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New controversy...Let's let girls into all levels of Scouting

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I think your idea about the crew is really outdated in todays world. Parents dont want to shuffle their kids to different meetings if they could all belong to one group. The GSUSA is losing members even faster then the BSA, no outdoor activities is the main reason my Venturing girls tell me, who were former girl scouts. The BSA is also losing membership at an alarming rate especially in troops and crews. If the current trend continues both BSA and GSUSA will be gone in another decade. It is time the BSA does what its European and South American counterparts have done and make the programs coed otherwise we will see the final demise of the BSA in our lifetimes.

BP, it's not "my idea" from some backwater fringe area of scouting. The parents in my troop and neighboring troops are a relatively forward-thinking lot perfectly fine with some boys being in a crew and some not. No problem. If scouting went co-ed, my guess is about half of them would reorganize into a boys-only organization. Some of those parents only have boys and the others happily shuttle their girls to different activities.


Yes, the girl-scouts who join my crew do so primarily because they want to do some outdoor activity that their GS mom can't or won't organize, but for every one of them there are 5-10 others who would far rather just be GS. And it's not the parent's fault. Some of my boy-scout parents who have tried to convince their daughters to be part of the program have gotten push-back. They've seen us at camp and simply don't want any part of it.


If *I* had my way we would be co-ed. Simply because I feel my daughter learned a lot from Venturing and the boys who camped with her.


But, here's the bottom line: the moms and dads who would *volunteer* to make a co-ed program work are few and far between. (Don't know if you've noticed, but your garden variety co-ed youth ministries are paid church positions.)

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The big difference between this and the issue of gay kids in scouting is that gay kids don't have another option, while girls do. Exclude a gay kid and that's the end of the road for him in Scouting. Exclude girls and there's still the GSUSA. At a certain age there's also Venturing for girls.


Maybe we could include gay girls...that makes them boys, right :)
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The big difference between this and the issue of gay kids in scouting is that gay kids don't have another option' date=' while girls do. Exclude a gay kid and that's the end of the road for him in Scouting. Exclude girls and there's still the GSUSA. At a certain age there's also Venturing for girls. [/quote']


Actually, gay kids have plenty of options other than BSA. Exclude gay Scouts they still have YMCA (now just called "Y" for some reason), other church and religious leagues, etc. But if you are gay and not religious, well then you may have limited options...but that's why membership organization are so narrowly based: They are a coop of like-minded folks who want to do things.


For me the girl issue is the same as the gay issue. It is not about choice or options, it is about equality. While you are at it, if we are going to be "equal" you have to let athiests in too. You simply cannot argue for equality and then discriminate against someone else. That's absurd. You either have equaility or your don't. Period.

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I think girls should be able to join Boy Scouts. My sisters wanted to do the fun things that I was able to do. My young cousins today think that Girl Scouts is boring and want to go do to the fun things they see Boy Scouts doing. I think a name change would have to be in order, though. Perhaps, to keep the BSA acronym, it could be changed to Both Scouts of America, or simply follow 3M's line and simply change the name to "BSA" or something. Sure, you're going to have some people making fun of the name change with things like:

Bodacious Scouts of America. Cowabunga, dude!

Buxom Scouts of America

"Bicameral" Scouts of America

Blow-dryed Scouts of America.

Ok, on a more serious note, I've heard that a name change would be impossible because Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts USA are the only entities in the USA who are allowed to use the copyrighted term "Scouts" as part of their program, Boy Scouts with boys and Girl Scouts with girls, and that each jealously guards their prerogatives and doesn't want to work with the other entity. In any case, I think girls should be able to join -- local choice. Leaders aren't a problem, we already have no problem with female leaders.

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On this Friday before Mother's Day all the talk about scouting in the world community reminds me of something my mother used to say to me. "If all your friends jumped off a bridge would you jump too?" :).


One of the things not discussed here is differentiation. Yeah, it's an MBA kind of term but applicable none the less. The BSA is in competition for kid's and parent's free-time investment. I suspect we all lose kids to sports. In my neck of the woods I lose kids to 4H and FFA (good programs as well) because those programs more closely match their interests. I've had parents tell me they wouldn't let their kids sign up for scouts unless they gave up something else. I've heard other scoutmasters say they lose kids because they already camp, hike, hunt, fish, boat, canoe, ride ATVs and snowmobiles with their dads. They don't need scouts. The reason I bring it up is I also do some work with my son's youth group at church. The YG is co-ed, basically 7th - 12th graders. We camp, we do service projects, we play laser tag (gasp!), hold lock-ins, go to amusement parks, go on mission trips, etc. If the BSA went co-ed, how would we differentiate ourselves from my son's youth group in the values-based youth program competition for the scarce resource of time? I gotta say I don't see anything in the BSA program that I couldn't also do with the youth group and frankly with a lot fewer rules in the way.

Not so sure about the EmberMike, the kids in the YG aren't interested in scouts, Eagle or no Eagle. Eagle is the end-game for kids already in the pipeline, or at least their parents anyway. But, it's only a differentiator if it draws people into the program. Not sure it's doing that. One of our differentiators, the uniform, is probably a net negative. Probably should be another thread though.
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Someday, BSA and GSUSA will bury the hatchet, probably in someone else's back, and confederate into something along the lines of Scouting USA with co-ed and single sex units, probably by age and program emphasis. I'm not holding my breath though.

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