As a BSA leader I can tell you this has been strongly debated. Most feel we should keep the program just for boys thru the ages of 11-14 so they can grow as boys. OTOH most see the high number of girls already in Venturing and who are in Boy Scouts “under the table” so to speak.
As for the Girl Scouts, I never have been impressed by the program. It seems to me lots of girls join when they are little but drop out when they hit maybe age 11. The program doesn’t do the camping and outdoors activities the boys do. And, quite frankly, the organization mostly exists to sell cookies and bring in money for the executives. Check out all the cookie related items on their website. I can say I have known exactly ONE girl to ever earn their gold award while I have known dozens of boys who make Eagle. Most girls find their program to be boring and wonder why the boys have all the fun? Most girl scout camps have been sold so they now use boy scout camps.
Now I will say the GSA has been changing. For example, they now do thepinewood derby. Their website now features items for the outdoors and camping. They have been pushing merit badges again while dropping their earlier “journeys” campaign. They brought back the GS knife which was discontinued back in the 70’s. The are trying to do more camping. Last month in our area was the “Scouting 500” event and a few girl scouts did show up. However the question some asked was why don’t the girl scouts do something like this?
I know scouting is coed in Europe so I guess this was coming.
Per your cite, the Cub Scouts will admit girls (but each den will still be single gender). They plan to set up separate program for older girls that has a curriculum much like the Boy Scouts. There is no indication that girls will actually be admitted to the Boy Scouts in your link.
Well, there’s been co-ed Venturing for years. Explorering as well, and the difference between the two could be fairly minimal (Venturing is more outdoorsy, while Exploring is/was more focused on an area), except for the blowback resulting from BSA winning their right to discriminate in the 90s, which meant that a lot of governmental sponsors of Exploring units suddenly found themselves unable to keep sponsoring units. I believe the unit my Scouting troop would collaborate with was an Exploring unit, but they acted more like a Venturing unit.
It’ll be interesting to see what actually winds up happening. I think there’s a place for both single-sex units like Scouting and co-ed units like Venturing. There’s nothing stopping a boy from doing both simultaneously once the minimum age for Venturing is reached. All the girls I knew in that Exploring unit had brothers in the Scouting troop and had no interest in GSA.
Seems like they are not planning to fully integrate girls into the program but rather have a parallel program for girls that delivers the same thing it does for the boys. At least that is how I read their vague press release.
IIRC the US is the only country that has separate entities for girl and boy scouts and they are doing ok with having one organization and scouting path for both.
I say good riddance to Girl Scouts. They are mostly worthless these days IMO. Boy scouts offers a much better program that girls absolutely should be able to participate in.
I’m probably too biased, having been a Boy Scout myself, but just to be clear: Boy Scouts are no “Boy Scouts”. If I were the parent of a girl, I would not have wanted her within 10 miles of my Boy Scout troop. If there are actual plans to integrate 11 - 16 year olds, some big changes need to be made.
It’s been done for years. Venturing is co-ed, ages 14-21. Exploring is co-ed, and basically either 10-14 or 14-18. As I said, I see value in single-sex units as well, but that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be a third co-ed program for 11-18.
sigh You’ve said this in other threads, repeatedly, despite it being explained to you that GS are NOT merely the female equivalent of the Boy Scouts, despite the name. They don’t exist just to go camping, but do a wide variety of activities. I was a Girl Scout as a kid, and camping was only a small part of what we did.
(As for the Gold Award, not many win it because it’s a hell of a lot harder to achieve than it is to be an Eagle Scout. My cousin won it a few years ago)
I didn’t say it couldn’t be done, just that if Boy Scouts are like they were when I was a kid (back in the dark ages), you’d want to make some significant changes first. Just saying “OK, girls are in now!” is not the way to go.
This is a sincere question, not intended to sound snarky.
Do you in fact know what’s required to attain Eagle Scout rank? I achieved that exalted status in 1966 (with three palms, he boasted), but have had no involvement with BSA since 1968. Has it (Eagle) become more or less difficult since then?
The Boy Scouts of America will now allow girls to join the organization, the group announced Wednesday.
The organization’s board of directors unanimously voted to let girls into the Cub Scout program and create a program for older girls to allow them to become Eagle Scouts, their highest rank, the group said in a release.
A friend of mine put her daughter into boy scouts instead of girl scouts because in her area the boys got to do hiking, camping, construction projects, engineering, while the local girl scouts were heavily into cooking, sewing, child care.
Her daughter loved it, stayed in it thru High School, and had a great experience.
I know my brother worked his butt off (and several other people’s butts off) refurbishing a cemetery for his Eagle project. However he (and my mother, who worked with him on it) are notorious overachievers, so I have no idea what normal humans do.
(I myself only made it as far as Star, and everything else Eagle required except the project - if I’d wanted to go further I’d have had to put in, well, any effort at all, which was and is against my personal philosophy.)
Speaking as a former Girl Scout who stuck with it through my senior year in high school… I agree. I always felt it was a second-rate imitation, there were few opportunities for my tomboy self (although I made the most of them - I did do quite a bit of camping and was part of a specialist troop that helped run a horse farm). I always wanted to be a Boy Scout (NOT a boy!) because the boys seemed to have more fun AND be taken much more seriously. The “eagle scout equivalent” that was held up to me wasn’t equivalent - almost no one had ever heard of it! It was NOT the same, a clear case of separate is not equal in my opinion.
A good friend of mine is deeply involved in Girl Scouting (she’s a troop leader and has been involved in the local/regional level of the organization as well). This is her Facebook post, pasted with her permission.