Boy Scouts opening doors for girls in America

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 at 2:00 PM

It has been determined that the Boy Scouts of America are going to allow girls to enroll in their organization, beginning in 2018, therefore, legitimizing girls as true members of the over 100-year-old organization. As a former member of the “opposing” institute, Girl Scouts of America, this news was shocking to me for a multitude of reasons; however, I do believe this change is a positive for both organizations in regard to family unity, equality and simply for breaking the mold.

First, let’s acknowledge that the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America share the same fundamental goals for their members. To further illustrate, here is a side-by-side comparison of their promises and laws that all members must recite and hold true as a participant of either organization.

It is remarkable the similarities within the laws and promises of each organization, but moreover, there’s a lack of knowledge (even on my part as a member of Girl Scouts for close to a decade) that these two communities hold such common ideals.

Second, the Boy Scouts of America was established in 1910 in the U.S., which was inspired by the Baden-Powell’s model of Boy Scouts Association in Britain. The Girl Scouts origin starts in 1912 in America, led by Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Law in Savannah, Georgia.

Third, the activities and programs that both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America offer include a variety of outdoor features, such as camping, biking, aquatics, hiking and more. I do assert that programs that are available for both organizations are based on member input and that has a role in why some activities vary amongst parities across the U.S.

Therefore, with all this collected evidence that points to such commonality, there are two inevitable questions that arise: why are there two “Scouts” in the first place, and why is it a big deal for girls to join Boy Scouts? The answer for both questions: we believe in strict gender placement in America and breaking that “norm” terrifies us.

Much of the push back from the inclusivity that the Boy Scouts are offering involves stereotypical fear of boys and girls interacting; however, there will be certain guidelines established regarding bunking and appropriate regulations that the leaders will reinforce. Furthermore, to not embrace this change out of inadequate fear leads our nation to continually feed the idea that girls and boys activities needs to remain two different entities.

This change in tradition is a positive step in redirecting our youth’s mindset to believing that we all can achieve the same awards, create lasting memories and work together as one “Scout.”

JoAllie Paluchak is a staff writer for The Spectator.

Tags: voices, opinion

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