OPINION: An Open Letter to the Boy Scouts of America

Dear Scouts,

It’s pretty easy to figure out what you’re doing by opening the doors to accept girls in the Boy Scouts and later down the line setting up a program for older girls, giving them a part to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. You’re doing it for the money. I understand that you’ve seen dwindling numbers in your membership for years and that you’ve had to defend yourself against revelations of decades of sexual abuse and want to improve your public image. But is this really the way to fix that?

I’m the father of two Eagle Scouts and I’m grateful for the leadership and other skills that my son’s have learned over the many years of scouting.

I’m also the father of a 2 1/2 year old little girl who may or may not grow up into a teenager who wants to take part in “girly” activities. She may want to learn how to hunt and fish and camp and be a part of more rugged outdoor activities. She might prefer doing things more like the Boy Scouts than the Girl Scouts. But signing her up and letting her join the Boy Scouts likely isn’t in the cards and it really shouldn’t be the answer.

I’m going to have to side with the Girl Scouts on this one. They felt the move blindsided them. The Girls Scouts maintain that in their 105 year old history, they’ve determined that since so much of a girl’s life takes place in a coed environment, and their research and data shows that young girls really thrive in an environment where they can experiment, take risk and stretch themselves in the company of other girls, it makes sense to keep the organization one that is just for girls. At least that’s what Lisa Margosian, chief customer service officer for the Girl Scouts, said earlier this week.

This comes down to more PC nonsense and it’s one of the reasons that people are sick and tired of all the caving to special interests. You had already made the
decision to end the ban on gay members and even allow transgender boys, but apparently that wasn’t enough. Instead it had to be a full frontal assault on common sense and tradition. There’s nothing wrong with having an organization for boys and an organization for girls. It’s really sort of simple until you start meddling, making it more complicated and confusing. There’s certainly nothing wrong with leading girls down a path that’s a little less traditional, and as a parent of a little girl, if that’s what she wants when she gets a little older, I’ll support it. But I also support the notion that girls and boys should have their own clubs exclusive of one another.

Maybe the Girl Scouts aren’t a good fit for little ladies who want to be more rough and tumble and aren’t into traditionally girly stuff. That’s okay and that might mean
that those girls seek out a different path to suit their needs. But joining the Boy Scouts shouldn’t be the answer. You’ve admitted that the smallest groups of Cub Scouts will continue to be single sex. Why? If opening up the group to both sexes is a good idea for larger groups, why isn’t it a good idea for the troops with smaller numbers? That doesn’t make any sense to me.

This letter is to you, but I’m going to write the Girl Scouts as well. Maybe that group needs to further evolve and consider that the activities they provide need to include
less of a girly-girl focus. Their focus is on girls, let them figure it out. You should focus on the boys you’ve nurtured for more than 100 years. Unless it’s all about the money…and I think it is.

Sincerely,
Mark Reardon

More from Mark Reardon
Comments

One Comment

  1. As a conserative Eagle Scout with palms and Order of Arrow recipient father of a son and daughter, I couldnt agree more with your point of view.

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