Boy Scouts to Drop Boy as Girls Join

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home.

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22 Responses

  1. Mike Dwyer says:

    This move makes a lot of sense, though I will admit to a slight pang of nostalgia at the change. Overall, I am still thrilled with the decision and wish my girls had the opportunity when they were of Scouting age.Report

    • I was not a boy scout. My daughter did do girl scouts and if you catch those leaders in an honest moment they can foresee that with the exception of holdouts scouting in 15-20 years or sooner will probably be one large national organization. Boy Scouts is larger, more infrastructure, so their fear is this will essentially be a takeover by attrition. I cant really bring my self to be upset, many will drive the culture war aspect but that’s silly, this is mostly a business decision our of necessity not some great social messaging. I’m all for all kids scouting for the benefits of it.Report

  2. Oscar Gordon says:

    Now if only the BSA would adopt the GS annual fund raising strategy. As a former Scout, I want to support the BSA (especially since they decided that being a club for the religious right to beat the left with was not a smart decision), but I’m not a huge fan of popcorn.

    But those effing cookies the GS sell…Report

    • Mike Dwyer in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      My troop sold pumpkins door to door around Halloween one year. It actually went really well. You can imagine though what it was like carrying a dozen of them on your back at the age of 13. *whew*Report

    • Anne in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      My nephew’s troop sells Blue & Gold sausage, bacon and chicken strips….mmm bacon..Report

    • Troublesome Frog in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Potential good change: Cookies.

      Potential bad change: All cookie sales all the time with no other activities.

      As an Eagle Scout, I’m sort of glad our fund raising activities were generally lame enough to avoid the temptation of becoming an organization that just constantly fund raises for fund raising’s sake.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    The name change comes amid strained relations between the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America.
    Girl Scout leaders said they were blindsided by the move, and they are gearing up an aggressive campaign to recruit and retain girls as members.

    I’ve got a suggestion for a simple change that would allow for a potential doubling of the size of the Girl Scouts…Report

  4. Dark Matter says:

    We’re witnessing the death of yet another “separate but equal” thing… and if memory serves, the BS have far more outdoors type camps and such so it’s gain for girls all the way around.

    Next step is to see if the Girl Scouts allow boys.Report

  5. Chip Daniels says:

    As a former Scoutmaster, I am ambivalent.
    Part of me wants to welcome this as another step in inclusion, but in my experience, learning to encounter persons of the other sex requires first a grasp of our own identity.

    I can see the advantages to single sex groups, where we give young people a place free of sexual dynamic to mature.The advantage to being in single sex environments, especially for young people entering puberty, is that it is easier to find your own identity, free of the need to display gender roles which don’t always fit.
    And I’m not sure why the Girl Scouts are unable to offer a similar program as the Boy Scouts does.Report

  6. LeeEsq says:

    The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts seem like one of those organizations that made sense in the past but are really archaic in the present age. Like the Masons or the Odd Fellows but for children. Many parents really don’t seem to think that wilderness education is important for their children, it doesn’t really help you get into a selective college. Liberal learning parents might see the Boys Scouts as to tied up with what they see as bad values like imperialism and a form of masculinity they don’t see as a good thing. The Girl Scouts managed to build a more liberal and progressive reputation but still come across as irrelevant in the modern world to many people.Report

    • Mike Dwyer in reply to LeeEsq says:


      “The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts seem like one of those organizations that made sense in the past but are really archaic in the present age.”

      From my perspectivr, the mission is still important. Every generation loses their connection to the natural world a little more. The Boy Scouts are what made me an outdoorsman. Even if kids don’t embrace the outdoors like I did, they can still develop a healthy appreciation. They also taught me a ton of self-reliance. All the other stuff like good turns daily, basic civics, emphasizing loyalty, first aid, etc…why wouldn’t we want this to stay important?Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        Agreed, despite the whole LGBT/religious right idiocy (which anyone who was in scouts 20-30 years ago will tell you, came out of right field), the skills & values scouting teaches are good & useful.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        It is also important to remember that just because parents (or anyone) don’t value something doesn’t mean it is archaic.

        In fact, there are many new organizations popping up aimed at helping kids connect with nature and you’re finding these mostly in liberal areas. Their focus is different than the Scouts but the idea of wilderness education is far from dead.

        Look at programs like Tinkergarten or the “Forest Kindergarten” at the Jersey City Scandinavian School.

        These aren’t necessarily taking the world by storm but are clearly responding to a desire for such programs.

        I’m not sure if I’ll enroll my boys in the Scouts due to some misgivings about the political and religious aspects. But, it also seems like that may be changing. Regardless, I’d pursue opportunities for them to develop values and skills related to leadership, community, service, etc. on top of some of the practical skills and appreciation for a world beyond that which I might naturally expose them to.Report

    • gabriel conroy in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Many parents really don’t seem to think that wilderness education is important for their children, it doesn’t really help you get into a selective college.

      I would disagree with those parents’ focus on getting into a selective college as a goal that should override all others. I see a lot of value in wilderness education, although I had very, very little of it myself.

      I say that as someone who has a strong personal ambivalence about Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts (the organizations, not the members and not even necessarily the parents).Report

      • Troublesome Frog in reply to gabriel conroy says:

        My experience was that while wilderness education was a lot of what we did, it was not really the point of what we did. The point was to get kids doing things that required them to learn, plan, work in groups, and generally be responsible for their own success.

        We’d go camping once a month and each patrol was responsible for its own logistics–food, supplies, etc. There was planning to do before you left and tasks to perform at certain times while you were there. If you didn’t do those things or plan properly, you were typically unhappy and uncomfortable. The adults would have to backstop you and if something went fairly wrong, there was a postmortem discussion.

        The process was one of starting as a fairly young kid who didn’t know how to take care of himself and was too shy to talk to people and growing into a young adult who knew how to cook, budget, handle minor emergencies, and step up to lead others who didn’t have those skills yet. The wilderness part of it was a gimmick to make those other things happen. It could have been centered around any number of other activities. All that matters is teamwork, accountability, and a steadily increasing set of responsibilities as the kids grow.Report

  7. Slade the Leveller says:

    As the father of a life member Girl Scout, I would mourn the passing of that organization. It may have its faults, but it’s done a world of good for girls the world over for generations.Report