Homepage Forums General Scouting Should girls be allowed to join Boy Scouts?

This topic contains 41 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Q 1 month ago.

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  • #48145 Reply

    Michael Limmer

    A recent article in the media about some girls aged 10-11ish wanting to join Boy Scouts. Wondering what others thought about the subject. Personally, I am for it, as the Girl Scout program doesn’t seem to appeal to these girls who wanted more outdoor activities.

  • #48147 Reply

    Commissioner Ben

    I’m one who’s fine with change, but there needs to be good reason for change. Getting to currently serve as a leader in both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Girl Scouts have a decent program. Their summer camps and STEM classes are great. The troop program (Girl Scouts) is usually based on age, like our Cub Scout dens, and also on the background of the troop leader. My biggest criticism of Girl Scouts is the lack of adult leader training. But overall it’s not a bad alternative.

    I think a co-ed unit is fine, in general, but I think mixing boys and girls too early can be detrimental. Girls tend to mature sooner than boys and my observations want to allow girls younger than 14 to gain skills and confidence in an environment where they can best strive.

    I want to cite a 2007 study from neuroscientists at the National Institute of Mental Health. They scanned about 400 brains from males and females aged 3-27. What the scans revealed were that at around the age of 6-10, the occipital lobe for girls showed rapid development whereas boys didn’t develop until several years later. My opinion (non-medical) is that until both genders reach at least the age of 13, they learn more efficiently separately without either holding back or accelerating past the other gender.

    If any change should occur, it should be with the Girl Scout program. As great as it is, it could use a little help with training its leaders, so they can provide both a challenging and educational program.

  • #48150 Reply

    Q

    I’m thinking of writing the Times about this.

    Regardless of what BSA does, GS/USA needs to amp up its vision for the pinnacle scouting experience of youth hiking and camping independently with their mates. Too many moms think it’s optional, and it produces striking inequities.

    Venturing would be much more fun if Girl Scouts were coming into the program having first class camping skills rather than complaining about the things their didn’t do.

  • #48172 Reply

    Richard Dey

    With so many complaints about boys, it is a wonder that girls would to throw themselves into what they themselves perceive as harm’s way. OTOH, this issue began with the gay-rights movement — which made a very quick coalition with the feminist movement in a successful political ploy to rid itself of what it perceived as a Christian monopoly on morality, degrading homosexuals as morally inferior under Levite Law. That would be mere history if heterosexuals had created a morality which included homosexuals; it did not. Thus gay men invented philosophy, democracy, and science under the Greeks (pederastic Greeks, yet!). This separation of Judaeo-Christian and Graeco-Roman culture has plagued the West for at least 2000 years and, in principle for 2500. The question whether girls belong in the Boy Scouts is a classic continuation of this siege — not of liberals against conservatives but of radicals against the citadel on the hill. Viewing ourselves as conservatives seeking to maintain our traditional Judaeo-Christian way of life is self-defeating because we become merely the radicals’ stumbling block. They’re multiplying with each victory; we huddle behind the walls and complain that they have no right. Well, that’s where we were wrong and that’s why we are losing the siege. We denied them their honor (by keeping them out of the armed services and the Scouts); we dnied them their humanity, calling them perverts and criminals and throwing them in jail, denouncing them from our pulpits, and turning their meeting places over to our vice squads and censors. It’s horrible, but we deserved to be called snobs; we deserved to lose; we deserved to realize that the Constitution is mutable — and overrides the immutable Bible every single time. We weren’t just right morally; we were snobs about it — and we were proud of our snobbery. We had our noses so high in the air we got kicked in the wherewithalls. They had a secret weapon: they had moles in our camp; we had none in theirs. Many a straight Christian was a secret homosexual; we had no straight spies in their camp — or even by their campfires. We were not merely vulnerable; we played the role of sucker. And we’re still doing it. Will we draw the line at Boy Scout Girls? No more than we’d give up Girl Scout cookies. Until we get of our high moral horses and recognizes gay guys, lesbian girls, and learn that neither sex nor sexual interest define how “good” we are — and how “bad”, we will lose ground. Remember! Gay guys declared war our clergy, our Army, our Navy, our Marine Corps, our Air Force, our Space Corps, our Police, NAS and the FBI, and then our IRS! And when they beat all those, they declared war on Congress — the Senate and the House, and then went on to the Supreme Court. They have won every time, and we have lost. If the lesson to be learned is also lost, we will lose the country. Hey, friends, Americans, countrymen: we need to face up to a new world, one in which we are ALL equal under the law, and the law has changed. The law isn’t like the Bible which does not change, and the Bible is now out of date. Even their Ethics are more up-to-date than our Morals. That means, rather than stubbornly digging in our high heels, we need to draft our own ethics. Do we separate the sexes in childhood? Do we allow marijuana? Do we allow teenaged contracts? Do we have sex education? Do we have freedom of speech? Do we have equality or equity? Y’know, basic things first. We can no longer wave to the Bible as morals; they do not all apply to modern life any more than the Koran does or does Science and Health. Not the liberals, but the radicals, have made underaged sex COMMONPLACE, vulgar language on TELEVISION, and blasphemy ELOCUTION. If we want to save anything that was good of the past, we need to take positive action, not negative ones. To avoid girls in the Boy Scouts, strengthen the Girl Scouts; get them hiking … etc., or we’re going to find that GO (Gays Outdoors) will be taking children “on walks” into the wilderness, we will have (as we already do in the East) girls marching around the boys’ showers like because they have a right to — and we’ll soon be having boys wandering around in the girls’ showers. As we might say today, give ’em an inch, and they’ll take a meter; so progressive conservatism needs be carefully measured. And I would start with negotiations, and those I’d start with men, gay men, gay men who are conservative — those very men we threw under the bus. When I first went blind, a blind woman gave me some advice: “If they think you’ve blind, they’ll know you’re deaf.” I suspect it’s a bit like being gay; they heard everything we said while we assumed that everybody was straight and homophobic like us. That’s how they got us! Self-righteousness made us obvious and made us vulnerable, ad will turn us into losers if we don’t learn the lesson that equity would have been better than the (in-)equality we are doomed to — if, as I say, we don’t learn the lesson of our mistakes. We can no longer take a Bible written for Bronze Age Jews at face value for ourselves. We can listen to what the enemy says (as gays and lesbians did) or we can rewrite our script — using those parts of the Bible which apply and discarding those parts which do not. I won’t live to see it, but I wish you luck.

    • #48185 Reply

      Q

      And I thought I beat around the bush in posts!

      Challenge your assumptions: some girls complain about boys … but the girls who admire the BSA hardly see themselves in “harms way.” In fact the female venturers I know adopt their “older brothers” quickly and feel welcome and respected among them.

      Not every scouter feels that they are losing. And not every one considers Biblical world views to be disconnected from post-modern life. In fact, some feel that it has more practical application now than ever before. That includes young Christian men and women — down to the children — who in the primitive church seemed to function closely together. If scouting is indeed a form of “practical Christianity”, reaching a point where the sexes practice it together is an eventuality.

  • #48759 Reply

    Dan M.

    FWIW – Scouts Canada has co-ed Troops.

  • #50011 Reply

    Paul

    If Girl Scout programs STINK… why are you people NOT talking about ways to make Girl Scouts a better organization?

    My wife and I, and son & daughter, have been involved as adult leaders in Scouting for 16 years and we are very experienced dealing with Daisies, Brownies, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturing. There are times when the various programs “connect” but for the most part, there are times when you want girls with girls and boys with boys; young with young and older with older. THE SEXES ARE INHERENTLY DIFFERENT.

    I think Venturing is the “right mix” at the “right time” for coed Scouting and I think any earlier integration is totally wrong.

    Back to my main point… if YOUR system is broken, FIX IT. THERE is the “Scouting lesson” to be taught to these girls. “Quitting and running out” is not a Scouting virtue the last time I checked.

    • #50137 Reply

      Walter T. Fisk

      Despite the similarity in names and historic origins, Girl Scouts is not simply the female-equivalent of Boy Scouts. The Girl Scouts (GSUSA) program and the Boy Scout (BSA) program are very different organizations with separate (albeit similar) aims, methods, and focuses.

      We can debate the pros and cons of the GSUSA programs (and the BSA programs for that matter too). We can say the GSUSA organization and programs should be more like the BSA’s, and you can wish that the Girl Scout and Boy Scout programs were more equivalent in focus and experience. But whether the current Girl Scout program “stinks” or not is really irrelevant here, because it is different — you’re comparing apples to oranges. Girl Scouts is not “the BSA for girls”

      So saying “the BSA shouldn’t find ways to serve female youth because Girl Scouts already exists and so there’s already a program for girls” is as silly as saying “the BSA shouldn’t have Cub Scouts because little leagues already exist so there’s already a program for elementary school boys.”

      The mission of the BSA is “to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.” It’s not “to prepare young men” (nor is it “to prepare you men and girls only over age 14”). So why not develop BSA programs to service young women interested in the methods that the BSA uses too (Venturing, Exploring, Sea Scouting, and STEM Scouts already do)… so why not also allow opportunities similar to joining a Cub Pack or a Scout Troop to girls?

      Segregating within the BSA by gender (whether by having boy units and girl units, or separate girl and boy patrols/dens, or not at all) can be debated and discussed (I’m sure there are pros and cons to both sides), but I don’t see why a 7-year-old girl couldn’t build a Pinewood Derby car or why a 13-year-old girl couldn’t earn the Archery merit badge or why a 17-year-old girl couldn’t be an Eagle Scout. I don’t see any of these things as needing to be “male-only” accomplishments. So why not open the BSA’s programs up to all youth?

  • #50113 Reply

    Q

    I think there is something to be said for trying to steer the big ship. I volunteered at a GS camporee in an attempt to inspire girls and their moms to get training and get their troops engaged in the outdoors.

    However, I’ve only seen this happen in any practical way in two kinds of troops:

    • Moms who (on account of their sons) had BSA troop leader training before they became GS leaders
    • Moms who’ve organized mixed age troops.
      Additional ovations, showing moms surveys of the extreme attrition of Girl Scouts who after a few years aren’t exposed to a regular year-round outdoor program, offering unique opportunities for young women to show real leadership in an integrated society, etc … Fall on deaf ears.

      Who does listen? Big hearted scouters with no sense of tough love who say, “Sure, let’s get you hiking and camping independently with your mates.”

  • #53919 Reply

    Dusty S

    I see a day coming when girls are allowed to join Cub or Boy Scouts. Our Pack and Troop communicate with sister units from around the world on a regular basis. Scouts in Austrailia, Canada, and the UK all have a co-ed program and have great success. In fact, a unit in Austrailia says that girls routinely make up the majority of their program because their parents want them to be self sufficient and learn “survival’ skills. We have several girls and Girl Scouts that make our meeting and campouts because they want the challenges that the BSA programs offer. I am an Eagle Scout, my son is a Wolf Scout and my daughter just turned 4. I think if she wants to join the same program in which she has never missed a meeting, then it certainly wont hurt anything.

  • #53929 Reply

    Ankylus

    I am curious. Are the Girls Scouts going to let in boys? If not, there must be some reason. Wouldn’t that reason apply in the opposite direction as well?

    • #53932 Reply

      Q

      As to your first question, which you intend to be rhetorical, is that the only boys to whom GS/USA may extend membership to would be those who identify opposite their biological sex. (And, from what makes to the news, it’s seems that those are exceptional circumstances.)

      As to your second question, I generally don’t base my decisions on what someone else may or may not do. So, no, it does not follow that BSA’s standards should have symmetry or counterpoint to GS/USA.

      The crux of the issue boils down to questions:

      1. What obligation do we have to the few young women who have a strong preference for the BSA’s structure and program?
      2. What obligation do we have to chartered partners who want to provide a co-ed scouting experience at all age levels?

    • #54055 Reply

      Ankylus

      My dear Q, you err quite badly. I do not intend for my question to be rhetorical and, really, you shouldn’t be so presumptuous as to tell me what I intend. I also am not so arrogant as to assume that our friends in the girl scouting program have nothing to offer us. Surely, girl scouting is experiencing whatever pressures boy scouting receives to permit girls into boy scouting in the opposite direction. I am genuinely interested in what their experiences and their thoughts may be.

      I also did not suggest that BSA “base [its] decisions on what someone else may or may not do.” Please read what I right rather than presume to know what I really mean. I just happen to believe to the answer to my question can actually help inform the discussion of the two questions your raise.

      As for your questions, I can tell you right now that BSA has NO obligation “to the few young women who have a strong preference for the BSA’s structure and program.” Technically, BSA has no obligation to anybody who is not a participant in the program. Since I infer that you do, from where—within the program—do such obligations arise?

      Or you may find this answer more palatable: BSA has already addressed this issue. BSA does permit girls into its program, into Venture scouting at 14. That decision was presumably made in some informed way with thoughtful consideration, and I have not heard any of that mentioned. Why did BSA set the age limit at 14 and why did they limit it to Venturing when they made the decision in the first place? What compelling change has occurred that mitigates for a change in that earlier decision?

      As for chartered partners, since you raise the question, what are the expectations of the chartering organizations? Is BSA receiving any kind of pressure or inquiry from chartering organizations to begin gender-integrating scouting on all levels?

  • #54077 Reply

    Q

    I’m sorry, didn’t realize that you were sincerely asking if GS/USA was open to boys. I thought you were expecting the answer to be no, when in fact GS/USA is open to biological male youth who identify as female.

    So, with that answered, if the answer to the second question is “Yes, BSA should complement what GS/USA does”, then BSA should be open to biological females who identify as male.

    So, how does the answer to your question help with this issue? Well, scouters really aren’t that clever about transgenderism. So, it’s not that far-fetched for a few of them to say “This cluster of girls who like to hike and camp in small patrols are identifying as male in just this one category. They’re in! They might be girls in school and sports, but in scouting they’re boys”

    Like I said, I’d rather not assume that another organization will perform according to a rational course that BSA should complement.

    So, from where do such obligations arise? Well, there is that annoying 3rd point of the Scout law …

  • #54178 Reply

    Middletownscouter

    As mentioned by others commenting, the BSA and GSUSA are two different organizations with similar but different goals. The BSA has already realized that they are a youth leadership development movement that includes youth of both genders (reflected in the co-ed nature of Venturing and in our Mission and Vision statements), while the GSUSA remains staunchly girls-only. Compare the two organizatons’ mission statements:

    BSA
    “The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.”

    GSUSA
    “Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.”

    The methods are also different, the programs are different and they aren’t intended to be side-by-side competitors. Boy Scouting is primarily an outdoors focused program. Girl Scouting is not.

  • #56846 Reply

    John Bliss

    It appears that homosexual lobby among scout leaders want to keep girls out of boy scouts, so that they can continue their predatory homosexual advances to boys. If boys and girls mingle easily, very few would favor homosexuality. It is shameful that only USA and Saudi Arabia do not allow girls and boys to do scouting together.

    • #56872 Reply

      Q

      Well, so many non sequitur, so few words.

    • The sexually permissive don’t seem to be motivated by predation.
    • There’s no evidence that segregation by sex influences per se permissive behavior, let alone sexual orientation.
    • One person’s shame is another’s badge of honor.
    • We would do well to remember it’s a big country. The cause-and-effect you may see in one place (if indeed you’re seeing it and not just speculating) may not apply or may play out in the opposite direction someplace else.

  • #59826 Reply

    Travis Shores

    The ‘Boys Club’ became the ‘Boys and Girls Club’ for a very good reason…
    Yes, boys and girls mature at different rates and their personal progress may reflect a need for younger scout to remain separate, however, boys and girls do not remain separate in life and if we are training young boys to become young men; young girls to become young women, then fostering effective, supportive relationships between the two are vitally important, now more than ever.

    Venturing is actually more of a preferable program to either boy or girl scouting in that it acknowledges a team unity across gender lines. When our boys and girls are separated by things like sports teams in high school, scouting at all ages, fraternities and sororities in college, etc., we have a hard time training them to be supportive and collaborative in the workplace later in life. When will they get this training if not in Scouting. In that, I feel that

    Venturing is an evolved form of scouting that takes the basic training of Boy/Girl Scouting and brings it forward into the future of collaborative relationships between men and women at large.

    • #59829 Reply

      Q

      Venturing is an incredible program. I love when my crew has that mix of seasoned BSA and GS/USA participants!

      However, it has the fewest number of participants and its membership is declining the most rapidly of all BSA’s programs. So, if the goal is to serve more youth (or at least minimize membership decline), the trajectory of Venturing’s membership is a case for maintaining sex-segregation.

  • #60087 Reply

    kt

    Can I, a mother, with NO scout training because back in the day I was NOT ALLOWED to join boyscouts along with my brothers – form a boyscout troop and obtain all boyscout training information and follow the boyscout program, but comprise my troop of girls? Yes, you can “make” your troop whatever you want, but we as mothers (who have to be the leaders) have NO experience in the amazing world of scouts because we were not allowed in. I don’t have a son, so I get to be further punished and banned to this amazing organization. Girl scouts is very different, and it is true you can make it what you want, but boycouts is a waaay bigger organization with huge gatherings of troops for activities. I mean they just had there annual campout a couple months back and there were over 900 campers that showed up! They even included they’re families. There is NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING like that available to our girls. Why can’t we partake in the organization that has flourished and has support for the activities and gatherings we as a family wants? I certainly cannot change girl-scouts and I’m not sure I should. There are plenty of girls that love it. My daughter would flourish with the boyscout curriculum. Why can’t we have it and partake? If boys like the girlscout program, then have a male girls-scout troop. They may unfortunately be teased at schooled, but do what you like, do what you love. STOP constraining our options/programs to gender specific likes, or at least allow us to choose the “other” gender!!!! It’s not fair!

    • #60217 Reply

      Q

      kt,
      You are a special interest. And, when BSA has accommodated special interests, they’ve seen stark membership losses. So, until they start seeing membership gains, you need to accept the reality that being “fair” to you risks being “unfair” to 10 times as many young people just because they are male and their parents are, at times, reactionary.

      Nevertheless I feel your pain. But one thing about scouters: accept no excuses. Exercise what options you have. Those are:
      1. Look up an independent scouting movement near you. See if they are convenient to you, and share your aspirations for your daughter.
      2. Become a GS/USA mom. Go get outdoor skills training (GS/USA offers some, but most BSA leaders would support you wanting to learn to hike and camp).

      MOST IMPORTANT: don’t look at the numbers. Gatherings of hundreds or thousands of scouts is a side-show. The pinnacle scouting experience is hiking and camping independently with your mates. The first class scout (concept not patch) is someone who has sufficient ideals, citizenship, and scoutcraft to qualify to take their mates (a.k.a., their patrol) hiking and camping independently.
      That’s the vision you need. That’s what you need to inculcate in your daughter. It doesn’t have to come with lots of patches and bling (although that’s kind of nice). It doesn’t have to be exotic (although it’s nice to have the means to do so).

      Simply put, find the caring adults who will help you implement this vision (more commonly known as the patrol method), and enjoy this great country of ours.

  • #61982 Reply

    Kurt Lofton

    Please no. Why can’t we leave well enough alone?

  • #62157 Reply

    Rachel

    I wanted to share my experience as a girl scout.

    When I was a girl, Cub Scouts was a huge deal. Every boy in my grade was in Cub Scouts. Their moms were den leaders. My elementary school sponsered the pack. They wore their uniforms to picture day. Like many youth, the uniform was what got me interested.

    I wanted to learn how to hike and camp and use a knife. In girl scouts, we did a lot of paper mache. I like crafts more than most, but I’ve always hated paper mache. For young girls who want an outdoor program, there aren’t a lot of good alternatives, especially if the parents aren’t interested/experienced in outdoor skills.

    Eventually, our girl scout troop folded due to parental burn out. The organizational structure is very different between Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. I think the charter organization format gives more structure and support, Girl Scouts leans more heavily on just one or two adults.

    I really don’t think it would change much to just allow young girls who want an outdoor program access to the program. The majority of countries in WOSM seem to be doing fine with co-ed scouting. 4H covers a lot of similar activities and similar ages and is co-ed. I think the BSA is heading to a point where co-ed scouting is inevitable.

  • #62235 Reply

    M

    I have been a huge supporter of the Boy Scout Program. I have done most the training, go to all the meetings, held committee positions, and supervised innumerable campouts and hikes. I love the program because it fits in well with the outdoor activities our family would do anyways. I can testify that scouting takes up an extraordinary amount of time for our entire family. Thank heaven we only have a son. If I had both male and female children there would be NO WAY I would justify all the time dedicated to one child over the other. BSA’s answer is to send the girls to girl scouts – yet that negates the stunning reality of time allocation with both parents (married or single) working. The reason scouts keep losing so many people is that the TIME required of the entire family is enormous compared to sports. Yet with sports, it is easy to justify dropping boy1 off at soccer practice A, and girl2 at soccer practice B. If I were to only volunteer with girl scouts, my son would miss out. If I were to only volunteer with boy scouts, my daughter would miss out. There isn’t time enough to do both and my family’s limited free time would be unacceptably divided.

    • #69529 Reply

      K

      Thank you, M. That is exactly how it is in my home. I have a large commitment to the BSA both on the Troop level and the district level, because of the need to fill positions. As my daughters sits by anxiously awaiting to join venturing. My concern is without instilling these values at an earlier age, she will have moved on by the time she hits 14. We say it in scouting all the time how we need to reach these boys early on and you will win them over to Eagle. But that doesn’t apply to our girls? Don’t they deserve the same values?
      On the argument of GS, I’m just going to add that we’ve tried three different troops in our area, and she was not at all impressed. She wanted to do what boy scouts do, and the GS troops in our area “dont do anything fun” in my daughter’s words. They dont hike, they dont camp in a tent, they dont learn knots, etc. We have tried Heritage Girls as well, and again she was not impressed, it wasnt much different than GS. As girl scouts is right now, it works for girls who are interested in being more worldly, want to focus on conservation, domestic activities, but unless you can find a troop that is interested in outdoor activities that have leaders that are willing to offer that, you are going to have a hard time selling it to anyone who has a brother in Scouts.

      The struggle is real in Venturing to keep a unit active because of the constant turnover, at least in our area of the world. Wouldnt it be better just to lower the age to 11, and let girls join venturing?

  • #62329 Reply

    Hawkwin

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_Organization_of_the_Scout_Movement_members

    The included link is a list of the World Organization of Scout Movement.

    If you scroll down and click the “Admits boys/girls” column on the right, it will sort alphabetically.

    Of the 216 Scout organizations in the world, the United States is one of only 14 that excludes girls.

    We share that distinguished list with Kuwait, Bahrain, Liberia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Yemen, to name a few.

  • #69933 Reply

    Karen

    It’s a tough question. For older girls, it seems Venturing and Explorers offers all the opportunities of Boy Scouting to young women, and that is great. (I say that without a lot of familiarity with Venturing, and I don’t know if there are enough Venturing crews out there yet for young women to get into and enjoy.)

    The difficult part is the girl version of Cub Scouting. I strongly agree that girls and boys should not be co-ed at the younger ages, and in elementary the — girl v. boy emotions are fairly strong. I have heard feedback from my son — the girls say Girl Scouts don’t like Boy Scouts (so much that he didn’t want to reveal he was in Cubs), and I have witnessed Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts vying to try to share pizzas — the girls dominated and sort of grabbed all the pizza. I’ve also seen the younger sisters in my den who would love to run obstacle courses and do all the Cub scout material.

    But does BSA Cub Scouts have the interest to go out and compete for attention with the Girl Scouts? I don’t know. Are there enough parents to help run all-girl dens and help everyone play nice?

    I think there is something to having your own little tribe of same gender friends in the younger ages. I think that BSA should be very willing to collaborate and share with the Girl Scouts if they want to make their program more outdoorsy. I hear stories of Girl Scout Leader burnout and difficulty recruiting and they don’t get as much teamwork through the whole school as the BSA does.

    Of course we want all kids to have great opportunities, it’s just a matter of organizing it. Also, it might be interesting if the BSA Cub Scouts put on some community activities where families are welcome and vice versa.

    I think Explorers and Venturing are both great in concept and would love to see these programs in action more frequently.

  • #70034 Reply

    Karen

    Another concern for girl scouting is the number of volunteers — in my observation, Girl Scouts have a harder time recruiting adult leaders, and that might be because mothers do so much for school, serving as room parents and running the fundraisers, and other school events. I wonder if more dads would get into Girl Scouting to support their daughters and bring in / lead some more of the outdoor skills, games and activities.

    That said, some of the best outdoor experiences are with one’s own family. When I was a girl, my dad took me fishing and blackberry picking, and he taught me to use tools and do some of the things that are in Cub Scouting. Dads, go take your daughters fishing and encourage them to bring friends. 🙂

  • #72888 Reply

    Pete

    Bryan,
    Now with National sending out the video on girls in boy scouts recently, and the survey on what Scouters think about it, maybe it would be a good time to ask this question again?

    Our district just did the video from National and discussion after. There were disagreements but all conversation was thoughtful and respctful of others views.

    thanks

  • #72954 Reply

    Seth

    Hey idots Its called the BOY SCOUTS so naturally no. Let the girls join the GIRL SCOUTS. You dont see any guy join the girl scouts so why should it be the otherway around…..idots why even bring up the question

    • #73007 Reply

      Middletownscouter

      Hi Seth, it appears that you are neither a Boy or Girl Scout based on your words, as a Scout is friendly, courteous and kind.

  • #73435 Reply

    Wanda W. Penner

    I was a Girl Scout in my younger years and would not have enjoyed it as much if boys were part of it. It was a time I could bond with other young girls of my own age and talk and enjoy things girls like to do together. Now as a Scouter and a mother of a Boy Scout, I still think there should be separate groups for girls and boys because boys and girls are different. These are the years young boys/men can bond with other young boys/men. There are things that the boys talk and do that most girls would not be interested in. The boys just like the girls would feel limited on what they can do and say around each other. As you know boys will be boys and they talk boy talk which is what it is should be. Believe me when on campouts I hear a lot the boys say and they do not realized I have hear. I usually share it with the male Scouters and laugh. Sometimes we like to be with groups we have things most in common. I am an American Indian and in a interracial marriage. I love people but there are times I do not want to be around other races because I want to bond with my American Indian people because we have the most in common and I feel I can talk about things they only would understand. Besides Boy Scouts have other opportunities for girls such as Explorers (I was a part of that) and Venturing. They can make changes to those programs to accommodate girls and boys who want to do more. This is just my opinion.

  • #73491 Reply

    Jason

    I have struggled with this question from the time my son was a cub to the point where he is an eagle. His older sister wanted to go and do the things he was doing, but couldn’t because she was a girl. I certainly felt she could have performed as well as the boys and progressed accordingly through the ranks.

    But that really isn’t the point. Life is not fair, and everyone is not entitled to every opportunity they desire. There are categorical differences between the sexes and allowing clubs to tailor their programs to those difference is not a bad thing. Let the boys have their club, and the girls theirs, and let them fix what they don’t like about them respectively. Venturing is a good avenue to merge the sexes together in joint enterprises.

    As for comments posted here, and other sites where this topic is mentioned, that only the US and Muslim countries still keep Boy Scouts only for boys, become better informed. Europe still has girl only scouting organizations, and GSA has stepped into various countries around the world to fill a need for girl focused leadership.

  • #74207 Reply

    Ann

    Mother of three boy scouts here – two Eagle, one life so far, and a husband who is scoutmaster. When I was a girl I joined girl scouts because I wanted to go camping and was very disappointed in the cooking and arts and crafts program (no camping) so I quit. That does not mean that I think that girls should be in Boy Scouts! Let the boys have their program.
    Fact is that when girls and boys are together they behave very differently than when separated. Let the boys have their coming of age experience to learn how to be men. If there are a subset of girls who want camping, let them develop their own version of that type of program. If you think that girls should be included, then you are saying that you think all programs should be open to anyone. Then get rid of Girls Inc. and Girls Who Code and all those girls only programs that are designed to strengthen women and give them confidence to own their identity. Why can’t boys join those? I’ll tell you why – they will change and ruin the program!!! It will no longer accomplish it’s goals. Boys will overpower the girls and silence them, which is why we have those programs in the first place.
    Same for Boy Scouts. Let the girls in and it changes the programs and weakens the goal of growing strong moral respectful men who feel a sense of identity as a man to have integrity and values and responsibility. Why can’t we set our boys aside and have dads teach them this out of earshot of the women.
    Give me one good reason that it is fair to do this to Boy Scouts and not to girls only programs. The boys and girls are mixed plenty in other parts of their lives. Leave them be if they want to join a boys only or girls only club. Do not mandate my free choice to sign my boys up for a boys only club just as I’m sure I would sign up my girl for a girls only club if I had a girl. And if I was unhappy with the girls only club offerings, as a parent, I’d start one that worked for girls like my child.

    • #74803 Reply

      Hawkwin

      Let the girls in and it changes the programs and weakens the goal of growing strong moral respectful men who feel a sense of identity as a man to have integrity and values and responsibility.

      To quote Mission Statement of BSA:

      The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

      Young people, not men. BSA has been coed since 1969 with the Venturing program. Are the young men that join Venturing somehow ruined or less of a man because of it being coed?

      Give me one good reason that it is fair to do this to Boy Scouts and not to girls only programs.

      Who said it was fair? We can no more control what GS does than we can control what any other private organization does. That doesn’t mean we should base our moral and ethical decisions on the lack of inclusivity of someone else. Whether or not we go coed should have nothing to do with whether or not any other youth-based organization is coed (which there are already many like Campfire USA).

  • #74727 Reply

    Brian

    The BSA is one of a handful of Boy Scout organizations around the world that is not co-ed. We share the ranks of Bahrain, Barbados, Botswana, Kuwait, Lesotho, Liberia, Pakistan, Papa New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Swaziland, UAE and Yemen. Is this a list that you want the US to be part of?
    I have seen sisters from Cubs to Venture crew that are better at scouting skills and leaderships than a lot of the boys in the packs/troops. Girls that do not want to camp will not camp or drop from the program but most will stay.

    • #74774 Reply

      Q

      How about this, we get about 10,000 select scouts and scouters to visit different camps at world Jamboree, interview those scouts about their respective programs, and give BSA feedback on which scout associations they like the best.

      Would you be content if they decided they liked the Saudi model the best?

      Or, would you insist we disparage some countries out-of-hand?

      P.S. – I have talked with scouts from other countries about their association’s model, and I think I have my favorites (besides, BSA, of course), but I’m withholding judgement until I get opportunities to visit them in camp (ideally, in country).

  • #74858 Reply

    Hawkwin

    A more active (and less heavily moderated) discussion of this topic can be found at http://www.scouter.com.

    I posted my last comment two days ago and it took roughly 48 hours for it to pass moderation.

    I am posting this one at 11:45 AM EST 8/24. We will see how long it takes for this one to pass moderation. I really enjoy this site but I think I might be done if this heavy-handed moderation continues.

  • #75128 Reply

    Jason

    Ok, Brian, let’s not let bigotry determine whether we throw the baby out with the bath water. Since many of the countries you mentioned have a large Muslim population, should we be taking steps to reduce the numbers of Muslims in the US? Of course not. Let’s stay on topic and not make broad, generalized and bigoted statements.

    Hawkwin, be careful when using people’s words against them. Otherwise you run across someone who will return the favor: That doesn’t mean we should base our moral and ethical decisions on the lack of inclusivity of someone else. So true. Please note your threat to leave if your post wasn’t released by the moderator either worked or was mute. Either way, the “I’m taking my ball and going home” approach went lame in first grade.

    There are those of us who believe Venturing is enough of a merger of genders/sexes inside of BSA. There are those who wish for the merger to run deeper and begin earlier. When the majority changes and with it the rules, THEN and only then will we know who had the more correct opinion.

  • #76526 Reply

    BostonEagle

    Boys need a place to grow and mature in the presence of men who believe and live by the tenets of Scouting. With all of the co-ed and girls-only groups available to youth today, there is no reason to ruin the Boy Scouts and make it the same as everyone else.

    Like Sue said in an earlier post: …Let the girls in and it changes the programs and weakens the goal of growing strong moral respectful men who feel a sense of identity as a man to have integrity and values and responsibility. Why can’t we set our boys aside and have dads teach them this out of earshot of the women.
    Give me one good reason that it is fair to do this to Boy Scouts and not to girls only programs. The boys and girls are mixed plenty in other parts of their lives. Leave them be if they want to join a boys only or girls only club. Do not mandate my free choice to sign my boys up for a boys only club just as I’m sure I would sign up my girl for a girls only club if I had a girl. And if I was unhappy with the girls only club offerings, as a parent, I’d start one that worked for girls like my child.

    Presently, the Boy Scouts remain under attack from progressives and the self proclaimed LGBT mafia who aren’t even members. Who don’t care for anything but their own agenda and power. God forbid you disagree, or else you are the ______-phobe of the week. It is simple: if you don’t like the program, don’t join it. Don’t support it. Go join another organization that is aligned with your belief system.

  • #76808 Reply

    Q

    I don’t know if this counts as “one good reason” but:
    More fun!
    It’s simply more fun to go through life with arms open wide ready to teach who ever comes your way how to scout well.

    • #76903 Reply

      SBK

      Q,

      Thank you! I am one of those girls who disliked what GS had to offer as a child and wanted to join my brother’s Cub Scouts. At that early age I could see through the stupidity of telling me I couldn’t join because I am a girl. I didn’t want to change the program, just be included. Now I am a Cubmaster and I see the opportunity for my daughter to join (by the way, still not impressed w/ GS now that I’ve been a leader in it – the programs are not similar) and have access to the same leadership building programs her brothers have. I’m ok w/ single gender dens/patrols, fine, who cares? It’s the programming and the acknowledgement of the work done that I’m interested in for my daughter.

      Let’s go through life w/ arms open wide, helping everybody grow into better selves.

      “Q
      I don’t know if this counts as “one good reason” but:
      More fun!
      It’s simply more fun to go through life with arms open wide ready to teach who ever comes your way how to scout well.”

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