Boy Scouts

I’ve been trying to process the recent change of the Boy Scouts of America allowing girls into the organization. If you haven’t read about it, you can find more information here

I grew up in scouting so I can understand the appeal. I earned the rank of Eagle Scout along with many of my friends. We had a heck of a troop and I wouldn’t trade those memories for the world. I get why people want to get in. My oldest son this year is just starting scouting and I’m enjoying seeing him get involed and do various activities. Its not always easy, but he’s enjoying it and making friends, what more could a father ask for.

The issue…

Now, I’m pretty open and believe in equal rights for all. I was pretty ashamed of the Boy Scouts when they were against gay scounts and leaders. Thankfully they have come to their senses or my son probably would not be a part of the organization. They have also opened their doors to kids that self identify as boys which is a huge step for the transgender community. For a conservative organization, this is very welcomed news.

But Girls…in the boy scouts? This is where we lose a lot of people and for a while, I was one of them. There is an organization for girl scouting… called Girl Scouts USA if I’m not mistaken. I think where we have our disconnect is there are girls that want to do the things that the Boy Scouts are doing. At that point, it should go one of two ways.

  1. The Girl scouts need to step up and evolve their organization to meet the needs of their members.
  2. We need to consolidate scouting in America. Girl Scounts and Boy Scouts combine.

Frankly, I’d be ok with the latter. Its happened in other parts of the world and I think both organizations could benefit from keeping the best of both programs and putting them together to meet the needs of all members. I’m sure there are some boy scouts that would greatly benefit from the programming offered from the girl scouts. And clearly there is a need for girls joining the Boy Scouts.

Unfortunately, this is going to go down as a membership grab. Or at least that is the picture that the Girl Scouts are trying to paint. They’re probably right…but I’d argue that they are clearly not meeting all the needs of their potential members.

My take…

We need organizations providing opportunity, confidence, leadership, support for our kids from all backgrounds, ethnicities and now genders. The Boy Scouts are stepping up and opening the door for girls into its ranks. Its worth a try and I’m going to support it with an open mind.

The Boy Scouts are evolving. Scouting is evolving. This is good for all of us.

Matt Patterson avatar
About Matt Patterson
Husband, Father of 3, Programmer at heart, spends his days running ridiculously large data centers in the midwest.