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What’s the Problem with Girls Joining the Boy Scouts?

There shouldn’t be a problem, but since the Boy Scouts of America have permitted girls to join them and became known as Scouts BSA in February 2019, there have been many mixed opinions from parents and troop leaders.

The Scouts BSA was formally known as the Boy Scouts. To this day, they’re still mainly referred to in this way, although girls are also a part of this program. The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910, and it has been going strong ever since. You can find many of its members across the whole of America in different troops.

Portrait of a boy scout saluting the American flag

The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts

There have always been two separate organizations: one for the boys and one for the girls. The Girl Scouts of the United States of America has been operating nearly as long as the Boy Scouts. It was founded a few years later, in 1912.

Both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have welcomed kids to join their clubs. The Scouts BSA, which is now the organization that allows girls to join, welcomes kids between the ages of 11 and 17 years old to become members.

Other Scout Programs

Other known Scout programs fall under the umbrella of the Scouts BSA or Boy Scouts of America. In total, there are five divisions. The Cub Scout division allows children between the ages of 5 and 11 years old to join and permits both boys and girls. They let the girls join the boys around a year before the Scouts BSA did in 2019. The boys and girls were separated into single-gender dens, but collectively both boys and girls were part of the same pack.

Venturing is another division, and this is for both genders from the ages of 14 to 21 years old. Many of the members have previously been part of the Scouts BSA program or the Girl Scouts, although not all. This program focusses on outdoor activities and helps shape young adults.

Scouts BSA

The Sea Scouts BSA is a program that also allows both genders aged between 13 and 20 years of age to join. Boys and girls will work together in this program, unlike the Scouts, where they are separated into single-gender dens.

Finally, there is the Scout leader division. This is for 18 years old and higher within the Scouts BSA programs. It’s for 21-year-olds and higher within the Venturing and Sea Scouting divisions. This division is also for boys and girls.

Two programs have always incorporated both boys and girls: the Venturing and Sea Scouts. There has never been an issue with this, as it’s due the way it has always been structured – people are just used to is. So, is the reason people have an issue with girls joining the Boy Scouts simply down to change? It could be – but it may also be the fact that some people pride themselves in being associated with the Boy Scouts and want traditions to stay the same.

The Girl Scouts of the United States of America

The Girl Scouts of the United States of America is mainly an all-girl organization, but they do allow boys to join if they wish to. They have been teaching young females skills and experiences since 1912. The Girl Scouts receive new members all the time and remain the top pick for the majority of young females in the United States of America.

Girl scout seen from behind

There are six divisions in the Girl Scouts. This starts with:

-Daisies (for 5 to 7-year-olds)
– Brownies for (7 to 9-year-olds)
– Juniors (for 9 to 11-year-olds)
– Cadettes (for 11 to 14-year-olds)
– Seniors (for 14 to 16-year-olds)
– Ambassadors (for 16 to 18-year-olds)

Both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are very proud of their organizations and the values and experiences they provide. They help young people to grow, learn, and become good citizens.

What Is the Big Deal?

Each organization has different programs that they run. However, when it boils down to it, they are teaching these children and young adults valuable life skills and knowledge. So, what’s the big deal with the girls joining the Boy Scouts? Some girls may enjoy the activities that the Boy Scouts provide more than the activities provided by the Girl Scouts. It just boils down to their personal preference and the type of activities that they learn. So why should anyone argue against that or have an issue?

Equal Opportunity

The programs that are run by each organization seems to be where the main grievances from parents and troop leaders come from. Many do wonder why a girl might be interested in any activities that are deemed for boys only. Well, shouldn’t girls have the opportunity to do the same activities?

Scout scarves

If a girl joins the Boy Scouts, she will be with other girls to form a den or troop. There may be a few occasions when both the boys and girls will come together to do co-ed activities, which they do while at school anyway. So surely this can’t be an issue for people. However, in the early stages of transition in 2019, concerned parents thought both boys and girls would be camping together. But this isn’t the case.

There are so many other similarities between both organizations. For example, they wear a particular uniform that shows them to be aligned with each division. They also have the option to gain badges to attach to the uniform. This shows they have displayed the correct skills and knowledge to be competent on that specific topic or characteristic.

Changing with the Times

Society has changed over the years, so it’s only right that organizations change with the times. Being inclusive for everyone also allows young people to grow up knowing they can do the things they would like to and are interested in, without barriers. Surely, this is a trait and life skill that these young people are taught when going through either program anyway, so why not do it collectively? And, remember, in both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, there are single-gender dens anyway!

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