By; Neal Kisor, News Writer
Recently, there’s been a good bit of controversy regarding the Boy Scouts. Specifically in regards to membership, and whether girls can really be considered Boy Scouts. The Scouts have always been surrounded by a good deal of controversy. At the beginning of 2014 the Scouts allowed the entrance of homosexual boys into the program, opening the program to a wider variety of boys.
Earlier this year, the Boy Scouts allowed the entrance of transgender boys into the program. Previously, the decision was based on the gender stated on a child’s birth certificate. Now, the decision is based on the gender listed on a child’s application into the Cub Scouts.
With the acceptance of different orientations some have been wondering, “What about the girls?” Well, the Scouts have announced that, as of January 1st, 2018, girls will be allowed to enter the Boy Scout’s of America program officially.
This decision has come after years of outcry from female Scouts. In many communities, there were cases where girls would not receive recognition for being in the Boy Scouts. Additionally, the rank of Eagle Scout was not obtainable by girls in the past. These girls were allowed into the program due to special cases and were not able to achieve recognition for any rewards, no matter how deserved.
This change in policy has left many girls overjoyed. But the change may not be all that noticeable. Instead, Scout ‘Dens’ may opt to be all-boy or all-girl. Therefore, it’s largely up to a ‘Pack’ to decide whether or not to integrate male and female Boy Scouts in a co-ed environment. By 2019 the Scouts plan to have a separate program dedicated for female Boy Scouts.
Some people have expressed concern over the change. Some veteran scouts have decided to leave the program due to the change. “Let boys be boys, let girls be girls,” is a common phrase turned into an argument over these changes. Many claim that the integration of girls into the Boy Scouts ruins the meaning of the program. Or that the inclusion of girls is causing boys to “face adulthood too quickly” by inhibiting their ability to play with and be around other boys.
Only time will tell if the inclusion of girls into the Boy Scouts program will change the status quo of what the program represents. But for the girls that can now experience the Scouts with their brothers, fathers, and friends, the news is welcome.