Recent decision by Boy Scouts to extend their programs to girls has had mixed reaction from the public. Traditionally developed for boys and their development, the organization has recently started including LGBT and extended their programs to girls as well. Are they opening up their doors as part of their inclusiveness initiatives? Or are they looking to improve the dwindling attendance and head count?
Boy Scouts has excellent scouting programs for boys in grades one through twelve. Boys meet weekly once under the leadership of volunteering adults. They all plan different camping, fundraising, and volunteering activities in the community. Mostly funded by local churches, Boy Scouts has proved to be a successful program even in the remote parts of the USA. You can find an Eagle scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts, in all fields of work around you. The achievement of Eagle rank itself is considered a greatest achievement for the Boys and is a constant reminder for them to keep trying for their goals through out their lives.
Camping by Boy Scouts is family friendly event and raises awareness of keeping the environment clean. Many local camping areas are seeing development due to the camping fees paid by the Boy Scouts. Leadership, patriotism, communication, team work, achieving goals, and so on are constantly inculcated in their merit badges and programs. Special funding is available for children with Autism and ADHD to join Boy Scouts. They aim to improve the social skills of the boys by involving in the Scouting.
Boy Scouts was perceived as very strict organization in terms of rules and procedures. Boy Scouts do have venturing programs to include families and siblings. To avoid confusion in their troops, the Boy Scouts have started including LGBT in their troops. The decision was appreciated by many as that solves the common situations. However, recent decision to include girls as well is not welcomed by many.
Girls Scouts have their own program and empowerment agencies. They are not willing to join the Boy Scouts and want to remain independent. By including the girls in the troops, the attendance will increase definitely. 🙂 However, what about empowering the boys. Boys in general have less programs exclusively for them. They had one Scouting program and now the girls are in it as well! In their newsletter to the families, the Boy Scouts leadership has specified that the programs for boys and girls will be different and there will be no changes for the boys. In that case, how the funds will be allotted? Definitely there will be cut for the Boys programs. How about the leadership? Are they willing to recruit LGBTQ and women for their leadership positions?
The scouts are okay with the decision because girls who are gays can end up friends with the boys. That is common in schools as well. Maybe, the latest decision to include girls as well is to accommodate the previous decision of including LGBT. It is at the discretion of the local troops and churches about how they would go ahead with the latest changes. Maybe in future, they are looking for gender neutral scouts. It is uncertain about how the changes will effect Boy Scouts in the long run. Let me know your thoughts. 🙂