Last October, the Boy Scouts of America announced that girls will be allowed to join their programs. While many fathers saw this as a chance for their daughters to learn about surviving in the great out downs the same way that they did as a child, the organization is still receiving a fair bit of doubt. Unsurprisingly, most of this doubt is coming from the Girl Scouts.
Currently, only the Cub Scouts are accepting girls, and even then it’s up to the troupe leader. the BSA plans to open up the higher ranks (age 11-17) later this year. Currently, packs can be co-ed, but individual dens within those packs (where most activities take place) are still separated by gender. Otherwise, the BSA has stated that both boys and girls are held to an equal standard, and merit badge progression is still achieved the same way.
The Girl Scouts of the USA, however, feel quite differently about this change. Andrea Bastiani Archibald, family engagement officer for Girl Scouts of the USA, had this to say.
“BSA isn’t really doing much to appeal to the interests and needs of girls, and has not demonstrated any interest in serving their specific needs. Additionally, they will be keeping the organizational name, Boy Scouts of America, and therein asking girls who join to give up part of their identity.”
It’s no secret that this change has resulted in a decline in Girl Scout applications. It’s also no secret that the Girl Scouts build tremendous revenue from the sales of Girl Scout cookies. If I was losing my flow of free child labor, I’d be upset too. So while their statement is framed as a concern for the children, it sounds more like they’re unhappy that they’re losing their girls to an organization that actually wants to prepare them for woodland survival.