Boys will not be boys. Boy Scouts will not be Boy Scouts. Boy Scouts will be Boy and Girl Scouts so says a new edict from the leadership of the Boy Scout organization:
The Boy Scouts of America agreed Wednesday to start admitting girls into the Cub Scouts next year and to create a program for older girls in 2019.
The change calls for Cub Scout dens, which are the smallest groups, to have either all boys or all girls. Larger Cub Scout packs could accept boys and girls.
The program for older girls is expected to allow them to earn the top rank of Eagle Scout.
“The values of Scouting — trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example — are important for both young men and women,” said Michael Surbaugh, the group’s chief Scout executive. “We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and life-long experiences for their children.”
The plan was adopted unanimously by the organization’s board in Irving, Texas. The Boy Scouts has 2.3 million members ranging in age from 7 to 21.
This is a sad day for boyhood.
Boys will have no place to just be themselves on their way to learning to be a good, decent leaders. While they traverse puberty, they’ll hike, camp, climb, and test their limits amongst girls. It will change their behavior. It will restrain them.
Meanwhile, the Girl Scouts, the organization created specifically for young, growing women will continue to wither. They’ll lose girls to the Boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts will lose boys to boy-only groups like Trail Life USA.
By attrition, both organizations will be diminished. Worse, boys and girls who could benefit by having a place to grow and develop inside the safety of a same-sex environment won’t. Or, they’ll go to other organizations.
Anyone who has witnessed the joy of a boy between the ages of 10 and 12, knows the delight of unselfconsciousness of a group of them rolling around like puppies. They play, giggle, wrestle, and just breath. My son said it best, “Even smart boys are dumb when a group of them get together.” He said this while laughing at the thought of him and his buddies goofing off.
Introduce a girl into that mix and awkwardness descends.
What is wrong with the adults of America that they don’t see the value in protecting that innocence and delight? Why must everything be ruined on the altar of inclusion?
Girls have a fine organization — made by and for young women. Admittedly, the Girl Scouts lacks some of the stature of the Boy Scouts and has lost its soul pursuing progressive politics instead of preserving leadership development among girls. The solution to this is to make the Girl Scouts better.
The Girl Scouts don’t have an Eagle Scout ranking. So make one — or make an equivalent to one. Incorporate survival training and all the rigors of the Boy Scout training or more and different training. Physical fitness is a big part of the Boy Scouts. Include more physical rigors into Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts tends to peter out after the “Juniors” level, which is fifth grade. Girls get the badges and then move on to other interests and organizations. My own daughter and I joined a mother-daughter service organization that started in 7th grade and continued through High School. The girls had leadership opportunities and opportunities for community service. There is no shortage of ways for girls to serve their community and learn good citizenship and leadership.
Boys, too, have opportunities to grow and lead. However, Boy Scouts provides, or did provide, something unique: leadership by Christian men and learning amongst boys.
What will happen, for example, at overnight rock-climbing lock-ins with boys and girls? This is a concrete example as my son attended just such a Boy Scout event last year. Imagine a bunch of pubescent boys and girls in this situation. Imagine the liability.
What about the camping arrangements? The majority of scout leaders are men. Who wants their daughter to be on a camping trip led by men? Right. So that will mean that moms will be going with daughters to boy-dominant camps. The dynamics change.
Boy Scout camps will be the coming of age drama of every church and band camp across America. Boys were spared the social pressure before today. They could exuberantly not shower for a week and offend no one except their mothers when they returned home. Boys had a place to do boy things and to learn how to be a good man from men.
In a bow to social justice warriors or to economic pressures, the Boy Scouts decided to lose their competitive advantage, which was catering to boys. Now, they’ll be nothing special.
Another American institution has “progressed” to obsolescence.