August 24, 2017

"The Girl Scouts Have Accused The Boy Scouts Of Secretly Trying To Recruit Girls To Appeal To Millennial Parents."

Buzzfeed reports.
The strongly worded letter — obtained by BuzzFeed News — alleged that BSA was "surreptitiously testing the appeal of a girls’ offering to millennial parents."...

"Through various means we have learned that BSA is very seriously considering opening their programs to girls and we have made repeated efforts to engage with them and talk about the implications," the [Girl Scouts] spokesperson told BuzzFeed News on Tuesday.

"It's a potentially dangerous and bad idea," the spokesperson said, citing research supporting "single gender programming" which says that girls learn best in an all-girls environment when it comes to scouting.
Note: This isn't about transgender kids. It's about the perceived attitude of millennial parents.

50 comments:

Gahrie said...

girls learn best in an all-girls environment when it comes to scouting.

Why? Is it only scouting? Or do girls also learn best when it comes to school in an all girl environment?

Do boys learn best in an all boy environment? Would it matter if true?

Is this a suggestion that boys and girls are different?

Sounds to me like the Girls Scout leadership is not quite woke yet.

Michael K said...

Peter Drucker, in his book on non-profits, called the Girl Scouts one of the best managed non-profits for their success in shifting from an appeal to housewives for something to do, to an appeal to working mothers to "spend quality time with their daughters."

That was about 20 years ago but, as usual , his insights were valuable.

I have no idea what is going on with those organizations now. My grandkids are into sports, not scouts.

I suspect that girl's soccer is a bigger threat to scouts than boys.

Sydney said...

Heh. They should worry. Boy Scouts is a lot more fun than Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts is mostly a cookie selling franchise.

Henry said...

Girl scouts are already accepted in the BSA's Venture Scouting program. Venture scouting, however, is a fraction of the size of regular BSA membership. Membership in all these programs is highest in the 8 to 12 year old range. That's where the competition is.

J. Farmer said...

I am all for the Girl Scout's position. Perhaps it could be best summed up as "separate but equal."

eric said...

My wife wouldn't let my daughter join girl scouts. Why? Because she said the organization had become overrun with lesbians and lesbian activism.

There's something about the name boy scouts that seems to preclude girls though. I can't quite put my finger on it.

Big Mike said...

My wife, now in her sixties, told me that she dropped out of Girl Scouts because the only thing they did outdoors was go door to door selling cookies. No nature hikes. No camping. Nothing fun. If that's true of more than her old (over fifty years ago!) troop, then I can picture the Boy Scouts being appealing to adventuresome young girls. Just have to watch how adventurous they are, and about what.

Rob said...

The Girl Scouts are in the pocket of Big Cookie. That said, if there is to be a separate BSA and GSA, there needs to be transferability of merit badges, so transgendered kids who switch from one to the other can retain their seniority, as it were.

Unknown said...

I'm currently a Scoutmaster and this summer, for the first time ever, I heard a number of other scoutmasters at scout camp talking about Boy Scouts going co-ed. This idea almost seemed to come from nowhere. I knew that most other countries have a co-ed scouting program and it was strange to hear about this all of a sudden.

That said, Girl Scouts is right to worry. Their program is generally poorly thought of and I'm pretty sure that, through Venturing and Explorer programs, more girls are part of the Boy Scouts than part of the Girl Scouts.

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't have daughters, but if I did, I'd much prefer them to be involved in Boy Scouts.

California Snow said...

Now that the Girls Scouts is starting to see how the blurring of gender/sex lines affects the bottom line they want a more traditional view of the sexes. How convenient.

Jenny said...

My two oldest girls were in Girl Scouts for a few years and hated it because it was all about selling stuff and talking about feelings. They wanted to go hiking and camping. Then my son joined Cub Scouts and my girls spent the entire year lamenting they could not be Boy Scouts.

Money quote from my oldest: You'd think that Girl Scouts would be like Boy Scouts except for girls. But it's not.

We are going to try AHG this year and see if we get better results.

Jupiter said...

If BSA isn't a NAMBLA recruiting front already, it will be in a week or two. The God-damned Left destroys everything it touches. And it touches everything.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't have daughters, but if I did, I'd much prefer them to be involved in Boy Scouts.

I was in Boy Scouts. If you knew what we were like, you wouldn't let your daughters anywhere near us.

Rick said...

eric said...
There's something about the name boy scouts that seems to preclude girls though. I can't quite put my finger on it.


In Cub Scouts we allow siblings to participate in the overwhelming majority of events. We have some sisters who have effectively completed the program.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

A-ha-ha-ha-ha! Not too long ago it was "let us in to your exclusive clubs, equal treatment demands it!"
Now it's "stop trying to recruit us into your formerly-exclusive clubs; doing so weakens our won exclusive clubs!" How dare you craft an appeal that might work, you bastards.

That's funny stuff.

Larry J said...

One of my coworkers was heavily involved in the Boy Scouts. His son earned Eagle Scout and is currently employed at the regional headquarters. He was telling me about this just a few days ago. The biggest group that supports the Boy Scouts is the Mormon Church. They're becoming unhappy with some of the recent things (e.g. gay scoutmasters) that are happening with the Boy Scouts and are likely to split off with their own organization. If and when that happens, the Boy Scouts are probably going to become just Scouts and will go coed. One of the big reasons is that young families are looking for activities that both their sons and daughters can do together. It's harder for dual-income parents to support their sons' activities and their daughters' activities separately. From the sounds of it, they'll still be focused on outdoor activities like camping and hiking.

Caligula said...

Perhaps someone's looking for a replay of YMCA vs YWCA?

YWCAs mostly went feminist/female-exclusive (or, if they did admit men, men had reduced privileges but had to pay full membership dues).

Whereas YMCAs mostly went non-exclusive and family-friendly.

And, today there seem to be a whole lot more YMCAs than YWCAs.

Darrell said...

About twenty years ago, my neighbor pulled her daughter out of the Girl Scouts because it had become totally political--Left-leaning, of course. No camping or other outdoor activities were being offered, besides cookie selling, as others have mentioned. I expect things have gotten better in the meantime.

DKWalser said...

I used to be very involved in BSA as a leader of the sponsoring organization of a troop. A family moved into our neighborhood and one of their sons joined our troop. I met with the father and was impressed with him and wanted him to serve as an assistant scoutmaster. He filled out the paperwork and BSA did a background check. The local professional scouter called and told me that BSA would not approve the father to serve as a scout leader -- he'd been charged and convicted of statutory rape several years before -- before his current marriage.

I asked the man about the situation. He said that he was married and had a fight with his wife. She left for a day or two to "think things over". While she was gone, he stayed at home and drank. His wife's 17 year-old sister visited him and they ended up having sex. Next thing he knew, the cops were called (by his wife) and he was arrested for having sex with an underage girl.

BSA's position was that the organization could not afford the risk that someone would accuse the man of sexual misconduct. The professional scouter asked me how it would sound on the stand when we were asked to explain why we let a convicted child molester serve as a scoutmaster. There isn't a good answer to that question.

It is in that context that I say that having girls be part of a boy scout troop is a bad idea. When something happens (or someone claims that something happened whether it did or not) there will be no good answer to the question: Why did you allow X to happen to my daughter? By design, scouts, in groups of two or more, are often left on their own for extended periods of time. (There might only be 2 - 4 adult leaders on a camp out with 20+ scouts.) Leaders won't be able to supervise all male/female interactions without dramatically altering the camping experience or dramatically increasing the number of adult leaders. Either would substantially change the scouting experience and what the scouts gain from it.

Gospace said...

eric said...
My wife wouldn't let my daughter join girl scouts. Why? Because she said the organization had become overrun with lesbians and lesbian activism.


I've heard the same thing multiple times from mother's who have boys in Boy Scouts. The longtime agreement between BSA and GSA that BSA wouldn't go coed was unwritten. But something all Scout leaders knew existed if they've been around for a while. Looks like teh agreement is breaking down.

I have been at a camporee in Canada many times. Canada has Girl Scouts and Girl Guides, both just for girls, who attend the camporee. And Scouts Canada, coed Scouting. There are no youth groups in Canada just for boys because that's discriminatory.

In a discussion just last night with my local district exec, several scenarios were discussed. The most likely scenario being to allow coed or even all girl troops, but leave it to the sponsoring organizations and individual troops to decide it they want to or if they can handle it. But all the proposals are in the air being juggled.

As for Girl Scouts and camping, one of the criticisms I've heard, don't know it's true, is their rules on it require porcelain potties be available. Which means it's not really camping....

Ambrose said...

#BringBackOurGirls

Pinandpuller said...

Rob

It's like Sons of Anarchy: you can get patched over by another club.

You probably have to tip over the FFA table in front of Wal Mart for your initiation.

Khesanh 0802 said...

Now this sounds like real "choice" to me. The girls are going to be allowed to join BSA or GSA. That's a great deal. Of course, GSA being good feministas don't want to have anything to do with boys. Where did these people think all this gay rights, transgenderism, LGBTQetc, BS was going to end up?

Pinandpuller said...

I like girls who aren't Boy Scouts. I'm set in my ways

John said...

However, she vowed to keep fighting, claiming: "I was born a girl, and no matter what else I do with my life, that’s what it all comes down to–being a girl. Being born a boy or a girl is not something you can change, but maybe we can still change the laws that make it legal to discriminate against girls."

-Statement by Katrina Yeaw

You just KNEW that Gloria Allred had to be involved in this issue somehow, didn't you?

Allred, on behalf of Katrina Yeaw sued the California Boy Scouts to force them to allow Katrina to join the Boy Scouts. Ultimately she lost.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeaw_v._Boy_Scouts_of_America

This was in 1997. Katrina's statement would be inoperative today. Being born a boy or a girl IS something you can change.

If a girl wants to join the Boy Scouts, why not just say she is a boy? Would it not be illegal for anyone to question that? Especially in California.

John Henry

Levi Starks said...

When inclusiveness is a bad thing.

jimbino said...

Of course, the BSA will continue to exclude girls who are atheist, agnostic, humanist or freethinkers and we civil libertarians will continue to have good reason to exclude the Boy Scouts from all public lands, charity funding and sponsorship by police and fire departments.

TerriW said...

Jenny:

We have loved AHG. We have camping trips several times a year (and in tents, not cabins!) and my daughter has been able to complete badges like Emergency Preparedness, Survival Search & Rescue, Shooting Sports, etc. It's no contest.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I like "spokesperson" in the article. The BSA have a "spokesperson"; the GSA have a "spokesperson." Gender, of course, unspecified.

John said...

I don't see what the problem is. The Seventh Day Adventist Church has had an organization similar to Scouts for century and a half. Boys and Girls together and no problems.

Excellent organization. They start as Castors, become Pioneers, Conquistadores, then adults continue as cadets. Membership is open to about 3 years old to 90 or so.

My kids and grandkids have always been active.

The organization started in the War Between the States to provide conscientious objector medical cadets (medics) to the Union Army. The arrangement is sort of like Chaplains today. They were with the army and in uniform but not quite of the army. As late as the Korean War the SDA church was still sending cadets with the Army.

The cadet Corps survives in vestigal form in Puerto Rico as the adult branch of SDA "scouting".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_Cadet_Corps

John Henry

sparrow said...

BSA has caved to the culture and is pushing to become gender neutral. Our scout master told us about an upcoming Q& A session with some polished video from National purporting to want our input. I doubt their sincerity to say the least.

Paul said...

I thought girls SUED to get into the BSA. So now some complain about girls being recruited to being in the BSA? What about all those gay scout leaders? Pedophiles getting into the BSA. I guess nobody worries anymore about NAMBLA or maybe NAMGLA... or hey, NAWGLA!

Ficta said...

@John Yep. SDA "scouting" (Pathfinders) is great. Coed and very outdoor oriented. At least it was back in the 1970s and I haven't heard that it's changed much since.

Nurse Rooke said...

As a mediocre former Girl Scout from the 70s, I'm agnostic on all this--I quite enjoyed working toward patches that were traditionally girly (like sewing, cooking, fancy needlework) and I felt crabby when the traditionally boyish activities turned out to be defanged (our knives were super lame-o and we were only allowed to carve things out of soap). In the 80s, one of my college friends was a super keen girl scout partly because of their liberal stances on social issues which enlarged her views from her South Carolina small town. When she went to work for them after college, she found the liberalism in the national leadership so extreme that she, a left-wing democrat lesbian, became disillusioned with their ability to serve American girls generally. A lot of the emphasis in Girl Scouting now is on female entrepreneurship.

But I have just met the new interim head of the Girl Scouts--she is literally a rocket scientist from a very impoverished upbringing in New Mexico: Sylvia Acevedo. She is very impressive, not least in her understanding of the range of American society. I hope the leadership takes her seriously.

RonF said...

I've been in the Boy Scouts of America, man and boy, for about 37 years. Youth member, Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, District Commissioner, Assistant Council Commissioner, Chartered Organization Representative, Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, staff for the recently concluded 2017 National Jamboree, etc., etc. Here's what's going on:

The B.S.A. has - just like the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, the PTA and a whole bunch of other organizations - been seeing declining membership. Permitting openly gay people to join and youth and leaders has shut the radical left up some but has not in fact resulted in new members joining. Drives to recruit minority members has helped but not reversed the trend. They have done a bunch of work to find out why. Recently, in a video that many members have been asked to watch and then answer a survey on, a representative of National Council has presented the results and asked for reactions on a proposal to deal with the findings.

What they found is that millennial families with children of both sexes don't want to join an organization that presents program excluding one of their children. They found that it's not an issue of perceived prejudice or other social attitudes; it's an issue of time. Since in such families both parents are almost always in the work force, they have limited time to spend with their children. So when they do things with their kids, they look for activities that they can include all the kids in as much as possible. That in turn often causes them to exclude the Boy Scouts.

So they are asking their membership if they can accept/will go along with the BSA offering the following alternatives to the organizations that sponsor units. They would be able to offer to the community for each program level:

1) A single-sex unit of either sex.
2) Two single-sex units, one for each sex.
3) A co-ed unit.
4) Any combination of the above.

They also asked other questions such as how people felt about girls earning Eagle Rank and joining the Order of the Arrow, which right now is only open to boys (even in the Venturing program, which is co-ed; in that program boys who earned First Class Rank as a Boy Scout can continue on as a Venturer and earn Eagle next to girls who would be doing the same Venturing program but are NOT able to earn Eagle since they were never Boy Scouts).

That's what's going on. Understand that the GSUSA and the BSA have had merger talks in the past but they have always foundered because the GSUSA feels that girls develop leadership best in a program where the top leaders are exclusively or mainly women; whereas the BSA has had female Cubmasters and Scoutmasters since the 1980's. The GSUSA also had issues with some of the social attitudes that the BSA has had, but that's mostly a dead issue these days.

I can tell you that many girls simply don't want the GSUSA program and DO want the BSA program - we started a Venture Crew from girls who were younger sisters of boys in our Troop who were complaining to their parents that they wanted to do what their brothers were doing, and there's Cub Scout Packs all over the country that have older or younger sisters of Cub Scouts as unofficial members.

The problem here isn't the BSA poaching girls from the GSUSA. The problem is that the GSUSA isn't attracting girls like it used to and hasn't changed it's program to keep up. The vast majority of the girls who would join a program such as the BSA is considering wouldn't quit the GSUSA to do so; they would never have joined (or stayed in) the GSUSA in the first place.

Mr. D said...

Both of my kids took full advantage of Scouting — my son is an Eagle Scout and my daughter has her Gold Award. BSA and GSA are quite different; BSA is hierarchical, but at the same time it’s ideally boy-led at the troop level, and the troops tend to last because they usually have a sponsoring organization, often a church. GSA troops don’t have that same structure and, at least in our experience, seem to disband once the girls in the troop age out or lose interest. My daughter’s troop started out as about a dozen Daisy Scouts and by the time they wound it down, only she and one friend remained. It always seemed to me that the primary purpose of GSA is selling cookies; the quality of the experience beyond that lies entirely in whether the adult troop leaders, usually moms, are ambitious enough to take advantage of the programming that is available. BSA programs are much more prominent and going to the scout camps each year are part of the life of the troop. Other than going to day camp one year, the girls didn’t have any requirements to go camping at all.

I don’t have a preference; both organizations were great for my kids and they had experiences we wouldn’t have been able to offer them otherwise, but it’s easier to have a full experience in the Boy Scouts.

sparrow said...

Thanks for the input RonF. I wonder if the BSA knows what it's doing: it's been very top down and left wing from my POV. I think they are endangering the scout program entirely, and maybe that's the goal.

Feste said...

Another protest and counterprotest theme infinitely sexual and defying infinitely lovable tom-boy Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” unafraid -scoutingly - to call, “Hey, Boo!”

Sigivald said...

"It's a potentially dangerous and bad idea," the spokesperson said, citing research supporting "single gender programming" which says that girls learn best in an all-girls environment when it comes to scouting.

Althouse's Law?

It's good to have girls segregated, because they learn better that way.

Anyone suggesting that all schools work that way (note that I am not, as such), would of course be called an un-American monster and a horrible reactionary.

(Me, I don't care about the BSA.

I couldn't join, after all - you have to be a deist to be a Scout (mind you, I never even knew this when I was of the appropriate age, so I'm not personally bitter about it).

Yep, that's right.

Satanist? You're in. Atheist? Sorry, you're obviously wicked and immoral.

So, while Scouting is broadly a good thing, I can't make myself care about it, since it actively doesn't care about me.

Maybe they - and the Masons and the like - should get with the Century of the Fruitbat and re-think that little wrinkle in their bylaws, which I presume is some kind of weird legacy anti-Communism*.

* I approve of anti-Communism. Just not in the "only Commies aren't theists" way.)

Renee said...

Agreeing with Mr D. here

The push for girls in boy scouts comes from parents with children in both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. We are in Cub/Boy Scouts and the girls seem to really enjoy our family events, and my daughter who was never a girl scout, always engaged with skill base activities along her brothers. At out pine wood/fishing derby we have a sibling/parent category for races/awards.

GSA isn't listening to their own base, which are girls who have brothers in cub/boy scouts.

The camping thing though as the get older is a bit of a worry, and they should be is separate patrols.

Renee said...

Girls and boys at times do better while separated, because the other sex is a distraction. That's the benefit of single sex education, the cause of distraction (the opposite sex) isn't in the learning environment.

Rusty said...

Wait. There's still gonna be 'Thin Mints', right?

Jane the Actuary said...

The explanation by RonF was very helpful, and I could see our Pack and Troop choosing some variant of option 2. As a committee chair for a very small pack, it would greatly aid viability to have boys and girls combined, with separate den meetings and combined pack meetings. (It's not really "poaching" from the Girl Scouts if their troops are barely-viable as well.) As to the Boy Scouts proper, I think parents would still choose to keep this single-sex, or offer a girl's patrol that does their own thing in many cases so that the boys don't get taken over by the girls' greater maturity and leadership.

Rt1 Rebel said...

As a former Boy Scout, I can't think of anything more fun and educational than a camping trip with Girl Scouts. I'll let Laslo take it from there.

RonF said...

Sparrow said:

" I wonder if the BSA knows what it's doing: it's been very top down and left wing from my POV. I think they are endangering the scout program entirely, and maybe that's the goal."

My viewpoint is that the BSA has acted very top down when it came to rescinding the ban on openly active gays and transsexuals and greatly angered their volunteers in doing so. In fact, they lost a lot of volunteers over the former, and the volunteers are the life blood of Scouting. Without volunteers you don't have Packs, Troops, etc. (a.k.a., "units"). So what it looks like to me is that in circulating this video and asking for the viewers (who are almost all volunteers of one sort or another) they are trying to act in a bottom-up fashion. They have repeatedly stressed that no decisions have been made and that they want to get the opinions of the volunteers and judge what the internal fallout will be before any decisions are made. This to me is actually a reversal of how they've made these decisions in the past.

RonF said...

I did spend two weeks in Japan as one of 6 leaders for a 23 boy/12 girl Venture crew. The Venturers were ages 15 - 19. There were only a couple of issues where we had to separate a couple of kids before they got sexually active.

I did stand up on the airplane on the way to Japan, get the attention of the Venturers (and likely not a few of the other passengers) and announce "I've got two things to say: what happens in Japan stays in Japan, and nobody comes home pregnant." The kids actually helped enforce this. And when we went camping, it was the girls at one end, the boys at the other, and us leaders in the middle. I've also been a leader of a Venture Crew here in the U.S. Again, the kids pretty much stick by the "no sex" rule on their own without a lot of intervention by us. Surprisingly. But they know that if it gets out of hand they'll get tossed out, and we do some fun stuff (like rock climbing at Devil's Lake up north of Prof. Althouse).

RonF said...

Sigivald said:

"you have to be a deist to join"

Not strictly true. You don't have to believe in a diety. Buddhists don't and they are entirely welcome; I've been at a meeting of a Troop sponsored by a Buddhist temple. There are other recognized religions that aren't deist. Their members are welcome. In fact, you don't even have to belong to an organized religion to join. All you have to do is believe (and if asked, state) that there is some higher power beyond life as we know it. Atheists cannot join, however. After all, the 12th point of the Scout Law is "A Scout is Reverent", which atheists cannot claim to adhere to. And while the Scout Oath says "On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my Country", the Scout membership application explains that this essentially is shorthand for any religion or spiritual belief. It does not only refer to the Christian/Jewish God and that polytheists and non-theists are welcome.

Rick said...

"you have to be a deist to join"

I'm sure we have plenty of kids who don't really know what they think. We're not interrogating them before they can join.

Scott M said...

I've had sons in Boy Scouts and girls in Girl Scouts. If anyone was going to pull something like this, it would be the Girl Scouts. My own $.02.