Boy Scouts of America to Change Their Name
As the Boy Scouts of America begins welcoming girls into their program they have decided to change their name in the process. They will now be dropping the word "boy" and the new name will be Scouts BSA. Here is where this makes no sense. BSA stands for Boy Scouts of America. So, their name will now be Scouts Boy Scouts of America.
I should clarify a bit here. If you do not know how the Boy Scout program works, boys from first grade through fifth grade are Cub Scouts and boys from sixth grade through twelfth grade are Boy Scouts. This is where the change will occur. Kids from sixth grade through twelfth grade will now just be called Scouts.
Before I give you my opinion on this matter, I should explain why my opinions are backed by years and years of experience. Unlike many opinion articles you may read about this, I have the experience to back up my opinions.
I have been a Girl Scout since 1995. I will always be a Girl Scout, I am a registered lifetime member. I am a Bronze and Gold Award recipient, I served on the board of directors, I was a delegate for my service unit (now called regions), and a delegate on the national level for the national convention. I have been a registered Boy Scout since 2009. My first job was a counselor at a Boy Scout camp, I am a merit badge counselor, I am an assistant Cub Scout leader, and an assistant Scoutmaster. I know both programs extremely well.
What the Boy Scouts of America is doing right now can be simplified into one sentence. They are grasping at straws. The Boy Scout program at its core is outdated and rather than updating the program they chose to update their image. This would be like taking a car with a failing transmission and giving it a new paint job and saying it's better now. The Boy Scouts have this mentality that their product is perfect and does not need to be continually updated as years pass. This is why they are a failing system.
Girl Scouts has always evolved its program to fit in better to a modern world. They shift focus on what the girls of today want and need. Currently, GSUSA is focusing on their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) program. They offer badges at all levels that focuses on areas of STEM, as well as partnering with major companies like AT&T, Dell, NASA, and others to allow girls to explore various fields.
The idea that Girl Scouts does not offer the opportunities that Boy Scouts do is very very wrong. In fact Girl Scouts offers more. Not only do they focus on STEM, but Girl Scouts do offer opportunities, like Boy Scouts, for girls to get outdoors and learn survival skills. This is a major misconception when it comes to Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts also offer more travel opportunities, both national and international.
Over the past few years the Boy Scouts have opened the program to more and more people. They made news over the debate on whether or not to allow gay boy members and leaders. Why haven't you heard anything concerning Girl Scouts and gay girls or leaders? They have never made an issue out of it, they have never had a ban.
While I may not call myself a feminist, because their have been negative condemnations that go along with that word, I am proud to be a woman. I am proud of the organization that women built for girls and young women. If the Boy Scouts of America cannot keep boys involved in their program how can they expect to expand their program to include girls?
On a local level, I have experienced a smugness by leaders and adults in Boy Scouts throughout this change. They have approached this as a take over from the Girl Scouts and have this idea that they can create a program better than women can for girls. I am not exaggerating, I am not being over dramatic.
Have you ever wondered what boys in Boy Scouts think of this change? You may care, but BSA doesn't. If you ask leaders or adults what the kids think, they will brush off the question. What young boy or teenage boy wants their sister in a group with them? If you ask boys if they want girls with them they will usually say no. Yes, they say they will be in different groups. How long will that last? What leader wants to do double the work as a volunteer?
The Boy Scouts of America realized they are headed off of the side of a cliff and are grasping at small blades of grass to survive.