Stop Behaving Like Idiots Over Boy Scouts of America Letting Girls In — 24 Comments

  1. Jack, you’re right on the money. I’m rapidly approaching 30 years in the Boy Scouts and am currently serving as a scoutmaster. I’ve said for a long time that the only thing that would get me to hang up my uniform is if the Boy Scouts went co-ed. Well, I haven’t done that and have no plans to. I saw the news last fall and looked at what was being implemented. Girls are going into their own all girl troops. Boys will remain in their own all boy troops. My troop will continue on as it always has. The only difference will be at multi-troop events like summer camp and camporees. There are already girls at both (due to co-ed venture crews). Now there will be girl troops there.

    I think this change was driven by the cub scouts. For a long time now–decades–parents have been taking their sons to cub scouts. Their daughters tagged along and participated in the activities but weren’t able to earn the awards or wear the uniforms. So the BSA opened Cub scouts to girls. Doing that meant they would have to open the older scout program as well. I don’t know how successful that will be. There’s already a lot of attrition with boys who bridge from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. I imagine it’ll be the same or more so with girls. There will be some successful girl troops, but I doubt their numbers will be close to the number of boy troops. Only time will tell.

    • I agree with that, indeed my main point is you guys will decide in the end. If people won’t do the work or girls don’t show up, it won’t work. It may or may not work, I think the entire thing is dying but if it can be saved great.

    • That comment makes no sense grammatically, and I think if it did make sense from a sentence stand point, it still would not make any sense from a intellectual view.

  2. Jack, I couldn’t agree more that losing any sleep or even exerting much if any energy on this is ignorant, but I feel like a major “point” was kind of danced around.
    I’ve been involved with two different council’s, and I can only speak to them in particular, but in both I’ve seen steady decreases in the number of children and rapid decreases in parental involvement, and both of these have effected the budget. My guess is that this was strictly a financial decision.
    That being said, I have my concerns about several aspects of this change, but those concerns stem from the climate in my local community, not from a national organization.
    Thanks as always for your perspective on this.

    • Oh that issue wasn’t danced around it has no bearing on judging this decision is all. I think BSA is a sinking ship, I don’t think this move will save it, I don’t think enough girls want to do it to make it work. I think single moms are largely using scouts (and many other things) as cheap baby sitting services at this point, etc.

      I did some work with my son’s Cub Scout troop mostly so they had sufficient adults to be able to do some things, because they only had two guys and if one wasn’t available they could not meet the two adult rules. But it was a sacrifice, I was broke at the time, still working my way up in the world. It isn’t easy to be a scout leader or a base ball coach in today’s world. Kids depending on you is a burden. Most people are just trying to keep their heads above water.

      This is a society issue though, not a BSA issue.

  3. “Put it in your journal and get back to me in 8 weeks.” Jack you never let me down! I always think this way now thanks to you.

  4. You’re 100% correct on this Jack. However being involved with scouts currently. There are a couple things you may have missed.

    First off the charter organizations of individual troops don’t have to allow girls in. As the requirements of letting girls in mean separate meetings, camp outs and everything separate from the boys. Many charters have chosen not to deal with trying to find that many new leaders and extra wear and tear on equipment.

    Of course you are 100% right on how many parents use Scouting as babysitting. It’s amazing how many parents drop their kids off and leave them. Most of the people involved in Scouts that are excited for girls being involved are thinking that their son, and daughter both get dropped off together.

    On a slightly different point the BSA does allow what they call Chualk balls. Which is paint guns that shoot balls full of chualk instead of paint. Which they claim is better for the environment. They are also allowed airsoft guns. Although no matter what they shot they are not allowed to shot at each other or targets that represent any living creatures, including humans, and zombies.

    As far as the squirt guns that is specifically a rule on when the boys are in full class A uniform which honestly who has a water fight in full uniform. It was a dumb rule that no one but the very anal leaders follow anyway.

    To which much of what the BSA has recently done has been rules based on lawyers to prevent law suits. Many local Troops find every work around these rules or out right break them to allow the boys to learn the way boys learn, and enjoy the better things in life.

    I really thank you for speaking on this. I’ve gotten tired of explaining it to people. It’s not the end of the world. It’s a final straw attempt to rescue a dying organization.

    • “It’s a final straw attempt to rescue a dying organization.”

      Totally agree.

  5. As an Eagle Scout myself, I believe the program is a sinking ship.  I’ve seen evidence aside from the gender issue, but there are still strong individual troops out there, and it will be a SLOWLY sinking ship for some time to come, with many of us adult volunteers bailing.

    Before I did the research, I was under some of the same misconceptions as those who spread the memes.  I have always been aware of the co-ed nature of the Venture crews, Explorers and Sea Scouts, but only recently did I find out that internationally, the scouting program in most countries has long been co-ed, and that America was a rarity in limiting membership to boys.

    • Totally agree that it is a sinking ship and there are many reasons. I think the biggest one is less boys want to be a scout than ever and that number keeps dropping. It just isn’t “cool” as far as kids are concerned. What 16 year old boy would want to go to High School and ask a girl on a date in a Scout Uniform? It is 2018, apart from all the self inflicted wounds BSA has a major image/brand issue with the target market.

      If I was in charge the first thing I would do is retool the uniform into something really sharp looking that kids would want to wear. I would make the entire coed issue moot by saying any troop or den can do whatever they want on that. All boys, all girls, coed? Gee let the men and woman busting their humps decide what they do. If some guy doesn’t like the coed way he can found his own troop and build it up and run it, if some other guy thinks girls should be involved let him do it.

      If you fixed the problem (dwindling numbers) and made it something kids really wanted to do and gave adults the ability to run things their way with basic guidance it likely would not be an issue.

  6. This “leftist moron” as you so kindly put it, puts in 15+ volunteer hours each week as the Pack Committee Chairman for a Cub Scout Pack with 100+ Scouts, is Boy Scout merit badge counselor, a Venture Crew Advisor, and a Girl Scout Leader too.  Funny thing is, I agree with most of your article/rant.  But what a shame that you had to go an insult a group that also gives time to this organization.

    • Sorry if you went out and marched in a pink pussy hat, I do think you are a leftist moron.

      However, I can think you are a leftist moron and still respect other things you do like your work here with scouts. Just wonder what politics you might be dragging into it. The pink hat protest was one of the most idiotic things I have seen in all my years on planet earth. It wasn’t a protest at all, it was nothing but a bunch of adults throwing a collective child like tantrum because they didn’t get their way.

      BTW I am not a Trump supporter, I just find humor in those of you that suffer from T.A.R.D.

  7. I was in the Cub Scouts once, for a very short time, my mother signed me up, I thought it was OK but it was boring. We met only once a month and all they wanted to do was play kids games, this was back in the 60’s in Chicago. I expected to go camping in the summer and things like that, but it never happened. So after about six months I quit. I think the Boy Scouts as a whole is a great organization, just didn’t workout for me at the time. That being said, personally I ignore all the propaganda out there however I think the Scouts should remain ‘boys only’ for the most obvious reasons.

    I don’t believe girls are going to get pregnant, even it they had it all as co-ed, it’s supervised very well. This isn’t about that at all, it’s about boys having something they can call their own, something that girls have nothing to do with. Let the girls go to the Girl Scouts, now if they wanted to infuse both groups together under the same banner I would support that.

    Dis-banning the Girl Scouts and bringing them under the fold and control of the BSA banner would be a great idea, but I don’t see that happening. Why keep then separated, what’s the point, what are they going to teach girls that they don’t want the boys to know, same thing with the boys what are they going to teach them that they don’t want the girls to know. It’s all hypocrisy, there may not be any open influences going on but they are there none the less.

    We keep seeing where men have to let women in but the same isn’t being said about women’s groups doing the same thing. All this is really doing is “keeping up with the Jones” mentality and has nothing to do with “Equality”, no matter what anyone says the feminist movement isn’t about equality it’s about power, women’s power over men. People need to wake-up and smell the coffee.

    • That is exactly correct. It is nothing to do with including girls. It has to do with taking a way from boys.

      • Explain how girls having their own troops takes away anything from boys. Go ahead.

  8. There is a lot of attrition in scouting.  There is also a lot of interest from girls in cub scout events and activities.  My daughter hated girl scouts, but loved a lot of the cub scout activities.  I believe the BSA looked at this and made a financial decision.  A decision that made sense.

    Our pack has a lot of people that drop off there kids.  I’m not one of those parents.  I always stayed and helped where needed.  I’m currently our PWD chair, but will be bowing out after this year.  I was a committee member, but couldn’t deal with the district and council nonsense.  If you want to witness Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy, get involved in Scouts.

  9. As an Eagle Scout with a small son and daughter, I whole heartedly approve of this move by the BSA. On my two trips to Philmont Scout ranch, I had the privilege of hiking with sister crews that were female venture scouts. It made the experience so much richer because we would be with our all male crew for a day or two, then meet up at a camp along the trail and have cookouts together. I can’t wait to hopefully do this with both my son AND daughter!

  10. A clarification. You said:

    “Those nice young men in their uniforms helping grandma across the street were not members of “Boy Scouts of America” (here after referred to as BSA) but rather “Boy Scouts”.  BSA is the main organization which manages all six scouting organizations under them.”

    BSA does not consider the different groups (Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturing, etc.) as separate organizations. They are programs under the Boy Scouts of America organization and anyone registered in one of the programs is a BSA member.

  11. Even with separate male/female den’s the dynamics of how the achievements are taught and executed are going to change with the girls being part of boy scouts. The dynamics of what is taught and how are what helped to make young men out of young boys. That is going to change and from  my perspective I don’t like it. I am a Den Leader, Pack/Troop committee member, Popcorn Kernel and I am part of the leadership that takes our scouts to camp every year. I am engaged and active in scouting but this article states that it is outsiders that are complaining. Not all those that don’t like this move are outsiders.

    In one section of the article the writer states, “…So BSA has LISTENED to is market (primary the tens of thousands of volunteers that work their asses off for free as Scout Masters, etc.)…”, B.S.!!! I was never contacted and informed about the possibility of girls being allowed in, I was never asked my opinion of this topic or removing the word Boy from Boy Scouts and I learned about it like everyone else in the general public – from the local evening news. The BSA is asking us (leaders) to be inclusive and accept girls into Boy Scouts.

    How can they ask us to be inclusive when they themselves were exclusive in the debates and decisions that have been made regarding girls and the removal of Boy from Boy Scouts? I believe scouting is good for all but, I don’t believe in the basis from which it comes anymore because they are asking me to be/do something they could not be/do themselves and that is being inclusive. Don’t force me to be/do something you as the BSA high lever leader ship would not do!

    Also, for those adult women that were in Girl Scouts and say that they did not have a good experience. Now is the time to engage and make a difference. Go out and join Girl Scouts as a committee member, den leader or other adult member and drive change. Don’t just stand back and say it didn’t work for you so it is a good idea that girls should go into Boy Scouts. 

    We as adults and parents not only show the kids the things they need to understand in life through executing the scouting program, we also show them very beneficial life skills by engaging, becoming active in something and driving change when change is right and needed instead of taking an inactive roll and stating and opinion that one group is better than another and that the one group has to take on the other. That is the mentality that has created the “I’m entitled to what I want” philosophy of life now days. B.S., pull up your boot straps and get out there and work for the change that is good and  needed – fixing the Girl Scouts to provide what the girls today demand.

  12. Our family is very into Cub and Boy Scouting, and I appreciate your article.  We have met a lot of great people in scouting, and a few challenging ones, but overall it’s a wonderful way for kids to learn independence, skills, leadership and citizenship, and be part of the community.

    I have volunteered for the past 5 years as a den leader and Cubmaster, I am working on Wood Badge and am on our Troop committee. My husband volunteered in cubs and now serves our Troop. We will do our best to help boys and girls who pursue Scouting.

  13. As a registered Scouter for just over 38 years (Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, Venture Crew and Explorer Associate Advisor), I am pleased with the fact that Troops will be gender specific. I have never really understood why we could not teach the same values to our daughters and we did to our sons.