Why Do the Boy Scouts Want to Include Girls?

On Wednesday, the Boy Scouts of America announced it will soon allow girls to join the organization as Cub Scouts and earn the rank of Eagle Scout, marking a significant policy shift in the organization’s over 100-year history.

“The values of Scouting—trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example—are important for both young men and women,” said Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh in a statement. “We strive to bring what our organization does best—developing character and leadership for young people—to as many families and youth as possible as we help shape the next generation of leaders.”

It’s the latest move by the organization to attempt to open up its membership. In 2013, the organization lifted the ban on openly gay scouts and in 2015, ended the prohibition on gay leaders. Earlier this year, the Boy Scouts of America also said it will allow scout members that self-identify as male, creating room for transgender members.

Wednesday’s announcement, however, received pushback from the Girl Scouts of the USA, which has long been an alternative for girls and recently criticized the Boy Scouts for considering opening its doors to girls. “The need for female leadership has never been clearer or more urgent than it is today—and only Girl Scouts has the expertise to give girls and young women the tools they need for success,” the Girl Scouts said in a statement.

The two organizations have developed markedly different curriculums over the past century. In their earliest years, Boy Scouts teachings were imbued with a more frontiersmen ethos connected to the national narrative of moving west, while the Girl Scouts were a more urban movement teaching both domestic and outdoor skills, said Tammy Proctor, the head of the history department at Utah State University and author of the book …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics

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