Local troop leaders react to Boy Scouts allowing girls in programs

"Girl Scouts is the best girl leadership organization in the world, created with and for girls". Some support the idea, some think it's bad, and some are ambivalent.

There are plenty of organizations out there for all different varieties of youth.

Over the last 50 years, the Girl Scouts have made changes to their curriculum and outlook that mirror the social progress that American girls and women have made at home and at work.

The Boy Scouts top managerial staff, which affirmed the arrangement consistently in a meeting at BSA home office in Texas, said the change was expected to give more alternatives to guardians. When I became an adult leader of my son's Troop back in MI, I attended some training seminars and one was focused on providing the kinds of activities Boy Scouts are known for. They can become Ambassadors by their sophomore year of high school.

While it's nice that the Boy Scouts are letting in girls, the leaders could really learn a lesson from the Girl Scouts, which has been a secular organization since its founding, helping to mold the young minds of believers and nonbelievers alike. The Boy Scouts has always been exclusively for boys. The bigger Cub Scout packs will have the alternative to stay single sexual orientation or welcome the two sexes.

Tammy Wharton, CEO of Girl Scouts of the Heartland, discusses the Boy Scouts decision to admit girls. "The Girl Scouts, meanwhile, reported 1,566,671 youth members as of March, down from just over 2 million in 2014".

But scouting leaders lauded the expansion, which will begin in 2018.

The BSA's move has been rumored since the spring and has drawn criticism from the Girl Scouts of the U.S., who, naturally, see it as a threat to their own organization's numbers.

Girl Scouts officials have also suggested the move was driven partly by the BSA's need to raise more money. Why does GIRL scouts even exist if were gonna allow that?

Activities depend largely on the Scouts' age group and their individual troops. Boy Scouts sell popcorn and sometimes fertilizer.

Membership numbers for both groups have been falling in recent years. Some packs have sibling programs, where sisters of scouts participated in the same projects as their brothers. The Florida Sea Base, for example, offer programs for sailing, scuba diving, kayaking and other aquatic activities. Older girls can opt to go on destination trips across the globe, from Iceland to India.

Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts salute during a Memorial Day ceremony in Linden, Michigan.

Many scouting organizations in other countries allow both boys and girls, and use gender-free names such as Scouts Canada.

"We are happy that girls are going to be able to experience our programs and practice leadership at all levels in all forms of Scouting", he said. The Boy Scouts lifted a ban on gay leaders in 2015.

Randall Stephenson, the BSA's national board chairman, was effusive about the new girls policy: "The BSA's record of producing leaders with high character and integrity is fantastic", he said in the BSA release. My scouting experiences have guided me throughout my adulthood and will continue to do so. However, according to the organization's 2016 treasurer report, the Boy Scouts' total net assets decreased by about $34.5 million from the year before.

Vanessa Coleman

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