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Eagle Scout - Co-Ed ever?

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Disclaimer: Do not attack me personally for inquiring. I am curious as to how BSA is working towards further integrating their programs. I have Not read any information stating that the current Eagle Award will be made co-ed, I do admire and respect all scouts - regardless of gender. I am neither advocating for OR against co-ed Eagle Scouts. I realize that this inquiry may be controversial - thus the disclaimer. Tiny, tiny print...Friendly, courteous, kind, etc :-)



Programs and co-ed status and awards / honor recognitions offerings:


Sea Scouts - Co-ed. (Quartermaster Awd + others, Boys...Eagle (?) - don't know

Venturing. - Co-ed (Silver Award + others, Boys can get Eagle

Exploring. - Co-ed. (All Awards)

LFL. - Co-ed (All awards)

Boy Scouts - Co-ed leaders. (All awards - leaders)

OA. - Co-ed leaders (All honors + awards)


Fact - The BSA is offering more programs to girls and women than it previously has.


Fact - Many foreign countries are or have evolved to have 100% equally co-ed programs.


Questions - Do you see the BSA eventually offering the Eagle Scout to any co-ed programs or extending "Boy Scouts to a "Scouting" position and fully integrating regardless of gender?


What are you thoughts?



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The rule has always been that if a SCout had earned First Class as a Boy SCout, he could continue on to earn Eagle after he joined a Crew/Ship/Explorer Post. Since girls cannot be Boy Scouts and earn First Class, they cannot be Eagles under the current rules. In order for them to earn Eagle, Boy Scout troops would have to be made co-ed. I don't see that happening any time soon, although it is common in Europe where all levels are co-ed. BTW, I was a member if an Explorer Post in 1970's when the program first went co-ed. The addition of females to the mix completely changed the dynamics. There were no Explorer awards back then, other than for those of us who were continuing on to Eagle.

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I'm very much for a complete co-ed program. Starting in Cub Scouting and running all the way.


I don't know if this will ever happen and I don't think it will be the end of the world or of Scouting if it doesn't happen.

While I don't want to take away anything that being an Eagle Scout represents. I do at times think that we are guilty of maybe holding up the Eagle Scout rank as being more than it really is.

It is to my mind a shame when a Sea Scout who has earned Quartermaster rank has to explain the rank by saying it is the "Sea Scout Eagle Scout rank". While I know that I hold a bias, I think Quartermaster is a lot harder than Eagle and should demand the same if not more respect.

The fact that female Sea Scouts can and do earn the Quartermaster rank does not take away anything from the rank.


A lot of what happens in the BSA depends on numbers.

My thinking is that when the membership falls below a certain level the BSA will have little choice but to take a long hard look at what to do next? This very well might mean going co-ed.

I don't see it happening in my life time.


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Some other thoughts

1. World Jambo at Summit - we will see many coed scout units. Have girls earned Eagle Scout or the equivalent in any of those foreign scout units? I would like to know. Our own girls (Venture Scouts), some thoroughly capable but denied Eagles, will also be in attendance. Time for a change.


2. My older son is busy with Catholic Confirmation classes, they are of course coed, and except for lack of uniforms and other formalisms, the class seems to be another scout troop. They have their own group activities, service projects, assignments, so many that my son has had little time for scout activities this year. Much different than back in the day when we just studied the Baltimore Catechism :). The SM said my son needs to "get crackin on Eagle... the clock is ticking... the IH and MOM overruled with a much different opinion. My point, the CO may force the issue, i.e., we (CO) just have resources and time for ONE youth program. If Scouting will not be flexible then we (CO) will create our own youth group. For those who ask but what does your son want? - door #3 Driver Ed :).


3. Increasing roles available to women in US military and their eagerness to serve in those roles. If there in 5 years why not here in (Boy) Scouts now?


My $0.02,(This message has been edited by RememberSchiff)

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Not bias but fact: QUARTERMASTER IS HARDER TO EARN THAN EAGLE. There I said it, I have blasphemed against the BSA.


But I was a Sea Scout, ok Sea Explorer, and I know what is involved. The QM requirements have not been watered down as some of the BS rank requirements have.


I think part of that is b/c there are more appeals on BS ranks than Sea Scout ranks. Also Sea Scouts have been the black sheep of the BSA, and has been left almost entirely to it's own devices. And that autonomy has helped keep the Qm styandards.

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RememberSchiff (love the name BTW, I live not too far from original Schiff and grew up attending "new" Schiff (Wauwepex) --one troop in my district claims to be GBB's troop),


In the UK, girls have been eligible to be Queen's Scout for many years. Some are also Queen's Guides. Now that would be interesting: dual Eagle/Gold Award. The Network section (akin to Rovering in many countries) in the UK is open for 18-25, probably due to the fact that the Duke of Edinburgh's awards are also open to that age range. The higher Chief Scout awards also seem to track DofE levels (bronze, silver ,gold) and Scouting is a recognized path to earning DofE.


I think the biggest reason US Scouting hasn't gone coed is that we have Girl Scouts and not Girl Guides. Yes both are members of WAGGGS but since our national organization uses the word "scout" they claim a monopoly on all female scouts in our country.

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One wonders if being a man will ever go coed.


Girl Eagle Scouts? Sure. Why not?

Coed Boy Scouts? Might necessitate a name change.


But please let's always allow chartering orgs to charter sex segregated or single sex units if that is their preference. There are pros and cons to coed activity and to sex-segregated activity. Let's not dictate the choice for all.



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If going co-ed means a merger with GSUSA, it's a LOOOOOOONG time off. I would see us merging with Heritage Girls or Campfire or just accepting girls without an organizational merger.


I dont' have terribly strong feelings one way or the other, but given my druthers, I'd ruther see Cubs go co-ed and leave Boy Scouting alone. If BSA wants a two-track program for boya and girls ages 11-14, fine. But I think there is a benefit of having single-gender programs for those ages. Almost everything else kids do is co-ed. I think there needs to be space for the boys to be boys and the girls to be girls. There is already so much angst at that age trying to figure our their own identity, an opportunity to do that without the added pressure of boy and girl stuff.


I spent a good bit of time discussing the co-ed programs with some of my mates at World jamboree. Of course, to them, it's no big deal. I asked if they don't have problems with the boys and girls doing what boys and girls are want to do from time-to-time, and they said yes, it can be an issue, but no more so than with school or church groups. I suppose the biggest problem I noticed first-had was with co-ed patrols going around jamboree, but at it's core was a boy-girl couple holding hands. That's gotta mess with your patrol dynamics, huh?

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I read somewhere that the Boy Scout organization of the UK was forced to allow girls to join, but that did NOT decrease the enrollment in the Girl Guides program. I think it is a tragedy that the BSA and GSUSA were founded independently rather than cooperatively. On the other hand, girls are more likely to take the lead when there are no boys in the room, so GSUSA is better at training up female leaders than a coed BSA would be, so I don't care to see the two organizations merge. I would like to see them get together on things every once and awhile. I would love it if the troops were connected in some way that made it easier for parents to find them. When I put out a recruitment message for my cub scout pack, and a parent asks me where the girl scouts meet, I really wish that I could tell them, but i think that would require the Girl Scouts to adopt the chartered organization model. I don't know, but I imagine they left that model for their own very good reasons. It seems to me that Scouting for Food would be a service project the two groups could do together. Scoutcapades and Pinewood Derby also come to mind. I don't think they should go camping together.

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Just on a point of fact..... Scouts in the UK were NOT forced to go coed. It was purely by choice. The time line was something like this,


1960's (I forget exact date) - Venture scouting (16-20 year olds) is founded as coed section

1991 - All other age groups given the choice of being coed.

2000 (ish) - All new groups founded have to be coed and any group going coed can't reverse decision

2007 - All groups go coed (only exceptions are "closed" groups attached to single sex schools or young offender institutions)


What is correct is it has had no effect on Girl Guide numbers.

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I don't see it happening. Just remember that the big list at the beginning largely consisted of awards (Silver, OA, adult training, etc). Eagle Scout is a Rank/advancement. There is a big difference between the two kinds even at National. National doesn't track Silver Awards for Venturers because it's an award and not a rank. I am hearing that they are looking into to tracking them at some point.


Sea Scouting is the other segment with ranks and it is co-ed, but they have their own progression of ranks.


There just doesn't seem to be a good rerason to lump them all together and make Eagle Scout the top rank for all. Let the different branches have their own programs.

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That Venturing Silver Award is a rare bird, even after factoring in the fewer numbers in Venturing. I would encourage any young woman to strive for that award and not fret over the ineligiblity for Eagle.


I am Adivising a young lady who is working on a bronze award, and the level do effort seems to roughly compare to that of our star scouts. If the equivelancy carries forward (life : gold, eagle : silver), I don't see the status quo changing anytime soon.


The demand from girls for access to Eagle Scout rank just is not all that great.

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Oh, and twocub: I suppose the biggest problem I noticed first-hand was with co-ed patrols going around jamboree, but at it's core was a boy-girl couple holding hands. That's gotta mess with your patrol dynamics, huh?


Just make the boys hold hands more often!


But seriously it can affect crew dynamics, so each crew can set their own guidelines on public displays of affection. It's interesting to see how that plays out within a crew over time.

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