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The “Boy” Scouts of America

On October 11th, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced that girls will be allowed into the ranks of the Boy Scouts. According to NBC News, this move is opposed by 57% of Americans and supported by a mere 36% of Americans.

This dramatic shift in policy is expected to begin with allowing girls into Cub Scout Packs next year. Also next year, it is expected that BSA will announce a plan that will allow girls to join Boy Scout Troops in 2019, and thus be able eligible to eventually earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

The move was met with harsh criticism from the Girl Scouts of the USA. The Girl Scouts released a statement which read, “the benefit of the single-gender environment has been well-documented by educators, scholars, other girl- and youth-serving organizations, and Girl Scouts and their families.”

For many, scouting may provide the only single-gender learning environment for boys and girls alike. As discussed in the Girl Scouts’ statement, such an environment is vital for the development of children and teenagers.The statement went on to say that the Girl Scouts provides “a one-of-a-kind experience for girls with a program tailored specifically to their unique developmental needs.” Furthermore, the statement references the scientific fact that there are inherent differences between boys and girls and how they sometimes should be taught in different ways.

Despite what faculty in Gender Studies departments across America may attempt to tell undergrads, such differences in terms of behavioral and cultural characteristics between the sexes do, in fact, exist.

Some argue that this move is primarily an attempt to bolster enrollment in scout troops. The Boy Scouts’ enrollment dropped from 2.8 million in 2012 to 2.3 million in 2016.

As an Eagle Scout, it was my hope that the Boy Scouts would remain a vanguard of outdoorsmanship, of each and every component of the Scout Law, and of American values in a broad sense. This is frankly impossible if the organization itself cannot stand by its traditions and its values in the face of criticism.

The arguments in favor of the most recent change include easing the burden on families that may have to transport children to different locations for Boy and Girl Scout meetings. In addition, some use an equality argument based on the fact that the rank of Eagle Scout is notably more well-known than the rough Girl Scout equivalent of the Gold Award. These people believe both sexes should be able to work for the same award. Moreover, some make references to the Scout Law and how the dictates of being friendly and courteous ought not to what supporters of the gender-merging allude to as the “exclusion” of girls.

It is important to note that the BSA experience is not totally devoid of women. Venturing Crews, a BSA organization that is dedicated to high-adventure events, allows girls and boys to be on the same crew. In addition, women can become leaders in boy scout troops, and often receive special training in order to contribute to the troop in a unique way.

The change in policy is not the first controversial move by BSA in recent years. The Boy Scouts of America has changed its policy to allow transgender boys to join its ranks as well as allowing openly gay adults to become leaders in troops. Unfortunately, the latest change in policy from BSA is not simply the problem, but rather symptomatic of a societal problem.

This is a society where words are losing any tangible authority or clear meaning, and people disregard the differences between the sexes, or even have the audacity to claim that biological sex does not exist, in order fit their political agenda.

It is truly dismaying to see the Boy Scouts of America cave to such movement, which undermines many of our core beliefs as a country.

Throughout its 107 year history, the Boy Scouts of America has prepared men to enter the American consciousness as future citizens and leaders. The list of Eagle Scouts includes presidents of our nation, an astronaut, the current Attorney General of the United States, and many more successful and upstanding individuals who have done great things for their country.

As an Eagle Scout, it was my hope that the Boy Scouts would remain a vanguard of outdoorsmanship, of each and every component of the Scout Law, and of American values in a broad sense. This is frankly impossible if the organization itself cannot stand by its traditions and its values in the face of criticism.
It is a shame to see the Boy Scouts of America hurt its ability to train the boys who are America’s future leaders.

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