I heard about this and as someone who is involved in a ministry that discussions sexuality/gender issues… I thought this was worthy of some thought to see if there were any benefits to this decision by the Boy Scouts of America. Here are some of the reasons I discovered that it might just be a good move for everyone!!
1. It’s pro-girl. This allows girls to achieve prestigious recognitions that were only offered to boys (such as Eagle Scout award) as well as to pursue some of the more outdoors/rugged pursuits that the BSA are known for. Also a third of BSA adult volunteers are women and this only expands their leadership capabilities within the organization.
2. It’s pro-family. This inclusion allows families who have both boys and girls to do more things together as a family vs. having two separate scouting companies/activities to balance. This is especially helpful for minority family cultures that are more focused on all inclusive family activities.
3. It allows for whats best for your kid. The inclusion of girls allows for families to choose if they want their kids in all boys dens, all girl dens or co-ed dens. Which I think allows parents the freedom to choose what their kid would thrive best in. This would prove true for communities of friends and such who wanted to scout together.
4. It’s keeping a good thing and making it bigger and better. It makes a company bigger than their name…. Think YMCA and the good it’s doing for families today that were once only geared towards young men.
5. It provides safety for vulnerable kids. This set up provides some protection for kids struggling with sexual identity without having to do anything drastic or permanent in order to fit in or be included. 70% of kids gender struggles resolve as they grow into adulthood. So loving those families who don’t fit into the gender norm for a time is something I think is very needed.
6. There are many countries with co-educational scout movements that have been very successful. As well as national organizations like 4H and YMCA.
7. This also gives families with daughters more choice in the type of political and social leaning they want in their family experiences (Girl Scouts more progressive in their approach and message, Boy Scouts will tend to be and have been in the past more conservative in their voice and activities)
8. Girl scouts started because girls weren’t allowed in the Boy Scouts back in the early 1900’s. We are a different culture now and I think it’s a positive move for a current reality of equal even in our differences.
9. Girls are currently part of four scouting programs already: Venturing and Sea Scouting, which is oriented toward outdoor activities; Exploring, a career-oriented mentoring program; and STEM, which focuses on science and math.
10. Among Cub Scout parents, 85 percent said the curriculum is “relevant” for both boys and girls, and 68 percent said they’d want to enroll their own daughters. When parents of non-scouts were asked, without invoking the Cub Scout brand, if they’d register their kids of either gender in an identical program, 90 percent said yes.
11. The BSA believes they teach and provide the best in character and leadership training and they want it available to the most scouts possible… boys or girls. Over half of all astronauts were involved in Scouting and 16.3% of West Point cadets are Eagle Scouts. Of the current Congress, 191 members were involved in Scouting, 18 current U.S. governors participated in Scouting, and many of them are Eagle Scouts.