate several to take this on. I’ve got two years to get a balance of male/female ASMs for when we start our ‘sister’ troop.

        • Well, for the 11+ year old scout program scouts should not camp with adults even their parents. Not a problem. The scouts run the show, adult leadership is there to guide and advise.

    • Please explain why you think you need both male and female leadership in a vehicle. My boys have often had mothers transport them for cub activities. Coed leadership is only required for overnight activities. Even then, there’s never been a requirement for two leaders per vehicle as long as the whole group is traveling together and stopping at prearranged breaks.

      • In today’s environment, there is no way I would be the only adult in a car with girls, and I would strongly prefer that the other adult be female. National may not require it, but you would be nuts to go it alone.

  48. If this is going to stick, the leadership needs to change the name of the organization…. US Scouting, or Non-Gender Specific Scouting, or something… or go the KFC route and make the acronym a word… 🙂

    • I guess National will have to raise the dues another 45% next year too to offset the cost of the new patches and literature.

      This whole decision reads like a bunch of MBAs with no life experience developed a business plan that shows some huge increase in membership if only they had girls involved.

      The BSA trots out the statistic said 90% of people not involved in scouts think they would be interested if girls were involved. Is girls not being involved really the reason why they aren’t involved now?

      Running with the statistic would be laughable, but I think National actually believes people will buy into it. National either is bald face lying or they don’t know a damn thing about surveys and statistics. My feeling that they saw 90% and 87% and said yeah people will fall for this line of crap!

      Right or wrong headed on their decision, their PR and roll out makes it look like it is nothing but a hope to stop sliding membership. Because they don’t say this, I have not found a SINGLE PERSON in scouting that trusts the National Organization. That should say something to them. Have the courage to factually support your decision.

  49. I’m glad girls will be able to have the BSA experience. But there absolutely has to be a boy-only program, as well. The day Troops or Packs are forced to be co-ed is the day I leave Scouting.

    Boys are already treated as defective girls in school. The they need and deserve a chance to themselves, by themselves.

  50. I am hugely disappointed that they are waiting to roll this out in 2019 for girls. My daughter has been traveling to her brother’s scout meetings and activities since Tiger Cubs. He has submitted his paperwork for Eagle Rank and she was excited at the idea of getting the opportunity to earn her Eagle Rank as well. As the program currently stands there is no way she will be able to get anywhere close to Eagle Rank because she will age out when she turns 18 in 2019…..

    Yet, if she said she was transgender she could become a Boy Scout today…..

  51. WOW – great stuff. I love the flexibility. I have found so many families that just don’t find the current Girl Scout program gives them the program and support that is so central to the BSA. Good on the BSA for making this step!

  52. THANK YOU, for at least dropping that “family scouting” doublespeak.
    This will be a hard pill to swallow. But at least it’s not sugar-coated.

  53. Gary, As a Troop SM I completed the survey also. Funny how we don’t see those numbers, only the numbers of those respondents not in Scouting. If there are so many who wanted their girls in Scouting why then are there not more girls in Venturing today? Ample opportunity. No I think if we could peel back the curtain of great Scouters of OZ we will find that there is no wizard at all and the numbers don’t really support their decision. Heaven forbid we actually allow a transparent vote by the actual rank and file of the organization.

    • You have in this paragraph, sadly, well summed up the whole attitude and action of YOUR BSA. You lament the utter lack of two things that are nowhere to be found in BSA: a vote by (or even any regard for) the rank and file, and transparency. “I am the great and powerful BSA! Pay no attention to the man (the nearly one million BSA VOLUNTEERS) behind the curtain.”

      I believe it would be fiercely enlightening to see TRUE AND ACCURATE result of all surveys of both Scouters, Scout families and non-Scout families. Given that the ALLEGED results of only two survey inquiries to non-Scouters have been cited in the statements, I believe the balance of the surveys are disastrously unfavorable to the trajectory BSA wanted to–and HAS–taken. But we’ll never know–BSA is more secretive than the CIA.

      Finally, a word of caution to BSA’s soon-to-be-newest members: Ladies, you might be well served, when you’re hearing all the soaring rhetoric about “core values” and spreading them to you, and all the other pie-in-the-sky, to remember that sometimes ACTIONS speak so loudly they drown out all the hollow words.

      • Conspiracy theory here? At our council meeting, all the people there were in favor – no one was opposed. The discussion was about how to integrate – not if. So from where I sat, 100 people were for it – no one against it. But you’re absolutely right. Actions do speak loudly. And BSA made a bold move in the right direction!

  54. Today, October 11, 2017—a date which will live in infamy—the Boy Scouts of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by its own Board of Directors.

  55. The BSA lost their way in 2013 when they allowed the LGBT lobbyists to bully them into changing their membership policy (boys)…again in 2015 (adult leaders), and early 2017 (girls identifying as boys). This is just the latest distortion of what was one a great organization resulting from a weak national leadership that did not have the courage to stop this death-spiral back in 2013.

    • Get ready for the next agenda item – the removal of shooting activities (rifles, archery, etc) from “Boy” Scouts. All it apparently takes is someone to complain that shooting activities promote violence. And the Board will cower. (I’m sure they’re preparing the surveys now.)

      • I imagine that firearms at the minimum will be totally banned by the BSA in less than 5 years. The only chance it won’t is because they get a lot of money from the firearms industry promoting shooting sports and gun safety. Oh what a dilemma… “my liberal political agenda or my pocketbook.” Their heads might explode trying to decide that one.

    • You realize that there were plenty of gay people involved with Scouting before 2013 and 2015, right? I’m a gay Eagle Scout, and many members of the local NESA chapter are also gay. We’ve always been a part of Scouting. I’m glad that young people like me won’t have to lie about who they are to earn their Eagle anymore.

  56. My 2 children are 11 mos apart. We tried Girl Scouts , but was not a fit for us and as stated earlier it was hard to find a troop that was open for new members.
    I enjoy the experience of Cub Scouting with my AOL and know in a “drop of a dime” his sister would join. I was waiting until she was old enough to join the Crew. I think it will be hard finding enough girls to make a Den / Patrol. Just thinking about the camping is enough trouble with boys and adding girls to it makes my head spin. 2 deep leadership will be a challenge also with camping and hiking.
    I think it would great having my daughter and son reaching Eagle at the same time, but apart of me still feels this would take away some of the moment away from my son who has been in Scouts since he was a Wolf

    • I’m so glad I’m here to support you and your daughter! Why not help yourself to more of my stuff? Food? Drink? Cash? My family Bible?

      Thievery is thievery, trespassing is trespassing.

    • Nice tongue-in-cheek comment. Sadly, the “free Palm” issue needed nothing to draw attention away from it. It appears that it has largely died even among those who care (cared ?) about it and certainly, it seems, it is long since dead among those who allegedly are reviewing it at BSA.

      I foolishly had the passing thought that since someone was doing something official and public at BSA today, the NPR might also be addressed. In light of today’s action by BSA, I recognize I better be careful what I wish for. We might get another of what Mike W. so eloquently described above, as a “steaming pile just laid in front of us.”

  57. I am happy to hear of the inclusion of girls in to the boy scouts in all of the age groups. It is my opinion that this inclusion be for the program as currently written. The way that I am reading this anoucment is that they will have a similar but not exactly the same program or if you read between the lines it is says the boy scouts wants to increase our membership numbers but does not want to include the girls in the same program. I believe that this is not what those responding to your survey want. I also believe that it would better for the scouting movement that everyone follows the same requirements. It has worked for venturing and it is how it works around the world. I encouge those at national to really consider why there would have to be two separate programs. Is it because out name says “boy” or is this what is the donors want (this should never be the reason), or is this what the scout movement and our customers, the youth that we serve, want? I think when you decide on the program for the girls the last part should be the only reason do make a decion, is this what are customers, the youth that we serve, want and is this the best for the scouting movement.

    • Or is it because boys and girls are different and have different needs? What people want and what is good for them are often not the same.

      • lets see… both boys and girls need to be good citizens. Both need to be leaders. Both need to learn that service is important. Both need to understand scout oath and law. What am I missing? What’s this magical different needs?

  58. When will the BSA publish the results from the survey? I assume since the decision was made to add girls to Boy Scouts that there should be nothing to hide so no problem releasing the survey results. I know from all the people I have spoken to the overwhelming majority was against it, seeing comment here and on Mike Surbaugh’s twitter reaction matches what I heard. It seems like a lot of effort was spent producing a video, a survey and collecting the results to simply ignore them. BSA needs to learn that a bird in the hand (the current BSA membership) is worth more than two in the bush (people outside of scouting who clamor for it to change who will realistically never join).
    BSA should have taken notice that its membership was not for this change and respect the thoughts if its membership. This decision was forced due to BSA having to replace the loss of all the LDS units, instead of learning that when you go against your core membership you loose members BSA choose to compound one bad decision with another.

    • At the local council meeting I went to – over 100 Scouting volunteers for this – non against. So it seems to be a no-brainer this is moving forward. I’m sorry it’s not what you hoped for. But it’s the right decision – just like it was the right decision in 2013. I hope you can accept this and help BSA transition over the next couple of years to where both boys and girls can benefit from this amazing program.

    • In asking for results from the study we need to be careful to ask for the exact questions which were asked. It’s way too easy to reword the question and make it look like the answers met what is wanted.

  59. As a den leader and unit committee members, as well as a parent of a Cub Scout and Girl Scout, I have mixed feelings s about this decision. I like that they have different programs to go to, and can do things with just the boys or just the girls. On the other hand Cub Scouts has a better program, and is definitely more welcoming for families. Sisters of our pack members have always participated in events. There are even some Gurl Scout events that tjr parents cannot participate in, only the troop leaders. If Girl Scouts was more welcoming an had abetter program, this wouldn’t have been an issue.

        • Having girls join Scouting certainly won’t garbagify Scouting – that horribly demeans girls. BSA (or whatever the new name will be) will be a much better organization going forward. I hope GSA can mount a competitive program – but they haven’t listened to their rank and file in years. BSA listens and adapts. If you don’t adapt – you die.

  60. I’m sorry but this is absolutely a horrible idea!!!! I am an Eagle Scout and have been involved with scouting for the last 10 years serving in various roles including Committee Chair for a Pack and my son’s current Troop. NOT ONE WORD of this came down the pipe to get our feedback!!!! This is a money grab and trying for an easy way to bring money in because the old fashion grass roots program is not working like it use too. I can only imagine for every girl that joins we will have boys leaving or not even considering to join. BSA has proved itself as the place to make young boys become young men and future leaders in our community. A place where boys can be boys and not worry about the peer pressure of impressing the girls but impressing each other and their leaders/ role models. I can understand the appeal for the girls and it should!!! It should inspire the Girls Scouts to look at their program and offer a program to help young girls to become the young women and future leaders in our community.

    Without a doubt Scouting needs an overhaul with new marketing, imaging and branding (for example drop the “boy” and just call it Scouting). Develop advertising and marketing campaigns about how great scouting is, especially for the single parent wanting role models for their son to look up to and admire. Here is an idea — the products sold thru the BSA stores are low quality and expensive. The average new scout can easily spend $500 on clothing and equipment within the first year (sleeping back, backpack, tent/hammock, tools, etc.) and all but the uniform is spent elsewhere like Sports Authority, Amazon, Walmart, REI, etc. If the merchandise was high quality that rivaled the top gear offer by top companies in camping and at lower prices, they would make enough to fund the program without have to go this route. ($400 x 10000 new scouts = $4,0000,000 at 30% margin would be $1,200,000 in profit that is being spent elsewhere. My point is there are avenues to jazz up the appeal of Scouting, to increase membership, increase areas of revenues, and continue and strengthen a program that appeals to today’s boys. Instead, they are hanging onto the old ways that just do not translate to today’s youth. Instead of updating and moving forward, their plan is to push the same old program onto to the girls thinking that will fix everything? I don’t think so.

  61. I am so glad for my granddaughter. But I am not a happy camper and I have concern for my grandsons. No, I see this as an erosion of what we offer boys. I have seen the girls take over leadership in Venturing crews. They girls mature faster. They boys will lose opportunities for leadership and growth. I fear that the girls parents will erode the program like they did girls scouts. There will implementation problems. You will need female leadership on all campouts. You will need dual facilities. All this can be overcome, but it will hurt the program in the short term and not make it stronger long term Scouting in UK is coed and it is almost dead there. I don’t know who they talked to about this. Most of the Scouters I know were against it. They only good thing is that not many middle age girls won’t want this. A few will. My daughters were all gun-ho until they hit puberty. I can see cubs working ok, but not traditional Boy Scouts. Not going to be good except for a few.

    • My daughter and their friends will finish their Gold – because that’s all GSA offers them. They are sad they couldn’t take part in the new BSA program. Most of the Scouters I talked with are excited about the new program. There’s a way to make this work – I’m committed to work with BSA to figure this out over the next few years for both the boys and girls – both deserve the opportunities that BSA provides.

  62. So girls will have their own boy scout program?

    Way to go BSA, upholding the proud tradition of “separate but equal.”

    Don’t worry, the BSA will reach the 20th century soon enough.

  63. I agree with Randy. Where are the results of the survey? National said this was a “conversation”. Seems more like a “Rush to judgment”…..

      • Terrible idea. First gays then trans, now girls. So much for making boys men. I am rolling over in my grave. What utter nonsense. It is the BOY scouts.

        • Every civilized nation in the world has co-ed Scouting. Why shouldn’t America? And us gays have always been a part of Scouting. Sorry that you have to acknowledge that now.

  64. Just when you thought the national leadership couldn’t do anything more stupid, they roll out this. They have been constantly degrading the honor of Scouting. The declining membership is because they are DRIVING present Scouts away.

  65. This fact sheet explained many of the questions that I feel the parents of my Troop will have, as the Boy Scout age group seems to be getting the most negative attention. It appears that it will be a separate group so it does not look to me like it will be co-ed. I am all for the organization and plan for Cub Scouts, as I feel it will bring in many new families that don’t have the time to split between 2 organizations.

    Everyone seems to be afraid of the unknown (at least the parents). I think the Scouts will deal with the changes just fine.

  66. Let’s look at this. We are one of the few countries without coed scouts. Did any of the paid executives of scouting go to any of these countries and find out how to get this going or was this just a financial decision? I think we need to give the girls the chance to be scouts but it needs to be separate troops with female leaders and male leaders as advisors till they feel they understand the program. I know there are female Scout Masters out there and they do a great job running their troops, but there are males there also to work with the scouts. I think males in charge of a group of females would be a little challenging to say the least. Let’s look at summer camp. Would the sessions need to be devided into male and female weeks? Our council uses wall tents. I think privacy would be a problem.
    In Cub Scouts we have two council run camping events a year. Would we need to make that 4 events–2 female and 2 male? It costs a lot to get the camps and plan the activities and not to mention the volunteers’ time.
    Most of the volunteers had no say in this decision. Why was there no vote on this by the people who do the work–The “Volunteers” that run Boy Scouts? I think each Pack and each Troop should have had a vote to see if this change should have been made. This is another example of top making the decisions and the people that do the work have no say.
    If the Scouting program starts losing good leaders, I think the people at the top need to look in the mirror and they will see the reason.

    • BSA doesn’t do “voting”. I get ballots in the mail every month to vote on some non-governmental thing; corporate boards of directors, trade association boards and leaders, etc but the BSA would have an implosion if the rank and file and the people who actually work with the boys had a say in National policy.

  67. How does the BSA plan to keep the LDS units with this kind of unilateral change to the very foundation of what Scouting is? There may be more problems than solutions with this cataclysmic surrender to public opinions. You gave in, BSA. You capitulated, you compromised on who you were, and things are not going to get any better from here.

  68. I couldn’t be more disappointed. From reading the comments here, I am sure I am in a small minority. Society is moving toward gender neutrality. This isn’t it, but it is a move in that direction. In my opinion, that is not good. Boys need programs that prepare them for manhood and teach them what it is like to be an honorable man. Of course, girls need the same thing with regards to womanhood. They are not the same thing and they each need something different. Scouting was one of the only places that boys could come to gather as young men where everything was about helping them grow into manhood. That will soon be gone and then where do young men go? It seems that scouting, in an attempt to embrace everything and everyone, may someday find that they have lost their way and will need more than a compass and an orienteering course to find their way out of the woods.

  69. I have the perspective of being an FFA member and advisor as well as a scout leader. I attended the National FFA Convention as a youth the year it became co-ed, 1969. I believe the FFA became a lot more of a social organization and a lot less focused on program after the induction of girls. I also observed this in 4-H. There is nothing wrong with being socially oriented but I believe organizations that focus on program definitely have value also. I am glad to see that there will be separate dens for boys and girls, so I hope this carries over to troops also. I think it is positive to have scouting made available to girls also.

    • Exactly! At my school, FFA officers are now all female. The boys let the girls run the show. This is what I was talking about in an earlier post above. Boys will lead other boys, but if girls are around they tend to want to look cool and disinterested. We are raising a generation of boys that are not learning much about leadership. BOY Scouts was one of the last places they still learned those important skills. I’m not sexist, I think females are equally gifted in leadership, if not more so in some cases. But I don’t think it’s wrong to have a few places left in our society that can be just for boys to be boys without competing with girls and competing with each other for girls. It changes everything.

      I remember growing up, girls were in fha and boys were in ffa. 4H was coed, and the camp had two separate facilities on each side of the lake for boys and girls. Outside of the elimination of learning leadership for boys, where will our camps get the money to build all these new facilities?

      • Ray, Boys will continue to go camping, backpacking and hiking with boys. Girls will go camping, backpacking and hiking with girls. Both are in the same program doesn’t mean they are coed. In summer camp, there can be camp spots for girls and camp spots for boys. You don’t need new facilities for this.

        • Nope… In a few years they’ll integrate to make it coed out of convenience – won’t be enough leaders for girls troop or too small numbers for separate groups. And they’ll leave it up to individual councils and units to figure out the logistics.

  70. I am a mom of two a boy and a girl. I see both sides of this. I am extremely happy that my daughter will get to do something that interesting for her. We have tried Girl Scouts (great program) but as my daughter told me “they didn’t do the fun things.” She is a tom by and likes to do the “Boy things”. BB gun, Archery, Wrist rockets etc. The Girl Scouts do not offer the same adventures as the Boys Scouts does. She goes to most of the Den and Pack meetings, she goes on all the camping trips the only difference now is that she will get recognized for what she does. Can’t wait for this to start!!!

  71. I can’t say that I’m excited about how this is rolling out.

    The notion that there is a choice for a Pack to remain “all boy” is just asking for needless contention. There really is no choice on this for most of us — if you stay with boys-only, you become a target for whatever parent (or cause) disagrees. No-win. The only “choice” is to adopt the new approach which is likely to create disruption of its own for the families who disagree with this change.

    I fully agree that the values and lessons of the BSA scouting program are something that should be open to girls. Ideally, this would be done by expanding Venturing or working with the Girl Scout organization. Have parallel Packs for girls, not just Dens. This enables “joint pack events” as an option instead of forcing pack meetings all co-ed.

    I do not agree that driving to an integrated co-ed environment is either necessary or superior to what we are doing to shape boys into good men. If that opinion makes me sexist or unenlightened, I guess I’m okay with that. Sorry for the cynicism, but social change engineering and money seems to be the most important thing these days and anyone who doesn’t agree is labeled a neanderthal.

  72. So, Bryan, you seem to be an honest person. You think this is a good thing, but I think that may be in a large part because that’s what you were told. “Everyone wants girls in Boy Scouts!” But, let’s see if that’s really the case.

    Now as I said, you seem to be pretty honest. Take a look at the reactions here, and especially the ratings. I’d say the upvotes for posts that disagree with this decision outnumber the downvotes by a very wide margin. And while this may be a very unscientific poll, I think it certainly gives lie to the idea that this is somehow a universally championed change. And if it’s not, then you’re not getting good information from the National Organization, and that should raise a very large red flag.

    Honestly, I think BSA leadership has an agenda and they’re going to implement it regardless of what we, the rank and file, care. Why is this the first time you’ve written about it, for instance? Why is it that even the Girl Scouts didn’t know about this until August? Would you like to really ensure some integrity? Now that we all know about this, BSA should commission another, transparent poll. If it is as universally desired as you say, another poll should show it. And if you care about Scouting as much as you say, you should want to know.

    What do you think?

  73. I’m a scoutmaster. BSA has my email and sends junk mail frequently but I never heard a word from them about massive policy changes or got any kind of survey.

  74. Look to other scouts of the world. Also I can see some problems on camp outs. Keeping things separate but working together. If you ask most men why they did not get there Eagle it because they drop out because of sports or girls. Why are talking about this it is a done deal anyway it going to happen we just need to adjust and carry on. We water down requirements look at the older books so we can stay with current trends. It just means we will have more boys being clean.

  75. Being in Scouts for 30+ years, and observing things and people, a part of me is happy that girls will be allowed in, because many like the BSA Program better, but another part of me is very sad, because in todays times, nothing is sacred anymore. No respect.

  76. It was hard enough going on outings where there were a troop of boys and a troop of girls at the same site and the adults had problems keeping the senior scouts from sneaking out late at night for a secret gathering. How will they address these situation. It’s an invite waiting to happen. When it does, they’ll come after the troop leaders. At least in Venturing, they have a little more maturity, in some cases. Question: Can a Boy earn the GOLD award in GSA?

  77. As a current Scoutmaster I say good for the girls but they will have to do it without me. I won’t be a part of it. The boys of this nation are in trouble. They are more likely to go to prison and less likely to go to college then their sisters and they need Boy Scouting more than ever. Instead of opening the program to girls, national should have been aggressively marketing the Boy Scouts to under served boys.

    • Doesn’t mean BSA shouldn’t work with undeserved markets as well. But there’s no reason girls can’t be a part of this. Sure – it’s not the way we’ve always done it. But why should girls be locked out of a great program? When you make it for boy sons and daughters, it sure makes it easier for a family to manage it. I’m sorry to see you go. I’ll be working overtime to train new leaders for the ‘sister’ Troop we will be creating – we will need experienced leaders to help.

  78. I don’t know how I am going to deal with this if my son’s troop starts to accept girls. My son went to Jambo in the summer, before he went I encouraged him to go meet scouts from different countries. When he came home I asked if he did and he said no. His contingent was forbidden to go the Foxtrot Campsite (where all the female scouts were) unless an adult leader came along. . I asked why and he said because sexual harassment was filed and there were boys walking around looking for sex. I am sure with enough manpower anything can be achieved, but take my troop as an example, we canceled our camping trips more than once because we didn’t have enough adults going. I honestly don’t know how this is going to work.

    • We’ll be starting a sister Troop so we can leverage committee members and ASMs. I’m hoping to figure out how we can do things jointly so we can have more resources to draw from. This is an exciting challenge.

  79. Disappointing, I know I’m old school (but so are most of scouting’s values). Time are changing. I can honestly say though once my son finishes his Eagle next year we’ll end our relationship with this once great program.

    • The values are enshrined in the Scout Law and Oath. That sure doesn’t prevent girls from joining. Long overdue change. I’m sorry to see you go – we will need experienced leaders to help out with the transition. That’s why I’m staying on – after my son has gone to college.

    • I assume you’re being sarcastic, which is a shame. Why shouldn’t your daughter earn the Welding or Motorboating merit badges if she wants to?

  80. The homogenization of our society continues. Gender neutrality is becoming more and more of a reality. One more American traditon destroyed by the Progressive and NOW. The Girl Scouts of America should be very upset.

  81. Why not just expand Venturing to ages 5 to 21 and give all the Venturers the opportunity to earn Eagle, not just those who earned First Class as a Boy Scout?

  82. Completely incensed by this nonsense.

    Scouts for four years Den Leader for three

    Our Sons are in BOY/Cub Scouts. We put them in Scouts in order for them to have the opportunity to grow as young men with other young men. BOYS ARE NOT GIRLS and as such have VERY different needs, interests and goals as they develop.

    Families upset w/Girl Scouts NEED TO GET INVOLVED!!!
    Girls should certainly learn how to change their tires, plugs and wires etc but that is up to parents to work with Girl Scouts to change things for their GIRLS NOT FOR OUR BOYS!

    In Boy Scouts, after cub, as hormones are raging, it’s just another opportunity for promiscuity and girls to meet boys etc I for one, want my sons involved in just ONE SINGLE THING they can do separate from any girl involvement in their formative years. They need time to be with other boys to just be boys!

    There are A PLETHORA of options for girls coming to BOY/Cub Scout meetings. Parent volunteers who bring their daughters can do a HUGE variety of ideas but not the BOY Scout program – This is formulated and implemented for BOYS to help them as they become young men and grow into manhood! This will inevitably be molded to suit the girls NOT ALRIGHT!

    and I’m sorry, but SERIOUSLY??? Exactly how many teenage girls are interested in Boy Scouts? GIVE ME A BREAK!

    My Sons deserve the opportunity to work with other boys to become what every Eagle Scout I’ve ever met is and I’ve met a LOT from 13 to 80, A stable, courteous, respectful, caring Man/young Man.

    This is simply a liberal push to degender our society and emasculate boys and men.

    Go meet with some Eagle Scouts. Then really give this a good long contemplative thought about your Son and if you truly believe he will turn out anything like these fine young men after girls are added to the mix and the entire program is twisted into a gender neutral mess!

    Make no mistake, that’s the path it’s headed down! There is NO WAY the program can remain as it is if girls are added. Not to mention how we will be able to call ourselves the BOY Scouts of America any longer? Boy/Girl Scouts? Family Scouts? NO THANK YOU!

    This isn’t about girls and their opportunities They need opportunities separate from boys as do the boys! It’s about a leftist agenda and the unwillingness (laziness) of parents to make a positive change to Girl Scouts.


    • Ms. Avery, I just have one thing to say to you. “I couldn’t have said it better!”

      Scouts for 11 years, den leader for 2 years.

    • Friend, write a letter to the Board of Directors,
      otherwise be a Pack /Troop that offers a male-only program.

      Corporate BSA makes the rules in BSA,
      Franchises (Units) can discuss with the Chartered Orgs, leaders and parents on how to implement (or to remain single gender).

      My fear is that I won’t have enough leadership adults to execute the mandated program.
      Dan, Cubmaster, Popcorn, Tiger Leader, and Web Administrator for Pack 967 , Baltimore area.

  83. I am a former LDS scoutmaster who was not invited to opine. I would have given this “improvement” a thumb down and joined the one% in negative vote even though I was raising daughters at the time and had to leave them home all the duration of my tenure. I do not remember them wanting to join in, nor did I want them along. They had their own separate week of Girls Camp which served up all the ‘ruffing it’ that piqued their interest.

    • As a Wolf Den Leader, what training did I receive to explain what my Wolf Den boys will hear of Thursday from their friends? How do I explain this to the parents? Why was this policy change happen without voice from Packs and Troops? Why was this not made a public issue to debate? I have been in Boy Scouting 13+ years; Eagle Scout with two palms and adult leader. I feel betrayed and honestly don’t know if I want my son to continue. We have a great program now, but I don’t have alot of hope for the future. As another said above, BSA has lost the path. They will find they have disappointed many volunteers and young men. I think membership will drop.
      I am hopeful, for now, the backlash might stop this before it gets too far.

      • Absolutely! Bear Den Leader & I am furious on so many levels but you sum up nicely as far as No input, voice, opinion, debate, from we volunteers who have to deal w/our Den Meetings next week and the flood of questions we have NO answer to (already had questions popcorn selling today!)

        Oldest about to cross over in Feb youngest in my Bear Den – My husband and I are discussing this all in great depth and unsure if we will continue. If they continue this path membership will most certainly fall WAY off. Hopeful of same!

  84. I think this is a good opportunity for girls and boys. I am in BSA as a scout and I have mixed feelings about this vote. Again I think that this is a good opportunity and I am not saying that I don’t want girls to join Boy Scouts. I think that it a little bit takes away from the boy in Boy Scouts because they could have made the Venture Scout join age from 14-21 to 11-21. Because that takes a way from the boy and girl speciality of Venture Scouts. I think the Venture Scout join age is a little high. I do not disagree with this vote because I am excited for my sister to join my troop in two years when she is 11. I am excited to see girls join the Boy Scout community. I went to a camporee once that wan led by Venture Scouts and there were boys and girls leading some of the competitions. I still have mixed feelings about this vote.

  85. One potential negative from my view point is that a lot of the women volunteers will move to the girl oriented programs leaving the boys programs high and dry. Unfortunately a lot of fathers just don’t want to be bothered.

    To me, reading between the lines, boys and girls will not be integrated at the troop level as described for the pack level. I think you will have a boys troop and a girls troop but not a mixed troop

    I am in favor of allowing girls. My daughter had a strong interest in the program and often helped with activities my son was participating in. Other counties have long allowed girls in their program and I’m sure they have worked the bugs out.

  86. Regardless of whether folks think letting girls into packs and troops is good or bad, we can at least look forward to national rolling back the recently announced membership fee increase after the revenue bump from signing up all those girls………….Yeah, right.

  87. I was a fan of my daughters being in Venture Scouts… but not Boy Scouts.

    Yes, we are all being blind-sided. This surprise is not trustworthy nor helpful. I personally don’t agree with [the jerks playing gender-politics at] BSA HQ who quite obviously manipulate survey results, and think this is a huge mistake with larger strategic consequences than just BSA alone. This appears to be yet another irreverent attempt to make girls “the same” as boys, and takes away the wonderful God-given gender identities of each in the process. Or was it just about the money?

    From my perspective, the nation, more than ever, needs masculine young men; today’s decision is another step away from that. BSA was already on thin ice; now they are in deep water. We all have the ability to go elsewhere… or to just take our sons camping on our own. Maybe we should just do that.

      • Logical result is that the units will end as coed.
        Currently there are problem with finding adult leaders, funding, meeting times that don’t conflict with other activities, getting support from chartered organizations, and local Districts having funding to develop camp sites.
        The logical solution for these problems is to merge gender separate Troops into a coed Troop. It just becomes a matter of when.
        I would suggest we start a pool to see who gets the year correct. At least we can have some fun.

        • 2019. Already had units say they will merge. Mentioned it at TH and the key three had a “yeah we know” expression on their faces.

  88. We were legit talking about is at a camp-out a few months ago about the day/ year that this would happen. We just didn’t think it would have been so soon.

  89. Has BSA gone bananas!? Please let boys be boys and have their own club!!! I thoroughly support Girls Scouts creating an Eagle rank. If BSA insists on being soft and allowing all genders/preferences/whatevers, then they need to drop “Boys” from Boy Scouts of America.

  90. If Baden Powell founded the BSA and not long after a similar, but SEPARATE Girl’s program a bit later, if he intended it to be mixed, then he had ample opportunity to do so, but he did not. Speculating that he DID intend boys and girls to be in the same programs, together, is just that – speculation. Hallmark institutions that have been established for many years, seems to be targets for those whose only goal is to tear things down, under the guise of being “progressive”. What’s wrong with having separate programs?

    Nothing seems to be sacred anymore, traditions mean nothing. How about girl’s wanting to play on boys sports teams, or vice versa? Or boys wanting to be on a pom pom squad. Is that next? Why aren’t there stories or anyone raising a stink about young women being allowed in a “Male” fraternity, or vice versa? Just crazy, crazy stuff.

    Yes, I understand that troops can elect to continue to be boys only but… unfortunately the world is so darn litigious,it will only take a lawsuit (and there will people who will guarantee it being front page news and on every social media outlet) to force it into policy.

  91. Based on my quick survey of one I’m suspecting there are few current Cub Scouts who are enthusiastic about this decision.

  92. PC, PC, PC that’s what this is all about. Sad BSA fell into the hands of complainers/troublemakers. My son is an Eagle Scout and his words are …American traditions are slowly being removed. Let boys be boys and girls be girls!

  93. Wow – another conspiracy theorist. I took part in a council feedback session where all attendees (over 100 from what I could tell) were for this change – only question came up with the mechanics. As a Troop Committee Chair, I fully welcome this overdue change. We’re moving forward to figure this out and make it happen.

  94. I also believe this is a huge mistake for Boy Scouting. The older boys do not desire to have girls along on their outings, in fact they have specifically stated that they enjoy the time away from female pressures.
    Our council had a meeting for input on this issue barely two months ago and we were told this decision would be carefully thought out after the information from the leaders was collated. There was not overwhelming support, most particularly at the Boy Scout level here but no actual results have been shared to date.
    As a leader at both Cub Scout and Boy Scout levels, this is not a direction we need to go. We could have collaborated with GSA to ‘beef’ up their older girl program, They do a great job with the younger Daisies and Brownies but lack strength at the upper levels. This will destroy the GSA program and we don’t seem to care.
    Before you jump on this, take a very good look at what happened to the Boy Scouts of Canada and Britain after a similar announcement. The boys have gone away.

  95. This change does. Ot seem well thought-out at all. The first I even heard about it was when GSA griped about the BSA decision in a newscast! I’ve been involved in Scouting since I was in Cubs, 56 years ago in El Segundo,CA. Over the years, I’ve given my time and money to my Scout units, but felt my money going to Council was wasted. The only contact with professional scouters was when new programs, with new, costly books and manuals were announced.
    This unilateral decision to integrate females into the BOY Scouts should have been discussed with the backbone of Scouting, we volunteers.
    I fear this plan will harm, if not kill, Boy Scouting. I totally agree that girls have little options, given all that Girl Scouts fail to provide. Change THEIR program. Do not emasculate ours.
    I do not want my grandsons exposed to the Godless liberal feminist agenda, as will surely appear when we try to show respect to God and my Country. Respect for the flag? Clearly outmoded. Rifle and Shotgun merit badge? Oh, how warlike. Let’s replace it with sensitivity training. And these uniform colors the boys wear! Oh, just stay out!

  96. I have a 15 year old daughter who participated in Girl Scouts until she was 12. She was a top seller of Girl Scout cookies, and a leader among her peers. When the troop went camping at the Maquoketa Caves State Park, we were at a camp site near two Boy Scout troops. When it came time to get down and dirty crawling through mud, and facing bats and spiders, our daughter led the way, saying that if the boys could do it, so could the girls. I loved to see her spunky, fiesty spirit. From that point forward, though, she found Girl Scouts either lame – with summer camp programs that focused more on froo-froo and fun, and not as much on true skill building. And Girl Scouts made it darn near impossible for girls to acquire the ranks of Bronze, Silver, and Gold – with requirements and approvals that were far more difficult for busy girls to get than the Eagle Award for boys. Growing up, she was once of those little sisters at picnics, Blue and Gold Banquets and Pine Wood Derby races participating alongside her older brother. This past year, she watched with pride as her big brother received his Eagle award. All along the way, she wished she could do the same things her older brother did. Earning badges for learning how to handle a gun, whittling, repairing things around the home all seemed like much more fun, and much more useful than the Girl Scouts’ Eating for Beauty badge. (The focus of which is eating healthy but the unfortunate name leaves a bad taste). We are hoping that the ball gets rolling soon enough that she can have the opportunity to achieve the Eagle Award before she turns 18 in the fall of 2020.

  97. I have the privilege being in BSA in Europe and see international units that are co-ed. I hope that the BSA allows single gendered or mixed gendered troops. We do not need a separate girls program. The reality is that the girls will emerge as the gifted leaders in Scouting. Just get ready for this! The OA now should start allowing Ventures females to go through Ordeal.

    The program will be stronger.

    Oh…we need to change to Scouting USA…

  98. Just as Packs can stay all-boy if they choose, notice nothing is said about Troops in 2019. I expect there will be all-girl Troops and all-boy Troops. No where does it say a Troop has to be Co-Ed. An all-girl Troop has all the rights and privileges as an all-boy troop. Our Chartering Organization will not allow co-ed troops.

    • Pretty sure that the girls will have an entirely separate parallel program, not separate Boy Scout troops. Really what it will be is Girl Scouts, or what Girl Scouts should be.

  99. To BSA’s leadership:
    You guys are captains of industry and I’m not.
    You are all millionaires many times over and I’m not.
    You are probably graduates of Ivy League schools and geniuses, and I’m not. I’m just a regular dad.

    But I’ll tell you this: I am the gatekeeper to your access to my son, and that’s not going to change.
    I don’t need scouting to do fun things with my son. We can go fishing and backpacking and all the rest all on our own just fine. And truthfully, the hassle factor is a lot less.

    So, you should ask yourselves why someone like me is involved in scouting, and the answer is values. I want some help transmitting a certain set of values to my son and I enjoy being part of an organization that shares those values. So when you start tinkering with those values you are altering our relationship at a fundamental level and causing me to question that relationship.

    When you decided to let gays and lesbians in and take over leadership roles you lost a sizable number of participants. They will not be replaced by new people from the groups you are catering to because that demographic has no interest in the things that BSA traditionally represents. As the program gets more and more watered down and inevitably larded up with more modern day gobbledygook your numbers will continue a long, steady decline. If I’m right BSA will become a remnant of something great that once-was, and fade into the pages of historical Americana.

    I would rather BSA be a much smaller organization that is true to its values than to try to serve everybody by submitting to the culture and standing for nothing. I don’t think that is going to work for you.

    My father was an Eagle Scout and son is an Eagle Scout who is now off to college. I would like to say that one day I will camp with a troop that my grandsons are in but that is very much in question right now. I can’t say that and that should bother you. You should think about that.

  100. I am longtime Scouter and frequent visitor of scouts internationally. I raised 3 boys in scouts (now fathers themselves). Many people don’t realize that the BSA was the only scouting org that didn’t completely support girls. Whenever I have gone and stayed at the Lord Baden Powell facility in London or other international locations, I always observe streams of troops from all over the world making their pilgrimages/having their events, mixed with smiling faces of both boys and girls, all ages. This change is good for BSA and reflects the world we live in.

    The best part is that I adopted a little girl several years ago. She is 9. I recently complained to my wife that I wasn’t excited about Girl Scouts and wanted for my daughter what our boys all had. Now she can and both together can enjoy scouting together with BSA values. Awesome day for us! Cant wait to get the dutch oven out and cooking again.

  101. Oh – one further fact

    #6 – This is United States of America. We’ve done what other countries couldn’t or wouldn’t because we’ve tried to stand on the moral values of our founding fathers. Just because everyone else is doing doesn’t mean it’s right. It just means they are doing it. I don’t think there is a scouter on here that would tell their charges to do what everyone else is doing instead of standing up for what they believe and trying to do what’s right.

  102. Sad day for what was once a proud organization. The quest for money raises its ugly head once again.
    In order for our national leaders(?) to keep their large salaries they decide amongst themselves to attempt to increase membership and dues at any cost. Their concern for all the volunteers, the ones that actually run the organization and will be blamed when their experiment falls apart is nonexistent.
    How long will it be when a girl’s parents decide that the name Boy Scouts is discriminatory and sues for a name change?
    As a member for over 30 years I cannot be a part of the organization, that I was once proud of, during its demise. I have informed my troop that I will not be re chartering this year.
    The current leadership has shown over the past several years that have no use for the Scout Oath, Law and values the organization was based on.

  103. I have had the honor to serve as my son’s den leader for the past year and change. Of all of the things that the BSA has done during that time, this is, in my opinion, one of the few decisions that I think is positive. We have several sisters who have been along for the journey, attending den meetings, campouts, pinewood derby (in the outlaw division), and even the district-wide scout olympics that our pack hosts (in their own “den”),.

    The only problem I have with this effort is the separate den proposal. As we are a small pack and have had problem finding den leaders, I am a little concerned about us finding an additional leader. I have already decided that if we have young ladies join next year and there is not someone who steps up, that I would be willing to lead the equivalent den as well. We would probably have our fair share of joint den meetings, but that happens at times when there is a topic of interest (e.g., tiger den doing a magic show or a veteran sharing their experience with the wolf den).

  104. This is crushingly disappointing. I remember when BSA one in the Supreme Court that they have the right to set their membership requirements, a spokesman for the organization stated they absolutely believe this is the right policy for BSA. That’s a near quote. Then, a few years later they reversed the policy (gay scouts), then again (gay leadership), then again (transgender) and now again (girls). What is nationals teaching the boys about honor, values, tradition and a whole host of other things?

    How about being trustworthy to lead the organization faithfully?
    How about being loyal to the membership that has brought it to where it is?

    I could go on, but I think I begin to make the point. The real issue here is nationals. We could do with a lot less fat cats, pensions, magazines and dithering mouthpieces etc and a whole lot more honor and duty to the principals that have been at the core of this organization. Without all the weight at the top, I think the ship would be a lot more sound…and democratic too.

    This talk of Scouting for families and all that tripe is a trojan horse. Boy Scouts is for BOYS, not families. Sure, families are important, and are a part of BSA, but this is about teaching boys and young men to be men of character. When were girls ever a concern of Boy Scouts beyond peripheral associations.

    I have a daughter that I love dearly, and it saddens me that there is not a girl’s organization in our area that offers her the opportunities that Boy Scouts offers, but that does not mean that Boy Scouts should be offered up on the alter of inconclusiveness so she and girls like her get what they want. Her brothers will lose out.

    This whole thing has me heart broken. I loved Boy Scouts. My oldest son has been a Wolf for exactly 28 days. I have jumped in as the Wolf den leader, renewed in the OA and have been proudly putting together a new uniform after years of being inactive with regards to Boy Scouts. Now this rolls along and I am already rethinking my and my son’s participation. It is not simply because of girls being involved. It is because of that and so many other capitulations by nationals. What will they capitulate on next? Do I want to continue to endure the consequences of their underhanded, uneven, undemocratic, unconcerned and, frankly, dishonest leadership for years to come? I don’t know that I can…

    • My son has been in scouting for 3 years. I am a den leader and recruitment chair for our den. My husband is cub master. Scouting has been good for our son. I can’t get on board for this. People talk about safe spaces all the time. When our sons need one I guess they don’t count.

  105. I like it but I don’t I lnow that my daughter could not wait to be 14 and join Venture she had seen all the stuff her brothers did but as a leader in a pack not sure that I’m ready for girls in cub scouts I think there may be more problems later and I have trouble getting leaders now I will need more

  106. I have already read from Zach Wahls who pressured the BSA on the gay issue that God is next.
    We gave an inch to the people who hate our values and they continue to want a mile.
    It is only a matter of time until God and Faith are removed from the program or it becomes optional in the name of “fairness or inclusion or what ever they want to call it”
    It’s a sad day for the BSA

    • “Reverent” will undoubtedly be replaced with “Respectful.”
      They will also try to drop “Boy” and just call it “Scouts” or something, but that will be seen as offensive to Native Americans so it’ll end up being “Adventure Youth” or some such.

      No sarcasm here. Look for a new Eagle required “diversity” merit badge and some kind of mandatory “inclusiveness” and “sensitivity” training to come out soon. There is no satisfying these people.

      When the last remnant of the organization is sanitized of its traditions and heritage and BSA is a shell of its former self the Left will celebrate their achievement and move on.

  107. I am so disappointed with BSA. I agree with the GSA that the BSA should have focused on recruiting and providing a program for the 90% of boys who aren’t scouts, not expand to girls. There is a lot of untapped ‘customer base’, but they took the liberal road. I hope a lot of girls join to replace the disaffected boys who will now leave.

    I love the comment from a BSA spokesperson who declared “We have no intention of changing our name!”. Like that matters.

  108. To all the holdouts from the 2013 debacle, I realize you wanted your sons to have the great Scouting experience you had a a kid. I saw the writing on the wall in 2013, and removed our family from the BSA as a vote of no confidence in the national leadership. It was the toughest decision I had to make as a parent to date, but I have no regrets–only sadness for a once great organization. In case this latest volley of ignorance isn’t enough for you to see, the BSA as we know it is dead. In fact, it’s been dead since May, 2013. R.I.P. BSA. You served many well before you lost your way.

  109. So lets get this straight. We were just notified of a membership fee rate hike from 24 to 33 a year that is going directly to the Liability Insurance Fund…not camps or programs but to liability insurance. I guess its to help pay for what was just announced and the many lawsuits that are sure to follow as sexual harassment lawsuits. The Membership should not have had to learn about this change through the media but direct from National with far more details than have been provided so that coherent conversations can be had with our charter organizations who also have been blindsided. Still trying to navigate this today and all i can do is shake my head.

  110. My thoughts are not going to be popular here and I am ok with that. The LDS Church is weaning away from Scouting. Their goals and desires no longer match those of BSA. We have been in LDS Troops in 4 different cities and they have all been run the same…. EVERY scout age boy is signed up for scouts without being asked if he wants to be a Scout. Troops are run by adults (no real patrols), little quality work is accomplished and meetings include more basketball than Scout Law.

    In turn, we have a country full of young women that want to do more, be more, experience more and contribute more than they currently have access to. Which group would you rather fill the Scouting rolls with? Those that see Eagle as just a patch or those that want to BE Eagle? I applaud the LDS Church for realizing the direction they need to go and I stand up & cheer on BSA for fully including the other half of eager Scouts.

    The transition will not be without issues and concessions. However, we are intelligent people here and are very capable of working on solutions.

  111. Everyone. Look at Sebastian’s comment. He’s a thirteen-year-old first class Scout. He reads this blog and he commented.

    Look at all these posts. Look at the thumbs up and the thumbs down.

    This is a divisive subject within the scouting community.

    I’ll say this: Sydney Ireland won’t get her chance.

  112. So upset and saddened by this. Is their no place for boys to be with boys? To have that special bond? Why ruin our program ? I am not sure if I want my son in this program anymore. Den leader. Cubmaster. U let our sons down. U should be ashamed

    • Do you have a problem with your son offered up on the altar of political correctness? Good, you should! It seems that their welfare was of little concern to the National.

  113. The problem is, “you may see your pack accepting girls.” What happens to a pack that decides not to accept girls because they don’t have the volunteers to double the dens or there’s only 1 girl who had to be by herself because no other girls in het area want to join BSA. I see lawsuits coming.

  114. My question is how will the decision to create Girl dens in a Pack or not work? I’m a committee chair of a relatively large Pack for our area struggling to fill Leadership positions as it is. Does my committee vote? Annually? Does our charter organization decide what we are to do? If we were to remain all male would we be supported by Council or pressured to accommodate the handful out of their convenience? Apparently there was a meeting 6 months or so ago in which select individuals were asked to attend but were told there would be a survey and information to bring to units. Apparently not.

    • Traci, your questions are a blueprint for exactly why the end result for both Packs and Troops will be that almost all will, eventually, become coed. A few will hold out for a while. But virtually all will go that direction out of necessity, rather than intent.

    • Great question about the decision process. For packs and organizations that charter packs, that decision will need to be made in time for packs to do their annual planning and planning for spring recruiting. Some chartered organizations will care, some will not. A lot will come down to how the current pack leadership and parents feel about it. Getting the process right — so that everyone with a stake in it feels that they have been consulted and that their views have been fully considered (even if the decision goes the other way) is critical. Otherwise, the Commissioner Corps is going to have a busy 2018 dealing with leadership strife in units.

  115. Welcome to the Androgynous Scouts of America: where you no longer have a separate identity; where you are politically correct in every action; where your thinking has to be the same as everyone else; where your moral compass has been legislated for your well-being; where independent thinking is discouraged; where you have to be like everyone else in total action and deed; where mediocrity is the standard; and now where your entitled. Do have a day (it can no longer be good or bad).

    • bjs It’s always so interesting to look at what happen as the end result of a decision. Some folks have a hard time going past the intermediate steps.
      You have stated it well.

  116. I have no problem with the concept, but the implementation is quite another problem. How many of us who are involved in various positions of leadership and committee positions recognize that the BSA is probably 30 years behind in implementing just the basic services to the tens-of-thousands of volunteers around the country? Or attending various summer camps, even the very basic of facilities are at least a decade behind in upgrades for the Scouts and their male leaders. Female Den Leaders and Parents would find themselves walking greater distances just to get to bathroom and shower facilities, that are there for female camp staff, that could accommodate them. What about campouts or high adventure camps that have NO bathroom facilities? None! Northern Tier? Philmont? Again, no problem with the concept, however we’ve all experienced BSAs problem with implementing their programs, and it appears once more the implementation of the program falls solely on the volunteers to deal with. So what else is new?

      • Bill, the BSA Camps support… or is it up to the volunteers to support and make accommodations for the BSA’s poor implementation?

    • The day the announcement was made, our council started the process of reviewing our camp facilities. More modern shower house and restroom designs that promote individual privacy (such as individual shower rooms with lockable doors) also take care of a lot of problems.

  117. Alan,

    I’m curious what council you are in, because in the NCAC there were no meetings to discuss this. In fact it was kept very quiet and I only found out by attending an out of council summer camp. Given the response on this forum I would dare say that your statement that no one was against this decision is not quite right. “100 were for it – no one was against”. Look at the numbers here in this blog and you will see the likely real outcome of the internal surveys. Unless you are from Berkley or NYC my bet is that your statement is a bit of an exaggeration.

  118. Will BSA remove/alter the use of “man” from the following line in the Arrow of Light Ceremony? “A man without hope is of little use to himself or his community”

  119. The name will change as soon as National figures out how much money they will make with new uniforms, materials, etc. It won’t take a lawsuit. My concern is too many changes too fast and BSA National’s ability to manage the change. Not impressed by some of the “professional” Scouters. Have a Son in Scouts and daughter in Girl Scouts. Not sure if we will change. Neither kid thinks this was a great idea. I wish that National was just more honest, this was about membership and revenue, less about what they are trying to portray it as, that they suddenly became enlightened after 117 years.

    • When you consider what the top dogs are making (including benefits/retirement packages), the whole organization begins to look pyramidesque from a birds-eye (dare I say eagle’s-eye) view.

  120. “This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families”
    So what will that look like at Pinewood derby time?

  121. “This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single gender model while also meeting the needs of today’s families”
    What will that look like come Pinewood derby time?

  122. They will force co-ed dens in 1-2 years. Duty to God will be removed within 3 years (along with any reference to God. I also suspect they will begin injecting more PC values into the oath/law within 5 years.

    • So girls are somehow inherently less Godly, is that your implication? You are stating that if they allow co- ed dens “Duty to God” is the next to go…

      • I’ve been trying to reply, but my original reply isn’t showing up.
        It is neither my intent nor my belief that “girls are somehow inherently less Godly’. My comment was intended to state that, irrespective of the current decision, I believe that we will, at some point, see a revision in BSA policy to remove any ‘duty to God’ references. I believe the cumulative effect of the changes in the past 5 years, and the ones I expect to see in the future are a diminishing of the BSA’s values.

        Hopefully, my first attempt at replying will pop up at some point. I was a little more complete in my first attempt.

        • Of the infamous “three Gs” (gays, God, and girls) that were banned from discussion in some Scouting discussion forums not that long ago, two have now fallen away. As long as the motto of the United States of America is “In God We Trust” and the Pledge of Allegiance refers to “one nation under God,” I see no need to change the “duty to God” reference in the Scout Oath or remove “reverent” from the Scout Law. But I could see BSA quietly dropping the requirement that membership in the BSA is conditioned on agreement with the Declaration of Religious Principle. And it would be an easy thing to provide alternative ethics-based advancement requirement options along with existing “duty to God”-based advancement requirements (“Do A or B”).

        • Another aspect of this is that it is that one component of BSA’s membership growth plan is the heavy promotion of Exploring. Well, Exploring (part of BSA’s Learning for Life subsidiary) is fully inclusive:

          “Exploring programs are designed for all age groups from pre-kindergarten and not yet age 21. Youth participation is open to any youth in the prescribed age group for that particular program. Adults are selected by the participating organization for involvement in the program. Color, race, RELIGION, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background, disability, economic status or citizenship is not criteria for participation by youth or adults.” (Emphasis added.)

          Mainstream BSA embracing and raising the profile of Exploring, a fully co-ed program running from middle school to age 21, seems inconsistent with mainstream BSA continuing to embrace and promote what some see as religion-based discrimination. (And inconsistent with dropping other membership standards.)

          BSA doesn’t need to ban God from Scouting, just stop banning atheists and agnostics from Scouting.

  123. I think this change is Great. BUT we do need to get more volunteers from the unit levels involved in National decisions as well as council and professional decisions. We need to have more control of the program in the hands of the volunteers. Not the money volunteers who are on the boards and in positions because of the money they can bring in, but the Scouters. The ones going camping, entering advancement, trying to use Scoutbook, spending a fortune at Scout Shops on patches made in China. We need Scouters, the young and the old alike to have more involvement in Council, Region and National decisions and policy.

    The professional side of Scouting is out of touch with the units and what the units need and what they do not need. The Professionals are concerned about numbers and money.

    Why do we have all of these money drains, STEM, Soccer for Scouts, Learning for Life… Lets put our effort in the program we know and love. Scout Oath and Law, Outdoors, Leadership etc.

    • As far as the change, I couldn’t disagree more, but with regards to the way the organization is run, absolutely. What does it say about the leadership that they continue to jam down things that are clearly unpopular with the majority of the rank and file?

      Related to that, I think it is appalling that I have had three comments censored in this discussion. They were critical of the national leadership, but reasoned and civil in tone and content. How does that kind of behavior conform to the Scout Law?

  124. I find everything I have read very interesting. Same type of conversation is going on in Girl Scout groups on FB. I am a leader in both groups, have an Eagle Scout son and Gold Award daughter. interesting.

  125. “When girls join Cub Scouting in fall 2018, beginning at age 5, packs across the country may welcome them right away.”

    So… does this mean the Lion program is officially adopted next Fall?

  126. What happens with Webelos & Troop interaction in 2018? A plan needs to be in place for these activities and BSA can’t wait until 2019.

      • Its not only crossing over, but part of the requirements are interactions with the troop. If you aren’t allowed into an integrated troop, you can’t earn AOL.