The Sift Here’s what we’re Sifting today

Boy Scouts to include girls

by Evan Wilt
Posted 10/11/17, 02:42 pm

The Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday that starting in 2018 it would accept girls into its boys-only programs. “We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children,” Boy Scouts chief executive Michael Surbaugh said in a statement. The Boy Scouts board voted unanimously in favor of the policy change, a major reversal for the 107-year-old organization. Starting in 2018, families can choose to sign up their sons and daughters for the Cub Scouts program. A separate program for older girls will start in 2019, enabling them to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout. Existing Cub Scout packs may choose to establish a new girls pack, establish a pack that consists of girl dens and boy dens, or remain an all-boy pack. There are no plans currently to allow boys and girls to join the same den. Previously, girls were allowed to participate in four Scouting programs geared toward outdoor activities, but they could never join dens or work toward an Eagle Scout ranking. The shift follows numerous changes to membership requirements in Scouting in recent years. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts now allow openly homosexual scouts and leaders. In 2015, the Girl Scouts opened their ranks to transgender children who identify as girls on a case-by-case basis. The Boy Scouts followed suit this past January, deciding to accept all self-identifying male applicants regardless of the gender on a child’s birth certificate.


Read more from The Sift
Evan Wilt

Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.

Read more from this writer

Comments

  • DWBrown
    Posted: Wed, 10/11/2017 07:19 pm

    Baden Powell started the Scouts in 1899, can anyone truely believe he would be proud of how his organization has "evolved" currently. The board voted unanimously blows my mind, says a lot about the board. I was a Scout, my son is a Eagle Scout, but no way will my grandson be a Boy Scout or granddaughter if I have any a Girl Scout. So thankful other Scouting organizations are stepping up. Boys and girls need to learn and have fun separately without the pressures and dirt of this current culture crawling in the tent with them.

  • Joe Long
    Posted: Thu, 10/12/2017 07:58 am

    Parents need to look at Trail Life USA and American Heritage Girls. We have troops of both in Northern Virginia. 

  • liannf
    Posted: Thu, 10/12/2017 08:28 am

    Our three boys were in Boy Scouts and all became Eagle Scouts, but there wasn't much for girls in the area except Girl Scouts.  We had heard much about how far off the Girl Scouts had strayed, but it was definitely brought home to us when we heard that the district meetings were at 10:00am on Sundays.  But, our area home school group started an all girl Venturing Crew.  It was the best thing for them and we had mostly dads involved in the events and meetings, along with a local older female.  Because of Venturing, the girls were able to camp, get the Triple Crown, and learn so much.  When American Heritage Girls started up, we looked at it briefly, but the program had nothing that came even close to interesting, so took a pass.  I wish that the Boy Scouts would simply have kept the Venturing program for the females which allowed almost all of the same activities.  It worked well for our family.

  • P Fearing
    Posted: Sat, 10/14/2017 12:09 am

    I can say with confidence that I have no intention (as a Eagle Scout and now a father) to participate in the BSA in the future.  It would be a good organization to challenge young adult character, but not a good place to build it anymore. 

  • P Fearing
    Posted: Tue, 10/17/2017 01:48 pm

    Perhaps I should temper my response with a bit of "it depends": It depends on the particular troop.  Not all leaders are the same, and even individual units within the larger organization can still be worth time and effort, as was the one mentioned above.

  • Janet B
    Posted: Thu, 10/12/2017 10:01 am

    Scouting, boys and girls, were designed to raise boys and girls of strong character, if I understand correctly.  With today's confusion about gender and biology, it makes sense that this would be the next step.

     

  • Parfetfamily
    Posted: Thu, 10/12/2017 10:41 am

    they should change the name to "Biped Scouts"

     

  • Fuzzyface
    Posted: Fri, 10/13/2017 11:43 am

    I'm not seeing a real problem with opening up Boy Scouts to girls as long as it is done well.  The separate den idea looks like they may be doing the inclusion in a logical manner.  If done correctly the emphesis is on character development, which is needed for both sexes.  It could easily be done showing the aspects that are similar regardless of sex and also those aspects that manifest themselves differently for boys than for girls.

    However, the allowing openly homosexual leaders I feel is a problem.

    Also allowing kids to choose their sex on the fly is a problem as well and may open the door to perverted kids getting in to prey on the opposite sex.  I doubt that a transgender child that has changed genetilia would be much of a threat physically, but I really don't know at what age that surgery is allowed.  

    The emotional aspects of these issues becomes much more complex as well.

     

    Maybe they should change the name to just 'Scouts'.

     

ADVERTISEMENT