The gender-neutral scouts of America: The Boy Scouts of America accepts girls


The Boy Scouts of America announced October 11 that they will now accept girls into their program. Although the program is, by definition, a scouting program for boys, the program was correct in its decision to accept girls, because the Girl Scout program does not offer the same opportunities as the Boy Scout program does. If the Boy Scouts now accepts girls, however, the Girl Scouts, in turn, should accept boys.  
In 1912, two years after the creation of the Boy Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts of the USA as a theoretically equal group. The two organizations vary slightly in their beliefs. The Boy Scouts is a religious organization that receives most of its funding from Mormon churches, according to The Girl Scouts are not a religious organization. A second topic that the organizations have different views on is lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) members. The Girl Scouts states that they will address any LGBT+ applicants on a case-to-case basis, while the Boy Scouts placed a ban on all gay and transgender members and leaders from the beginning, according to
In 2013, the Boy Scouts announced that they would accept openly gay members, and two years later they announced that they would accept openly gay leaders. Even though their religious funding sources and supporters disagreed with the decisions, the Boy Scouts in January announced that they would accept scouts based on the gender listed on their application, opening the doors for transgender boys to join the Boy Scouts. These changes reflect the changing political and social landscape of America. However, the Boy Scouts received backlash from the Mormon Church, and many families dropped out of the program, according to The New York Times

A Boy Scout carrying a rainbow flag in a parade. Courtesy of The New York Times.

Apart from including LGBT+ members, the Boy Scouts will now accept girls. Many people disagree with the change, especially those loyal to the Girl Scouts. With a co-ed scouting program, camping trips concern parents, according to The New York Times. The organizations will have to make some adjustments to the programs, for example, within particular camping trips, there can be separate tent areas for girls and boys.  
The addition of girls to the Boy Scout program also now allows both girls and boys to achieve the revered rank of an Eagle Scout. Though this will not alter the reputation of an Eagle Scout, it will likely demean the value of the Gold Award, which is the highest award that a girl scout can earn.
Additionally, the Girl Scouts feels undermined and wrote a letter to the Boy Scouts in disagreement, reminding them of the research supporting that girls are more comfortable, learn, and grow better in an all-girls environment. 
Girls may learn better surrounded by only girls, but the limited programs they can participate in is not beneficial to their growth. For years now, the Girl Scout program has frustrated girls, leading them to request acceptance into the Boy Scouts. One of the complaints about the Girl Scout program is that the program is inconsistent and is greatly dependent on the troop leader.
“If you have a mom who’s really into crafts and girlie stuff and being a princess, then that’s what your Girl Scout troop is going to be like. If you have a daughter who’s more rough and tumble, it’s not going to be a good fit,” Rebecca Szetela said in an interview with The New York Times.  
Girl Scouts delivering cookies. Courtesy of

In response to complaints, the Girl Scouts should either implement programs that are more similar to those offered by the Boy Scouts, or the two organizations should merge and become a single gender-neutral organization that is better suited to the modern world and better equipped to grant all scouts equal opportunity. 
Now that the Boy Scouts of America are admitting girls into their program, they will better teach children about life and real-world situations. Many scouts are in a co-ed environment at school, and when they graduate, they will be in a co-ed environment in their everyday lives.
In addition, having boys and girls in the same scouting program will improve relationships between men and women in the future. Single-gender scouting programs often imply that there is a divide or inequality between boys and girls. This carries into the workplace, creating tension and opening the door for mistreatment. With a gender-neutral scouting program, children will learn equality between girls and boys, which they will carry with them for the rest of their lives, along with everything else that they learned as a scout.
– Sydney Kim, Staff Writer