JACKSON HOLE, WYO – As the pursuit of inclusiveness marches toward (and beyond?) sensibility, the Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday girls will be allowed to be boys. As in join the Boy Scouts.
For some, the decision follows predictably in the footsteps of the organization’s eased policy toward gays—lifting the ban on openly gay scouts in 2013 and allowing openly gay leaders in 2015. What’s next, some wondered, allowing girls?
Yep. The gender-centric youth organization has made a major policy shift after more than 100 years of operating exclusively for boys, it will now allow girls to join, with older girls eligible to earn the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout.
“The historic decision comes after years of receiving requests from families and girls,” Boy Scouts of America said in a statement.
Locally, scout leaders Cliff and Loretta Kirkpatrick don’t think it will change too much. It’s the camping arrangements that have them concerned.
“The Cub Scouts is not so much an issue but as they get older to Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts, it will be a little harder to work out tent arrangements while camping and stuff like that,” said Loretta Kirkpatrick. She added there were already a few girls involved in the organization here in the area.
The Girl Scouts aren’t particularly thrilled with the decision. For years, the organization has been expecting such a move by the Boy Scouts as a means to bolster its sagging ranks. Membership has dropped off significantly since 2012.
The Girls Scouts issued a statement Wednesday, presumably in answer to the Boy Scouts gender grab.
“We believe strongly in the importance of the all-girl, girl-led, and girl-friendly environment that Girl Scouts provides, which creates a free space for girls to learn and thrive. The benefit of the single-gender environment has been well documented by educators, scholars, other girl- and youth-serving organizations, and Girl Scouts and their families.”