The Boy Scouts of America caved to societal demands once more on Wednesday, announcing that girls will be allowed into the 107-year-old organization and are even able to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
This decision comes after four years of continuous upheaval for the Boy Scouts’ membership standards, which began in 2013 when the National Council voted to open membership for openly homosexual boys. Since then, the organization has allowed for openly gay leaders and also announced in January that transgender boys could enroll in the program.
These changes have not been voluntary by any means. For years, Boy Scouts sponsors with liberal tendencies, such as Disney World and Intel, have threatened to pull their funding unless the organization changed the membership standards. Syndicated talk show host Dennis Prager foresaw the looming threat for awhile before the corporations actualized on their threats, writing back in 2009 that the Left is “doing whatever it can to destroy the Boy Scouts until the Boy Scouts change their policy on gays.” These pressures have continually resulted in a massive politicization of the organization.
Proponents of this change say that having girls in the Boy Scouts is good for all parties and does not compromise the integrity of the program, but the opposite is actually true.
Despite what the biologically-disinclined Left might say, men and women are different and therefore learn and mature differently. Boys need to be around boys in order to become men, and the same goes for girls on their way to becoming women. Of course, boys and girls shouldn’t be segregated from each other, but there should be no blowback to them being in separate formative organizations. By allowing boys and girls to develop their own unique traits, we create a more synergistic society where each is better prepared to treat the other sex with respect when they begin having romantic interests in one another.
This is why we have Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.
Of course, the current Girl Scout model is far from perfect and has been criticized for being more of a leftist advocacy training group instead of focusing on the development of women. However, boys and girls shouldn’t be punished for the inadequacy of the Girls Scouts by lumping everyone into the Boy Scouts. These organizations provide a safe haven for youth going through the developmental teenage years where they don’t have to worry about the opposite sex and can instead focus on building themselves and their fellow scouts.
In a statement following the Boy Scouts’ decision, Becky Burton, chief executive officer of the Fort Worth-based Girl Scouts of Texas-Oklahoma Plains Council, reiterated the need and benefit of having Boy Scouts for boys and Girls Scouts for girls.
“The single-gender environment we offer at Girl Scouts creates an inclusive, safe space where girls are free to explore their potential and take the lead without the distractions or pressures that can be found in a coed environment,” she said, speaking specifically for girls, but this notion is just as applicable for the old form of the Boy Scouts.
The Boy Scouts have a far superior leadership development program, and it would be wrong to say that girls shouldn’t have the opportunity for something similar, because they certainly deserve these same opportunities. That said, trying to solve the Girl Scouts’ problems by just opening up the doors of the Boy Scouts to all girls is the wrong way to go about it.
Instead, the Girl Scouts, who have spoken out in heavy opposition to Wednesday’s decision, should focus on revamping their own program and finding answers as to why girls want to leave in the first place.
The Gold Award is as close as the Girls Scouts come to earning the equivalent of the Eagle Scout rank, but it doesn’t carry nearly as much weight as the words ‘Eagle Scout’ in any given context. This is another reason why girls and their families have petitioned the Boy Scouts for admittance, but it would be wrong to allow them to become Eagle Scouts. For myself, and I’m sure for many others, it will feel like a loss in identity.
Girls should be able to grow in leadership, service, outdoor skills, and a multitude of other skills – there should be no question about that. But the Boy Scouts’ decision to simply whip up a new identity out of thin air has failed to account for the mutual benefits of having “single-gender environments.” Boys and girls develop most effectively when given the chance to realize their potential with a close group of peers. As Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, tweeted out on Wednesday, “Don’t change things that work.”
Girls don’t need to be Eagle Scouts in order to succeed, however, the Girl Scouts must provide a viable alternative that can carry just as much weight. The integrity of the rank of Eagle Scout and of the Boy Scouts of America should not be compromised just so society can make up for the ideological and practical failures of the Girls Scouts.
I wish the Boy Scouts the best of luck moving forward, but I hope that one day the organization will return to its roots and provide my future sons with the same opportunities and learning environment that it gave me.
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