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  1. Someone gets sick of some adults across the country earning ranks. Result: bookwork badges suitable for school kids become required, field study badges become elective. Someone pitches a fit over some scouter who lets a patrol hike with their girlfriends or over a girl making rank. Result: we don't really know who all of the Eagle Scouts in this country are. Then someone hears about some godless kid in the ranks, and someone else makes a federal case about it. Result: public institutions are not to accommodate, making the organization increasingly beholden to some moral majority. Purges ensue. The boys need more adult leaders, so women step forward, but women never had an opportunity to prove skills by making rank, so we create weekend training because, well, surely adults can learn in a day what it takes boys years. Then someone in one part of the country gets all up in arms about activists in another part of the country riding on the organization's coat tails by touting an out and proud SM. Zealous men an women ask the now polarized organization to protect our boys. Then someone wants us to sift boys for sexual persuasion like we sift adults. Diminishing by a thousand cuts. So, like some lackluster cheerleading squad, scouters get deluded into thinking some of those cuts are what makes us special: Pardon me, but I never really knew that I earned anything besides Eagle Scout. Nobody told me it was at all special because girls couldn't earn it. Once I learned that men used to be able to earn it, it felt a little less special to me. All those SM/ASM who felt they were a little "less qualified" because they missed some opportunity in their youth. Why can't we say, "well, what's holding you back now?" All those venturers to whom boys said, "Your Silver will never be as good as my Eagle." I know some SMs who would have liked to give those young women a handbook and say "Show them how it's done." In fact, one SM quite proudly told me about having sisters work through the requirements even if national won't give them the rank. Compare to your vision Eagle milled boys, I think those girls add value to the badge because they want it's substance, not some line on a resume. We can spout off about youth development, membership numbers, etc ... But don't think for a moment that any pride in my bling stems from it being a boys only (no men, no girls, no women, no godless) award.
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