Scouts’ Newest Inclusion Postive for All

Beck Chambers, Staff Writer

Boy Scouts of America (BSA) finally opened up their program to girls on October 11.

“We strive to bring what our organization does best developing character and leadership for young people,” said BSA Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh.

As a boy scout myself, I support this move completely. As Surbaugh explained in the Washington Post, “The values of Scouting trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave and reverent, for example,  are important for both young men and women.” In other words, it would be completely against the BSA motto to exclude an entire gender from such a positive organization.

However, Kathy Hopinkah Hannan, the president of the Girl Scouts, sent a letter to the Boy Scouts of America accusing the group of carrying out a “covert campaign to recruit girls into programs” in the hopes of bolstering declining membership, according to the Los Angeles Times.

We should not twist this act of inclusion to be anything other than a progressive gesture. Girls should, and now have, the option to chose whatever program they want. The move bolsters the main tenants of Scout Law, to be courteous and kind, so finally opening up the Boy scouts of America to girls is in accordance with the program’s mission and not for any other hidden agenda.

This is all part of a broader trend in BSA to become more inclusive. Boys Scouts have grown a lot in the past decade, first when accepting openly gay scouts in 2013, and now in opening the program to girls.

It is important to have a fully open program for everyone and we need to take into consideration how it promotes positive values in young Scouts.

Other countries, like Britain in 2007, have opened scouting up to both genders, to the benefit of the girls there. British Chief Scout Bear Grylls said, “It’s great to see that more and more girls are signing up to scouting and that the movement is continuing to grow as a whole,” according to an article in the Telegraph.

Furthermore, it would be illogical to say that girls don’t need to be included in Boy Scouts itself because there are other programs for them. Yes, girls have been allowed in other scouting programs such as the Ventures and Girl Scouts as part of the overall scouting program, but these do not have the equivalent to an eagle scout in Boy Scouts.

The Eagle Award given to Boy Scouts is more prestigious than any award in Girl Scouts. It’s important because colleges consider the Eagle scout award for Boy Scouts more prestigious that the Girls Scout’s Gold Award. Now, girls can achieve the same level of commendation by joining Boy Scouts.

Everyone should be encouraged to participate in this glorious program.