Can we please keep religion in a religion thread? There are already 500 of them.
GSUSA is facing huge internal opposition to its program changes, backlash to its increasingly leftist politics, backlash and cookie boycotts over property sell-offs (1/3 of camps), and mega-councils (312 down to 112). This article looks like the most non-partisan report covering most of those major issues (except the social/political stuff, which might be their bias): https://philanthropy.com/article/FinancialLeadership-Woes/155055 27% membership loss in the past 10 yrs, ~26% from 2003-2013. BSA has membership problems, but from 2003 to 2013, it was significantly less at 18% So, my opinion is that girls would flock to BSA. BSA has moved far enough on the social issues that the reasonable liberals in GSUSA can be comfortable with it, and retains (for now) the focus on traditional outdoor skills that so many GSUSA members are upset GS is scrapping.
GSUSA would not merge with BSA, the organization's politics are too far apart. While GSUSA has made God optional, BSA is increasing religion in the program. GSUSA is intent upon de-emphasizing outdoors in its main program, while BSA is keeping "modern" stuff on the periphery via optional awards and separate programs. etc etc A merger is a long way away. But, who knows, money talks.
BSA has looming issues very similar to GSUSA's but is holding out better. National should take a good hard look at what GSUSA's program changes have done to GSUSA, and what its own similar program changes of the 1970s did to us. Girls leaving the program that GSUSA is "improving" would be very attracted to the program BSA has but is increasingly (and stupidly) looking to "improve." **Full disclosure: Most of these articles say GS peaked at 3.8 mil in 2003, one is saying they had 2.8 in 2003, they all agree on ~25% loss in the past 10 years.
Balderdash, it is a well-known fact that all Europe is a nude utopia. In all seriousness, if changing facilities are segregated, am I to take it that girls may tent with boys, but must go change their clothes somewhere else? What's the point?
------ My problems with including girls (I'll take a serious crack now that some less firebrand posters have made their cases) are basically two: 1. Discrimination is Good. The basis of girl inclusion for so many people is that "it's discrimination!" but that objection is illegitimate. Our society, including many social conservatives, has bought into the false idea that all discrimination is bad and only bad people discriminate. You discriminate every day, I discriminate every day, President Obama discriminates as much as Nathan B Forrest. Discrimination is biological and evolutionary and cannot be scrubbed from humanity; it can only be subdued by breaking humanity with the power of the state making biology illegal. Some discrimination is good, which is why we say someone has "discriminating tastes." I am no prude, but I do not like copious profanity; I do not spend a lot of time around vulgar people because I do not want to become vulgar; I have stopped seeing friends who drink too much or use drugs because I have no desire for that in my lifeâ€”I discriminate against them. BSA discriminates against criminalsâ€”ah!, you say, "but they're criminals! You can't compare girls to criminals!" No, criminals are human beings just like girls are human beings, and I have met some very charming, intellectual, thoughtful criminals. But the fact of their humanity is not grounds for registering them: they are outside what we're doing, and girls are outside what we're doing. All clubs discriminate. Every club exists for a reason, and anyone who falls outside that interest is discriminated against. BSA is a voluntary association, it is a private organization. It is not a public accommodation. It exists for a specific purpose to serve a specific group of people who wish to be served by it. It's "aims" (mission) have changed over the past century, but it's purpose is to achieve its aims in boys. Discriminating against girls is not a matter of misogyny; that is, it is not bad discrimination. It is discrimination that allows for a specific purpose to be achieved by specific means ("methods") that work with the peopleâ€”boysâ€”that we aim to achieve our goals in. That girls are not the people in whom we are attempting to achieve our aims is not bad because they do not have any right or expectation to our association, just as no one has a right to your association if you do not want them at your dining room table. 2. Girls are different than boys, in the aggregate. Girls are not as strong as boys, they're physically smaller, they're more empathetic, they're more social, they're more verbal, their faces have a greater range of emotional expression, their brains have different physiology, and on and on. Girls are different from boys mentally and physiologically. They are motivated by different things. They are not competitive in the ways boys are competitive They seek personal fulfillment in different ways than boys do. They view success in different ways than boys do. (And here we must note that your tomboy daughter is not an argument against the bell curve, she is an outlier, and policies are not made on outliers) Some proponents of girls in Boy Scouts do not accept that girls and boys are different because their conception of equality is sameness; that is, difference=inequality, equal=identical. Equality of outcomes (leftism) vs. equality of opportunity (classic Liberalism). They do not accept hard-science fact that men and women are different, and instead insist that all difference is culturally-based via misogynist patriarchal programming of children and societies. Gender difference, they say, can (and should!) be wiped away by changing the environment (society, family, school, etc). They insist that there are no girl toys or boy toys, male clothes or female clothes, women can do anything as well as men, etc. But then they turn around and if a boy plays with girl toys, wants to grow his hair long, puts on makeup, and says he's a girlâ€”all gender "stereotypes" that they hold abhorrentâ€”they insist that that boy is a girl because he's doing girl things. Transgendered people take hormones precisely because males and females are physiologically and psychologically different. Chaz Bono sums it up well: After beginning testosterone, he became less verbal and got more annoyed with his girlfriend's constant talking, his sex drive increased, he lost fat and gained muscle, became more irritable, felt anger more sharply, became more analytical in his thinking, etc. Changing his physiology through hormones changed his emotions and logic. But in recognizing and daring to speak these facts about gender difference, he is himself labeled misogynist by the kind of people who think transgendered people should change their bodies in the first place. There is no logically sound argument of the sameness of boys and girls. Only gymnastic adherence to an unscientific ideology. Because of these differences, Boy Scouts cannot serve both boys and girls with the same methods and achieve the greatest success for boys and girls. Boys need spaces to be boys, girls need spaces to be girls. Boys need different support than girls and vice versa. Boys need leaders who understand how boys think, play, interact, grow, what motivates them, and who understand those intrinsically-boy traits for the biological fact and intrinsic good that they are. Boys need a place for those traits to be expressed without inhibition, and developed (and yes sometimes tempered!). They cannot do that in the presence of girls, for whom they automatically censor themselves, put on masks, put on shows. If Boy Scouts goes coed, program alterations will begin at that very moment because boys and girls are different. Girl-centric mandates will be put in place, girl-centric options will be put in place, physical standards will be relaxed across the board or dual (sexist) standards put in place. Difficult treks, rough games? Scaled back. Because if a girl can't do it, then it's exclusionary, but girls cannot match boys physically. (Again, your tomboy daughter does not represent all girls, and she has a place in Venturing). Now, ask yourself why this is even a question? Why aren't we ever discussing "when is the retrograde GSUSA going to include boys?" For the same reason that we ask "why are there so few female engineers" but never "why are there so few female garbage collectors?" It's not a question of equality, it's a question of elevation and of cultural re-programming. It is assumed that BSA is a fortress of privilege or (ironically enough) the gold-standard because it is for boys, and that for girls to be equal they must be allowed into a boys organization, but never the other way around. Coed Boy Scouts alongside single-sex Girl Scouts is not equality, it is special treatment of girls, and if we go coed without GSUSA (the only way it will happen anytime soon) you will see that anyone who suggests that GSUSA fold, merge, or also become coed will be labeled misogynist or bigot. The arguments are revealed to be false because they only go one way given two organizations that discriminate in exactly the same way. Girls are already equal. They have the same rights to free association as boys (and it is not boys' fault or problem if it is hard to start your own club); they have their own club; they have the ability to try to shape their own club to their vision if they don't like it how it is. If people feel that BSA is better and girls are being denied our experience, it is does not follow to break Boy Scouts because Girl Scouts is broken. There is no right to be a Boy Scout. Arguments of convenience are truly disappointing. They come from people whose understanding of Boy Scouts must be that it is nothing more than one more extra-curricular, a camping club. Scouting's promise to boys is not "somewhere I can keep my kid busy for 2 hours" and therefore something you open up to girls "because I don't have time to drive to two places." And when large numbers of those people enroll their non-tomboy girls, they will change the program to suit those girls because they do not understand that everything we do is done toward a specific aim and done in a certain way to achieve that aim in boys.