We’re Good Out Here

Boy Scouts to Allow Girls to Join
Sun, 2017/10/15

On October 11, the Boy Scouts of America released a statement officially announcing the decision to allow girls to enroll in the Cub Scouts program, with the opportunity to eventually earn the coveted Eagle Scout rank.  After years of pushing a hardcore conservative agenda, dwindling recruitment numbers has spurred the Boy Scouts to open recruitment to individuals previously barred from joining the organization.  In 2013, openly gay young men were finally allowed to join the Boy Scouts, something the Girl Scouts of America has allowed since their founding in 1912.  In 2015, the Boy Scouts allowed open gay men to serve as troop leaders, something the Girl Scouts have allowed since their founding.  Earlier in 2017, the Boy Scouts announced they would begin allowing transgender members to join, something the Girl Scouts have, again, allowed since their founding.  By taking even a brief glance at their comparative histories, it becomes abundantly clear that the Boy Scouts are too late in playing catch up with the Girl Scouts. 

Ask any Girl Scout, and they’ll tell you the idea that the Boy Scouts have anything to offer girls that the Girl Scouts can’t is laughable.  The Girl Scouts of America has been promoting leadership and independence for young girls since 1912, creating programs allowing young women to grow and prosper no matter who they were.  By and large, the Girl Scouts were not founded to create a program for young women to go outdoors and learn how to camp (though that is a fairly important part of it).  The Girl Scouts have, since their inception, been a group that is ultimately built on unity and progress.  And perhaps that’s the biggest separator between the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts: the Girl Scouts of America were founded to unite marginalized groups of young women, while the Boy Scouts of America have consistently fought to unite white, heterosexual, cis-gendered young men.  The Girl Scouts were created to give young women the tools to fight for social and political rights, to create a community of strong willed young girls unwilling to back down from helping a fellow girl.  At every political turning point in this country, the Girl Scouts have been far ahead of the national curve.  From allowing every girl, regardless of race, sexuality, or religion, to join from the beginning, to actively fighting for the civil rights movement, the Girl Scouts have been a force of unity and compassion throughout the nation, while the Boy Scouts have consistently fought to maintain the status quo.  Dr. Martin Luther King called the Girl Scouts “a force for desegregation,” in 1956.  In contrast, the racial segregation of Boy Scout troops finally ended in 1974.

The latest radical change in the recruitment for the Boy Scouts only highlights how desperate they are to slow their inevitable descent into obsolescence.  Years of hardline conservativism are finally catching up to them, but unfortunately, none of these last-ditch attempts will work.  While the Boy Scouts may need girls, the Girl Scouts of America have shown for the past century that girls do just fine on their own.