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Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401

THE MUSE

Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401

THE MUSE

BOY SCOUTS?

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Tony Eytan’s Boy Scout Memorial 19253 licensed under ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The 107 year-old organization called the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), is known for teaching boys useful life skills ranging from cooking to wilderness survival. With the goal of supporting young boys in their physical, mental, and spiritual development, the BSA provides a learning environment unlike any other. Recently, the BSA council made a decision that has proven to be incredibly controversial: allowing girls to join. While this decision may seem to come off as an act of acceptance and equality, it was done for all the wrong reasons.

Many argue that the BSA council only made the decision to allow girls to join because of how few new male members are enrolling. One group against this decision is the Girl Scouts themselves. In August, Buzzfeed News obtained a strongly worded letter from Kathy Hannan, president of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, accusing the BSA of courting girls to boost their falling enrollment numbers. With this new decision, the BSA is virtually attempting to steal the Girl Scouts’ members.

At its peak in 1972, the BSA had almost 6.5 million members, according to the organization. Today, that number has dropped by more than half. In 2012, it had 2.8 million members. Four years later, that number dropped by 500 thousand people to 2.3 million.

One of the most exciting things about being part of the BSA, besides knot tying, is summer camp. Scouts all around the world will travel to these scout summer camps to learn new merit badges and simply have a good time.

After the decision was made, extra steps will have be taken in order to adjust to this new policy, including the scout summer programs. Since everything has functioned based on one gender, new bathrooms, showers, and sleeping arrangements will have to be made in order to maintain the privacy of all.

Even if none of this had occurred, problems amongst both sexes wouldn’t be treated the same. Many leaders in scouting haven’t adjusted to the concept of gender equality. They wouldn’t be able to tell a girl that she had to build a shelter using sticks and pine needles to sleep in. Some of the male leaders involved still think that they’re living in the ‘50s, based on my previous encounters as a Boy Scout. According to The Atlantic,“The boys of 2017 will go on to relate to women in ways different from the boys of 1910—who would know women as wives and family, but had little expectation of working together as peers.” Because of this, girls wouldn’t be able to get the full experience if they did end up joining.

Even if this policy was enforced to promote equality and feminism, it still has many negative effects for all Boy Scouts. The BSA should have collaborated with the Girl Scouts on events and camps that they could possibly be able to work together on. Stealing members from the Girls Scouts is an unnecessary thing to do. One simple action made by the BSA council has proved to be an incredibly contentious issue, even from a pro-equality standpoint.

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About the Contributor
Tommy McCabe, Opinion Editor
Communications junior Tommy McCabe is a second-year Opinion Editor for The Muse. McCabe is involved in many extracurricular activities both inside and outside of school. As an Eagle Scout, he hopes to get into the best college he can after graduation. His main focus as a communications major is film, in which he is able to perform almost all of the jobs, both behind camera and in front. He is also very passionate about having a healthy lifestyle and is very strict when it comes to diet and exercise.   If you would like to contact this staffer, you may reach them at [email protected]
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    Alan PieperDec 7, 2017 at 8:34 am

    This is an uninformed article. the BSA has allowed girls in their other programs like venture scouts, sea scouts, and varsity scouts for years now, the Boy Scouts was the last logical choice. Also, the girls scouts are aimed at girls from 1st to 5th grade, any girls above that don’t get a real experience, there’s just not that much for the older girls/tomboys. This is a logical and smart decision.

     
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    • H

      hunter goodmanDec 11, 2017 at 7:39 pm

      I’m glad you think that this is an uninformed article, but the point of groups like the boy scouts is for boys to get away from the distractions of society. Many guys want to, isolate themselves from society, broaden their skills, and really increase bonding and social skills with other people. The two groups were created for a reason: to allow boys and girls to broaden their social skills without being distracted by the other sex, and to focus on certain goals and practices specific to each gender. According to an article done by the American Psychology Association (APA), “Places that use the best practices for gender-specific teaching can be and are more successful at teaching to boys’ and girls’ strengths.”

       
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