In the past few weeks across the nation, there has been an uproar from a program that we are all familiar with-- Boy Scouts. This uproar has been caused by the announcement that the "Boy" Scouts will officially be letting girls join their ranks.
The Boy Scouts will also be changing their name to Scouts BSA in February 2019. With the name change, the BSA also announced “Scout Me In,” a modern campaign to invite young people and families to be a part of the life-changing experience of Scouting.
Here is a chart that describes the name changes to clear up any confusion, and the organization name, Boy Scouts of America, will not change. :
Now, this has caused a considerable amount of uproar as one can imagine. My boyfriend earned Eagle Scout in 2015, and has earned countless merit badges, attended a myriad of camps, and has done his part as a Boy Scout. He believes that there could be issues with having girls in scouts and that a lot of the ideas and things that scouts teach will not apply to girls. I, too, wonder how some of the badges and such will be changed to fit girls. Maybe we can look to the leaders of Boy Scouts to answer our questions in the coming months.
To clear things up for everyone, girls and boys will NOT be in the same dens/troops. Girls will be with girls and boys will be with boys. I know that a lot of the problems have stemmed from people thinking young kids will be going on campouts together, etc, but I feel like you'd have to be stupid to believe that leaders in Scouts across the nation would allow that to happen.
Now, co-ed activities may happen, but that is just like any other thing-- your child attends school with boys and girls, so there is truly no difference.
This is obviously causing a huge buzz because of girls being allowed in, but why? As noted in the image above, many of the BSA sponsored programs already include BOTH boys and girls.
I do understand many people being upset and am totally neutral in my stance. I do understand people wanting things to stay how they were, but I can also understand people wanting change. It is honestly a tough thing to balance because you can't please everyone.
Many people have theorized as to where this change is coming from. What I can gather from multiple sources is that BSA membership is falling, and it is falling fast. According to many sources, the amount of members over the past few years has significantly declined. So, this leads to the theory-- did Boy Scouts allow girls in because of falling membership? Have they allowed girls to join so that they can save their program for rapidly declining? We may never know for sure.
What we do know is that the Girl Scouts are downright angry and upset that the BSA is allowing girls to join. The relationship that the Girl Scouts had with the BSA is now splintered and I would assume-- over. I wonder what Girl Scouts will do to keep their membership high and thriving.
One regional leader based out of Illinois has reported that her membership across her youths council has shrunken by 500 girls. Once again, I suppose we will have to wait and see what the coming weeks and months provide.
Now, I say all of this just to ask-- what will become of the BSA after this change? Will people boycott membership or will this prove to be a kickstarter for waves of new members? I know that many alumni of the program and many current members are outraged by the change, and I suppose we will all have to wait and see how this impacts the BSA from here on out.