Girls will be able to join the Boy Scouts of America

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Eric Bean, Staff Writer

  In  2019, girls will be able to join the Boy Scouts of America so they can have the equal opportunity to learn the same skill set that is taught in the BSA.

  On Wednesday, Oct. 11, the BSA announced they would be accepting girls into their program. This has brought lots of controversy and debate among Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and people who are not even affiliated with either of these groups.

  In the Boy Scouts, the main thing that boys are taught is how to be a leader. They also learn proper communication skills, responsibility, discipline, and survival skills. Most troops go camping at least once a month, and on these campouts they have the opportunity to learn said skills. They have the ability to gain in rank, and they can eventually reach the highest rank of Eagle Scout, which is a very high honor that not many scouts earn. Such skills and opportunities are not as easily obtainable to girls, which is why the debate started.

  Girls argued that they didn’t have a program to teach them similar type skills that boys learn in the BSA. They have the Girl Scouts, but they focus more on community service, protecting the planet, and selling cookies. If they wanted to be able to be taught the same skills taught in the BSA, it would take years to change their curriculum.   

  The National Board Chairman, Randall Stephenson, is fully on board with the decision, and he stated, “I’ve seen nothing that develops leadership skills and discipline like this organization. It is time to make these outstanding leadership development programs available to girls.”

  Although the National Board Chairman is on board with the idea, some of the Boy Scouts feel different about the idea.

  Patrick Green, ‘21, an active Boy Scout of Troop 273 stated, “I feel that it’s great that girls and boys will be learning the same skills, but but there should be a separation between boys and girls when it comes to scouting. When boys and girls are together, they may not act like themselves, which could be bad for the organization.”

  Many of the other boys in Green’s troop agree with him, but some have different opinions on the situation.

  Luciano Caruso, ‘19, of Troop 273 expressed, “I totally think it’s great. As long as they set up proper rules and regulations, I think the transition will work out just fine.”

  Active Girl Scouts, however, do not support this decision. Chief Customer Officer of the Girl Scouts expressed, “So much of a girl’s life is a life where she is in a coed environment, and we have so much research and data that suggests that girls really thrive in an environment where they can experiment, take risk and stretch themselves in the company of other girls.” She feels that girls thrive in an environment that consists of only girls, not an environment that consists of the two sexes.

  In recent years, the BSA has loosened its membership requirements, in January of this year, when the decision was made to accept transgenders in their organization. This started back in 2013, when the decision was made to accept gay members. Though this is true, the Girl Scouts have never made it an option for boys to join their organization. This is no longer the Boy Scouts of America, because now, it’s more than just boys; it’s everyone.